Cathy Moses plants sweet alyssum in the pollinator plot at the Fifth Street Community Garden in Port Angeles

Cathy Moses plants sweet alyssum in the pollinator plot at the Fifth Street Community Garden in Port Angeles

WEEKEND: Beauty not just soil deep in garden tours set Saturday

PORT ANGELES — A self-guided tour of 10 “Earth-friendly” gardens is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Clallam County Master Gardeners’ 19th annual garden tour will showcase six private home gardens and four public gardens in Port Angeles.

The focus is not simply on beauty but on Earth-friendly practices, said Muriel Nesbitt, program coordinator of WSU’s Master Gardeners of Clallam County, and Willie Burer, chairman of the 2012 garden tour.

Although the public gardens have been named, the owners and addresses of the private gardens will be revealed only with the purchase of a ticket.

Tickets

Advance tickets are $15; tickets will be $20 the day of the event.

Advance tickets can be purchased in Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Townsend.

Port Angeles locations are the Airport Nursery, Country Aire, Port Book and News, Gross’s Nursery & Florist, the county WSU Extension office and all plant clinics.

Sequim locations are Peninsula Nurseries, McComb Gardens, Over the Fence, Red Rooster Grocery, Sunny Farms Farm Store and Vision Landscape Nursery.

In Port Townsend, tickets are available at Henery’s Garden Center.

Public gardens

The public garden between Maier Hall and the D Building at Peninsula College, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., will have guided tours at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. led by Joe Holtrop, district manager of the Clallam Conservation District.

Two gardens on the tour are under the umbrella of the Port Angeles Victory Garden: the Fifth Street Community Garden — across the street from City Hall — and the Vineyard Community Garden, 415 S. Peabody St.

These gardens offer free public classes in organic gardening and opportunities to rent more than 50 garden plots.

A rain garden created by Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County is on the tour.

The garden in the Maloney Heights subdivision on West 16th Street not only processes stormwater from the surrounding area but also contains more than 2,500 plants donated by local nurseries, the Master Gardener Foundation of Clallam County and the Port Angeles Garden Club.

Private gardens

The six private gardens on the tour range from a large arid garden to a lush small plot, with no two alike, the Master Gardeners said.

One overlooks the Strait of Juan de Fuca at the east end of town and features plants adapted to windy and salty air.

Another, closer to town, displays a landscape covered with compost from various sources, including the city of Port Angeles’ “Garden Glory,” and will host educational presentations on vermicomposting — worm bins — at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Another stop on the tour shows how a garden once overwhelmed by water running next to the house has been transformed into a terraced rock garden with two patios and an Asian-inspired waterfall.

On a city lot is a home that uses organic methods, crop rotation and beneficial flowers to grow a large variety of annual vegetables and edible perennials.

Up the hill is another garden devoted to repurposing yard art along with vintage garden tools.

Yet another garden is like a private park within the city, featuring Western red cedars, Douglas firs, Japanese maples and a large madrona, along with a rock bridge over bubbling water.

The major sponsors of this year’s tours are the city of Port Angeles’ Solid Waste Division, the Clallam Conservation District and Clallam County Environmental Health Services.

For more information about the tour or the Master Gardeners program, phone Nesbitt at 360-565-2679.

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