June 22 is the day for this year's Whidbey Island Tour; the Vashon Island tour is Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd - so you can spend the entire weekend touring island gardens. There's nothing like meandering around an island, having an excuse to drive down those tempting wooded lanes....with a special, residential garden at the end, opening their gates on a single day or weekend of the year.
The Whidbey Tour is going strong with great gardens in its 18th year of supporting environmental non-profits with tour proceeds. This year's tour is from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Four gardens are featured, including gardens for growing food. You can buy tickets ($20 for adults and $10 for children) online at www.wigt.org or at local venues like Bayview Farm and Garden, Anchor Books and Coffee in Clinton, and Flowers by the Bay in Freeland. Two very special Whidbey gardens are thrown into that ticket price: the Meerkerk Rhododendron Garden in Greenbank and the very impressive Good Cheer food garden in Bayview are also on tour along with the featured residential gardens. For more information, call 360-321-4191.
On to Vashon, another seductive destination celebrating its 23rd year of annual garden touring in support of Vashon Allied Arts. Five diverse gardens are featured, from the modern to the formal to the pastoral. Sculpture and musical performances grace every garden, as well as a garden art market.
The Garden Tour tickets are $25 per person and are available at Vashon Allied Arts, Heron’s Nest, VashonAlliedArts.org and many Vashon Island businesses. Questions? Contact Kira Bacon, Vashon Allied Arts, 206.463.5131 x226.
Five gardens, two days: here are a couple of photos and descriptions to tempt you...
How to resist a property called "Humble Bumble Farm", a working farm with lavender gardens and a secret garden. There's a Tudor style greenhouse, plus goats, horses, cows and chickens.
Froggsong Garden is the work of Cindy Stockett, who must be one of the hardest working gardeners around. I wrote about it for the Seattle Times years ago, and Stockett has added many more plants and features since. The property is 17 acres; the three cultivated areas include an English knot garden, an alpine garden, a pond, a labyrinth and the new Earth Works garden:
I've also written about the very stylish five acre garden composed by Linda Weiss and Ron Gawith (you can read my Seattle Times story about their garden here). The palette is silver and green, the plants are mostly drought-tolerant, the vibe is cool, and the place is planned for outdoor living, including a wood-fired pizza oven, fig trees, and a series of outdoor rooms defined by gabion walls: