Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gig Harbor Garden Tour -- Part 1

On Saturday I went on a garden tour in the nearby town of Gig Harbor. It's about a 30-minute drive from my house, through the larger city of Tacoma and across an infamous bridge -- the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Gig Harbor, nicknamed the Maritime City, is a pretty, albeit somewhat touristy, city with a cute little downtown area and waterfront.

 The patio area of the Java and Clay Cafe, where I had a quick, tasty sandwich for lunch between garden visits.

You can read a little more about the town of Gig Harbor here and here.

The garden tour included 8 gardens (I only visited 7, and all in one day!) The eighth, which I missed, was the community garden. The Gig Harbor Garden Tour Association hosts the tour, which runs on both Saturday and Sunday. I did all 7 at once, despite my protesting feet, because I planned to attend the Garden Conservancy's Open Days Tour on Sunday on Bainbridge Island (I did attend, and it will be the subject of a future post). The Association's mission statement is: "To promote literacy by supporting educational programs for children and adults in the greater Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula area." The ticket to all 8 gardens cost $25, and 100% of the revenue from the tour goes to adult and children's literacy programs. The tour ran from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The Garden of Susan and Jim Newell

This charming cottage garden was enclosed with a white picket fence, very much in keeping with the cottage style of the house.

Loved this front entry! The white wicker furniture was a feature throughout.

This sweet birdhouse made me realize that I need something more on my front step than lots and lots of pots.

Lovely little vignettes such as the following appeared at every turn, in every nook and cranny of the garden.

 I wanted to stay until dark so I could sit on that patio and see those lights twinkling.

My first encounter with Monkshood -- I thought it was Delphinium till I took a closer look at the flower
Doesn't it look like a helmet?

According to the blurb about this garden, Jim built this potting area and the arbor in the next picture as a gift to Susan.

Wonderful sentiment on the plaque

The Garden of Millie and Craig Russell
This garden began life as an Oriental garden, but after recent renovations to the house and gardens is now an interesting hybrid of Oriental and plant collector's paradise. And it has a lovely water view.

Garden Entrance

Sambucus 'Black Lace'

Primula viallii

A reminder to me that I need to tuck seedlings into the stones at the edges of my path

 Believe it or not, there is a stairway down through this rockery to the putting green below.

Can you see it?

Don't you love these mossy faces?

Five more gardens to come in future posts!