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

Saturday, June 30, 2012

2012 Gig Harbor Garden Tour -- And a Sweet Surprise

I love living in this area of the country for a lot of reasons, but one is that there are so many garden tours at this time of year. I could go to one, or even two or more, every weekend between now and the end of July. I'm sure there were plenty of lovely gardens back east in Massachusetts, but I don't ever remember hearing about or reading about practically every town having a garden tour of its own. Here they do.

Today I went to the Gig Harbor Garden Tour. I went to last year's too (You can read about it here and here), and it was so good that I just knew this year's would be great too.  It was even better, actually!

Every garden tour I go on, there is always at least one garden (sometimes more than one), that just appeals to me in every way. Today, that was the garden of Terrie and Kerry Watrin.

Sometimes I read the description of each garden in whatever brochure has been provided, and wonder whether they are writing about the same garden I'm seeing. That wasn't true of this one. I'm going to quote from the ticket brochure, because the words are better than my own.

Enter this garden and you know you are walking down a country lane into a little piece of the past! 

There is a large meadow to the left where sheep often graze and an abundant vegetable garden, with enough produce to share with neighbors. 

Finally, at the end of the lane are the restored log-cabin house and a fantastic little garden shed.

"Our two acres on Horsehead Bay have a sweet history," says Terrie. "The log cabin was built by hand in the early 1920s. A barn, pasture and root cellar create a bucolic sense of life a couple of generations ago. 

Neighbors tell of a huge peach orchard and loganberry and boysenberry vines that enticed them when they were children. The peach orchard and berries later became a pasture for horses. The cedar trees in front of the house were planted some 5 years ago by a retired forester."

"We are the sixth stewards here; for 22 years we have tried to keep true to the spirit of simplicity and home.

Flowerbeds have replaced the lawn. 

The organic vegetable garden was created to offer space for neighbors to plant a row or two. A pumpkin contest was held when neighborhood children were small. 

A garden chapel/greenhouse was recently built using mostly recycled materials. A small flock of sheep keeps the pasture mowed."

"Paradise is the evening wind in the trees, looking out on the summer flowers and eating ripe tomatoes."

There is no way my pictures can do this garden justice. It was so obviously a labor of love, and was just filled with the gardeners' personalities and creativity. You could tell this was the kind of garden where the owners were out there, making the decisions and doing the work. It was a true cottage garden, filled to bursting with beautiful plants and flowers.

I took plenty of photos of the other 6 gardens on the tour, and I'll probably put a post together at some point once I've sifted through them.

Are you wondering what the sweet surprise was that I mentioned in the title? As I was walking back to my car after viewing one of the gardens, I heard a Russian-accented voice behind me.

"I know this woman," she said. And then she was in front of me. "Right?" She said.

I recognized her too. It was Tanya who writes the blog My Secret Garden. Hugs ensued. I met Tanya last year, when she joined us on the last day of the Garden Bloggers Fling at Dragonfly Farms in Kingston. If you don't follow her blog, you should. I'm hoping she will write a post with her photos from the tour, she is a whiz with the camera.

Flowers are beautiful. And plants are very satisfying to grow and nurture, especially when, by some miracle, you manage to place them where they will thrive.

But nothing beats a warm, welcoming hug and a big, delightful smile from a real, live person.