Saturday the 21st, Eric and I hosted 50 or so guests from the
South Kitsap Garden Tour put on by the Kitsap County Historical Society (KCHS). We were one of four featured gardens and honored to help support the organization. Everyone was so appreciative and friendly, the arrangements so smooth—we thoroughly enjoyed it. Our only lament is that we didn’t make it to see the other gardens.
This is the second time we’ve been part of a local garden tour and it’s a wonderful incentive to knock out neglected chores and pull out the stops. There’s nothing quite like external motivation! But preparing to open your private garden to the public also causes one to scrutinize it; noticing the flaws more than the strengths and saying “If only I had used more deer repellent…It figures that the slugs got my oriental lilies this of all years…and why do we always get a heat wave when we leave town?” With a lovely crowd like the KCHS, the criticism was our own. If they noticed the flowerbed that is suffering from the dual calamities of a broken underground water pipe and the horribly invasive Alstroemeria, they sweetly withheld judgement.
I was asked many plant ID questions, and luckily, they were for genus and species names that I still recall. The plant that is above and away most remarked upon in our garden is the Aristolochia durior (Dutchman’s pipe vine) that grows on the garage arbor. I have never understood why this vine isn’t grown more in the Northwest—it’s lush, lovely and easy. The huge, heart shaped leaves turn butter yellow in the fall; their size makes raking a piece of cake. The rest of the year the billowing foliage takes the edge off our oversized garage and roots the building in the garden.
The purple-leafed Ligularia dentata ‘Britt Marie Crawford’ (Golden Groundsel) at our front entry was in full bloom, its saffron daisies drawing honeybees and comments. The true blue flowers of Ceratostigma willmottianum (Chinese Plumbago) in the dry garden elicited a few ogles.
The two, unusual evergreen groundcovers bordering the north side of our home and sun deck were also popular. Euonymous ‘Kewensis’ is slowly creeping over itself to create odd, sculptural mounds next to a patch of Baccharis magellanica, a hard-to-find work horse from South America. If there are other “What was that plant?” questions, post a comment here and I’d be glad to help out (if my memory serves me).
Susan Daniel and Gary Beanland took a slew of great photographs of the tour. Please visit Susan and Gary’s photo site Camera Bean at the following link for more great images of the gardens, their creators and the lovely folks in attendance.
Thank you to those who organized and attended the tour for the Kitsap County Historical Society; we were flattered to be part of the event and enjoyed meeting so many nice people. We love to share our garden.