By Louise Carson
In its fifth year, the Eatonville Garden Tour features a two-day event July 20-21.
The tour times are listed from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. both days, but the tickets will be sold earlier, starting at 9 a.m. at the Eatonville Visitor Center. With five gardens and many vendors selling garden-related items at the center on Mashell Avenue, time will go quickly, even in two days.
Also, many of the 18 sponsors listed on the brochure will have items for sale. Tour participants can look over the list of vendors and call them to make the most of the two days.
Three gardens are concentrated in town on the west end. Two other gardens are next to each other in Ohop Valley. Visitors will not need to spend time driving from one garden to the other, but will be able to concentrate on each garden and maybe walk from one to the other in town and certainly on Ohop Valley Road, where two gardens are adjacent.
Kathy and Gordon Bowman’s garden is on Jensen Lane North and has taken a “Garden of Eden” approach with grapes, apples, plums, cherries, figs and vegetables. Flowers and a cool lawn are a wonderful backdrop for this bounty.
Garden 2 is Dan and Theresa Hoffman’s on Dow Ridge and has those drop-dead views of Mount Rainier and Ohop Valley with a one-of-a-kind water feature.
Garden 3, that of Kathleen and Ken Owen, is down the street. They have also done an all-out assault on the steep grade with 36 tons of rock, 620 cottage stones and untold hours. The results give them a vantage point to relax and enjoy the view of Mount Rainier and their fine garden.
In Ohop Valley, Kathy and Louie Mettler’s garden shows the benefits of over 50 years of gardening in the same location – perennials, fruit trees, a true country vegetable garden, accented by bonsai, topiary and more. Kathy will give a bonsai demo at her garden at 1 p.m. both days.
The gardening gene passed to Kathy’s daughter, Diane Mettler, who is also co-chairwoman of the Garden Tour. She and her husband, artist Chris Bivins, have the adjacent garden location and this year are combining art and garden with displays of varied items, including ceramics, metal sculpture, tile and woodworking. This is a place to consider making an investment in something that accents a yard/garden space all year.
While enjoying these gardens, tour organizers ask that people please be respectful of the time and work going into them. Young children may not welcome the restrictions on them, but a loving hand can guide them on the paths. Convenient bathrooms are at the Visitor Center and Mountain Community Co-op on Carter Street.
In the center of Eatonville, the Visitor Center will have many vendors with garden-related items. Some will be selling plants. There will be a honey man, Lincoln Mettler, selling varieties of honey and sharing information about the benefits of bees and how to keep them in your area. Another vendor and sponsor of the event, Old Goat Farm, will have award-winning floral designer Gary Waller sharing secrets of creating floral arrangements.
Tickets can be purchased at www.eatonvillegardentour.com for $10 each or from the Holly Hut in Eatonville. The days of the tour, tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the Mountain Community Co-op booth where vendors are selling.
This year’s ticket sales go to the Mountain Community Garden, affiliated with the co-op in order to benefit its capacity to grow and distribute more fresh food for the local food bank at Eatonville Community Center.
A special sidelight tour to the Mountain Community Garden on Center Street East, across from Milltown Center, will give guests a view of a garden that feeds the senses and more of Eatonville residents. Just over a year in operation, it represents generosity, hard work and imagination from all directions. Get more information from thegarden booth at the Visitor Center on how to participate.