By Louise Carson
Summertime and the living is all things garden, including Eatonville’s Garden Tour and Market July 19-20.
Put on by Mountain Community Co-op to raise funds for its outreach and educational programs, including Mountain Community Garden that put over 495 pounds of fresh organic produce into the local food bank in 2013, the tour is in its sixth year and invites people to tour five local gardens and shop at the Garden Market at the town Visitor Center on Mashell Avenue.
Tickets are $10 before the tour and sold at the co-op on Carter Stfreet and BlackStar Feed on the corner of Washington Avenue and Carter. The days of the tour, tickets will be sold at the co-op booth at the Garden Market for $12 each.
Along with the ticket, people will get a brochure with directions for the self-guided tour, which lasts from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. both days.
There will be some old-time music with guitar and fiddle from 11 a.m. at the market both days.
Demonstration of herbs in the garden will be on Sunday at 1 p.m. Colleen Gondolfi, owner of Blooming Artichoke Herbary in Yelm will show why she is passionate about botanical medicine and botany.
Local pharmacist Kirk Heinz has opened his large “estate” garden for this tour. Even without the thrilling garden areas, including perfectly aligned to the sun pinot noir grapes, this garden has a Mount Rainier view that is up close and personal. There is also a territorial view of Ohop Valley. Camera material for sure.
The Beach home is another hilltop view home with a steep front yard covered in kinnikinnick that needs no mowing. Good thing, because when Phillip Beach retired, “he retired from lawn moving, also,” said wife Harriet.
See their solution, and when you go around back (on the paths, please), try to spot the very small area that is “mowed” using the weed eater. Looking across the Ohop Valley, you can spot the Heinz home. A mountain view is another feature here, also.
The Schaub home doesn’t have the challenges of great heights, but has the benefits of everything else: Vegetables, trees worthy of an arboretum, water features and an ambitious collection of color involving more than 80 overwintered geraniums. The koi and goldfish pond is protected from hungry birds by discreet netting. It’s an easy walking space with flowing, curved borders.
Off Stringtown Road, north of Eatonville, Michelle Wilbur’s garden has been carved from a Weyhaeuser forest and features cooling water features, an orchard with many fruit trees, berries, native vegetation and trees and shrubs, many collected from Washington State University’s extension program. Your walking shoes will be handy here, and good paths make the exercise easy.
Mountain Community Garden is the “produce department” for some local gardeners and for the local food bank. It also makes an area of town much more decorative than having the empty space that was there just a few years ago. There will be presentations from Pierce County Master Gardeners. Check with the Garden Tour booth at the market for times.
The lavender will be in full bloom at the Lavender Art and Wine Show from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days at Stringtown Cellars and Lavender Farm at 39619 Eatonville Cutoff Road.