Arts and Entertainment

VAA’s Garden Tour blooms with color, music and art

This year’s Vashon Allied Arts Garden Tour tour includes Richard and Kathleen Vaught Farner’s garden. - Courtesy Photo
This year’s Vashon Allied Arts Garden Tour tour includes Richard and Kathleen Vaught Farner’s garden.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

One of Vashon Allied Arts’ biggest events of the year — the 21st Annual Vashon Island Garden Tour — is almost here. 

Gardeners, organizers and volunteers have been toiling on the tour for months now, and the fruits of their labor will ripen this weekend as big crowds flock to the event. 

There will be chances to stroll through six exquisite gardens, attend seminars, listen to live music performances and shop in an expansive garden market. 

The gardens

Kate Thompson and Mary Bruno’s Asian-inspired garden features lush foliage that parts to reveal an expansive view of Fern Cove. 

Hal and Molly Green’s Westside property, Triplebrook, has a history on Vashon that dates back to the 1890s, when it was homesteaded by settler Jedediah Paige. The Greens have restored much of the farm’s old-fashioned charm. 

Cynthia Johnson’s 10-acre Fox Farm is bursting with color and fragrance — a testament to her determination to transform a ramshackle property into a rural paradise boasting more than 1,000 lavender plants. 

Richard and Kathleen Vaught Farner’s rose garden started as a raw field eight years ago. Now, it includes 70 Hybrid Tea and David Austin roses, grouped around a stand of Mount Fuji cherry trees. 

Sally Fox and Steve Brown’s Maury Island garden, filled with drought tolerant plants, is surrounded by mature madrone and Douglas firs. Berries, organic vegetables and a mini-orchard of fruit trees complete the garden.

Karen and Richard Person’s garden has a expansive view of Puget Sound. The property, which has been in Richard’s family since the 1920s, is alive with native ferns, hostas, bleeding hearts, native dogwood and too many other textures and touches to mention.

Art, music and a market

Cynthia Johnson’s Fox Farm, located at 17232 107th Avenue S.W., will be the site of the Garden Market, open to the public, and will also boast metal sculpture by Steve Zartman and fused glass sculpture by Brian Brenno. The 2011 VAA Community Quilt will also be on view there. 

The Thompson/Bruno garden will feature art by Dean Manmer and harp music by Leslie McMichael.

The Green garden will be adorned with art works by Shannon Buckner and Mike Urban. 

A classical duo will play in the Farner garden, where sculpture by David Erue is installed. 

The Fox/Brown garden will showcase tile works by Elaine Summers, sculptures by Carol Lux and music by Dan Brown and Friends.

View tile birdbaths by Clare Dohna in the Person garden, and hear live jazz with Richard Person and friends.

Music will be played from noon to 2 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.



Call 463-5131 or visit to purchase tickets, $25, which are good for both days of the tour and also include admission to seminars with garden designer/horticulturist Jonathan Morse and master gardener/rosarian Cheryl Prescott. 

Two additional events cost extra: Author Elizabeth Murray will discuss her book, Monet’s Garden, at a special event at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at the Blue Heron. Tickets are $30, but discounted with the purchase of a tour ticket. 

A Sunset Garden Gala will happen Friday, June 24, complete with libations and a catered dinner. RedPerl will play music. For more information and to reserve a $125 ticket, call 463-5131.




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