Vashon Garden Tour happening June 21, 22

The garden of Mia McEldowney and Bill Mitchell is one of those open to visitors on this year’s garden tour. - Courtesy photo
The garden of Mia McEldowney and Bill Mitchell is one of those open to visitors on this year’s garden tour.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

For the past 18 years, Island gardeners have opened their garden gates to allow the public to see the outdoor sanctuaries, private yards and garden beds that represent hours of hard work. Once again, this weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, garden owners invite Islanders to visit and appreciate their labors of love.

“Garden Tour has become one of Vashon Allied Arts’ most important fundraising events,” said Molly Reed, VAA’s executive director. “In spite of the unusually wet and chilly spring, the gardens are beautiful, and we hope to see everyone there.”

Bountiful gardens, live music, art in the gardens, an auction of artist-embellished birdhouses, a plant sale and free seminars offer something for everyone all weekend.

Pre-Garden Tour events on Friday, June 20, include the sold-out Sunset Gala and the popular Garden Connoisseurs’ event (tickets still available) offered from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and again from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Author and designer Terry Hershey (“Soul Gardening: Cultivating the Good Life”) will lead intimate groups through his extensive garden. Registration is limited to offer participants ample time for questions. Light refreshments are included. Tickets are $40 per person or $55 bundled with a Garden Tour ticket.

Free garden-related seminars are also included in a Garden Tour ticket. Each seminar will last approximately 45 minutes.

Landscape architect Michael Lee, owner of Colvos Creek Nursery, will offer an an exploration of the use and care of natives in the garden (from California to British Columbia) at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 21, at Blue Heron Art Center.

Amateur naturalists and birders Alan Huggins and Sara Van Fleet will talk about attracting feathered visitors at 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. Sunday, June 22, in the McEldowney garden. Space is limited for this seminar. To register in advance, those interested may sign up upon arrival at the garden.

Artist and landscape designer Jack Strubbe will present a slide lecture on Asian influence in Northwest gardens at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 22, at the Blue Heron Art Center.

Garden Tour tickets are $25 per person (valid both days) and available in advance at Heron’s Nest, Dig and Blue Heron. You can also purchase tickets all weekend at the gardens. For more information, call 463-5131.

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