In our own Backyard

Story last updated at 4:54 PM on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Garden Club Event highlights seven local gardens

In our own back yard

Staff Report


Photos by Brenda Adams

One of the seven gardens featured in the self-guided tours that are part of the Homer Garden Club's Gardeners' Weekend.

With summer in full bloom, the Homer Garden Club holds its fifth annual Gardeners' Weekend Saturday and Sunday.

The event includes a presentation by world-renown plantsman Dan Hinkley, founder of Heronswood Nursery, on Saturday evening and self-guided tours of seven carefully selected gardens on Sunday. The weekend concludes with a reception at Bear Creek Winery for weekend participants.

Hinkley will speak at Islands and Ocean Visitors' Center Auditorium at 7 p.m. Saturday.

"He is one of the great living experts within the botany and horticulture community, not only here in North America, but also internationally," according to a garden club press release.

Hinkley will use digitally altered images to compare different design elements in a garden, including textural foliage, repetition of color and form, and the importance of vertical elements.

Sunday brings the opportunity to explore seven outstanding gardens in self-guided tours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday's tour features the following gardens:

Off the Beaten Path/Highway: This garden has literally stopped traffic for years. Beds of perennials and annuals overflow with vibrant colors that are the culmination of a 30-year yen for "just one more" pocket garden. It is a chance to stop and smell the flowers — the same ones that catch the attention of every driver traveling up West Hill Road. Owner: Norma Leland

Sustainably Scrumptious plus 3 Rs: Dedication to timeless principles of organic gardening produces bountiful sustainable harvests in this efficient and practical garden. Reduce (waste), re-use and recycle are words often used by these gardeners. A rain catchment system and continuous compost production increase yields from the raised beds and a rabbit-proof orchard. Living off the land is excellently achieved in this well-designed garden.Owners: Peggy and Michael Craig


Brenda Adams

One of the seven gardens featured in the self-guided tours that are part of the Homer Garden Club's Gardeners' Weekend.

Terraces and Topiaries: This English-style garden won great applause when featured on the 2007 Homer Garden Tour. Fragrant roses ramble to the rooftop. There is a new water feature and new trees enhance the topiary collection. Stone terraces and paths lead to a variety of interesting garden areas. The sheltered vegetable garden and orchard thrive in rich soil. Owners: Rosie and Erless Burgess

Tip Top Success on Winter Wren: Homer gardeners are challenged by steep slopes, cool seasons, variable soils, wind and predatory critters. Some might say it can't be done, but through imaginative use of rock work, one area couple reliably harvests homegrown bumper crops. Terraces, raised beds, hoop protected gardens and a greenhouse provide feasts for the tummy and for the eyes. Owners: Jon Olsen and Barb Landi

Harmonizing with Native Plants: Beautiful wild roses and local trees blend with traditional landscaping selections to create a series of functional and attractive living borders. The original vegetable garden is joined by many charming and quirky mini gardens, complete with metal work sculptures and delightful found-object artwork.Owner: Sunrise Sjoberg

Captivating Cottage Garden: Joyful picket fences, arbors and benches in crisp white provide a framework for colorful flowers, gloriously overflowing their beds. Driftwood and garden art create a playful nautical theme. Pleasant walkways lead to special gardens and a quiet pond. Owners: Bridget and Lary Kuhns

Bonus Bouquets: A special seventh "bonus" garden this year features a peaceful park-like setting punctuated by mature birch, spruce and mountain ash. Beach rock walls and paths complement an enormous sloping lawn area accented with containers brimming with annuals. Owners: Bob and Fran Moore

The reception at the winery is an opportunity for participants to share experiences from the Gardeners' Weekend events.