This garden is a seven-year work in progress. Jan and Gary Chapman are do-it-yourself gardeners who have transformed this 2.5-acre parcel of flat pasture land into approximately 1.5 acres of manicured gardens where 10 different planting beds are connected by wandering gravel paths. The Chapmans met the challenge of planting the three septic mounds on this property using a variety of succulents and lavender. The various planting areas feature a range of groundcovers, perennials and evergreens. Some of the featured trees include contorted weeping birch, purple birch, sourwood, magnolia and apple trees. A new arbor will be home to two newly planted Cecil Brunner climbing roses. A must-see is the large garden shed filled with orchids.
2) 453 W. Hammond St. • Denny and Dan Donovan
Nestled onto a city lot are the dream gardens of a couple of “weekend warriors.” Denny and Dan Donovan have transformed their property from traditional lawns to flower beds of botanical riches. The front yard features colorful perennials, shrubs, fruit and vegetable plants, dogwoods, maples, a weeping larch and a most prolific yellow plum tree. A winding pathway leads into a private backyard oasis. Here the tranquil beauty of the tall flowering trees, waterfalls and pond, patios and colorful gardens are highlighted with waves of groundcover and a rocked fire pit. Do-it-yourself projects featuring a garden shed, a wood-clad waist-high raised vegetable bed, worm bin, bird feeders and mason bee nesters complete this vibrant and personal haven.
3) 45 Marigold Lane • Lee Sharp and Karen Boorman
As construction of their home neared completion in 2007, Lee Sharp and Karen Boorman started landscaping the property. McDonald Creek runs through the back half of their lot. The front 3 acres, like those of their neighbors, formerly was a flat pasture. Their goals for landscaping were to overcome the boring flatness of a pasture; provide points of interest, whether viewed from inside their home or from the street; provide a sense of privacy while still maintaining a visual connection to the neighborhood and the mountain view; and ensure a variety of color and texture throughout the seasons.
With the help of Andrew May, an ornamental horticulturalist, their landscaping mounds and gardens very successfully met their goals. Sharp and Boorman showcase more than 80 different species of fruit and ornamental trees and shrubs (190 in all) as well as annuals and perennials such as sedums, lavender, heather, coral bells, columbine, lingonberry and blueberry.
4) 31 Nesting Place • Marilyn and Don Brenneis
Welcome to the land of golden retrievers, birds and veggies. Marilyn and Don Brenneis designed their front landscape for low maintenance, using plants and boulders intermingled with annuals which add splashes of color here and there. With four four-legged “kids” needing lots of exercise, the back landscape was designed to “go to the dogs,” complete with a golden retriever crossing sign on their “mountain,” as well as a tunnel in which to crawl. Non-splintering alder chips provide a nice surface for doggy paws and also act as a natural odor control.
Raised beds, planted with a variety of vegetables, are easily accessible, with hog wire used as a preventative measure for dog digging. One can relax on the swing under the grape arbor while listening to the cascading water feature that also muffles traffic noise. Bird feeders bring year-round activity from many feathered friends. This garden is a work in progress as the challenges of providing for dogs, birds and vegetables allow for lots of job security!
5) 71 Nesting Place • Michele Kolker
Michele Kolker has created the garden she was unable to have in her 15-foot by 12-foot arid Los Angeles yard. She was guided by the principles of feng shui which determined the start date, time and location of the first cut, as well as placement of the water feature and artwork. She collaborated with Bentley Garden Design in developing the plans for her gardens. The color palette began with the choice of sunset-colored flagstone for the patio and walkways. Using this as the base, she added plants with foliage colors consisting of a combination of chocolate, apricot, pink and orange sherbet highlighted with blue and purple. Kolker designed the lighting, water feature and pergola. She incorporated the work of local artist Dana Hyde, whose art you will see throughout the garden. Her artwork adds to the color palette and ambience. The gardens are a respite for Kolker and her two cats, which enjoy hiding among the grasses and asters and sampling the cat mint.
6) 302 N. Ryser Ave. • Judy Sensitaffar
Prepare to be inspired to go home and create your own garden retreat after visiting Judy Sensitaffar’s garden. The garden, situated on a small town lot, began its life as a basketball court and a yard full of junk. From this lowly beginning, Sensitaffar and her daughters designed and created an intimate garden consisting of many outdoor rooms in which to sit and relax.
Flagstone paths lead from one garden room to the next where one might encounter a swing or gazebo or hammock or waterfall. Aboveground planting beds surrounding the lot shield the garden visitor from the sounds of the street. Designated as a wildlife sanctuary, this garden offers quiet respite sitting and listening to the twittering of birds and the hum of bees. The garden features cherry, plum, apple, pear and apricot trees. Smell the fragrance of the roses planted in memory of friends and family. And enjoy the many baskets of annual flowers hanging in every area of the garden.
7) 44 Timothy Lane • Dick and Evelyn Wolf
Welcome aboard the D&E Garden Railroad! Dick and Evelyn Wolf marvelously have integrated their passion for model trains into their 2-acre Carlsborg landscape. Combining an enthusiasm for gardening, woodworking and mechanics, and a 10-year labor of love, these owners have created a rural fantasy railroad with more than 400 feet of track and 20 buildings which transport observers of all ages to a bygone era.
Reviving a boyhood hobby, the owner built from scratch many of the rail cars pulled by the G-scale engines, as well as the antique buildings in the layout. The raised track area includes mountains, hills, rock and water features. Plantings of dwarf Alberta spruce, Blue Star (Amsonia), thyme, and Irish and Scotch mosses enhance the scale of the railway landscape. Additional features of the property include expansive lawns, Leyland cypress, perennials, fruit orchard, arbors and a patio with a majestic view of the Olympic Mountains.
8) 4949 Woodcock Road • Cynthia and David Martin
Cynthia and David Martin live in a 20-acre park with a splendid view of the Greywolf Range. Nature provided about 5 acres of forest, Casselary Creek and a tributary. There still is evidence of a forest fire 60 or 70 years ago. An old barn is a treasure to the family. The beautiful, large home was built 20 years ago to accommodate a large family. The creeks, in their natural condition, are habitat for many wild animals. Grandfather Arnold dug the pond which is stocked with Walmart goldfish. Don’t laugh; they prosper and are a great meal for blue herons and an occasional river otter. The fish also keep the pond with a balance of aquatic plants. The forest provides firewood for the family, while shredded branches and yard waste provide mulch. Please don’t laugh at the fences around the forest. Fixing them is the last summer chore — no cows, what’s to run away?