Although the in-person Garden Tour has been cancelled in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, it does not mean the event will be skipped this year.
We really wanted to find a way to showcase the gardens who signed up for this year’s tour, so we decided to experiment with something new and create the Garden Tour virtually.
Many of the gardens are in tip top shape this year and we have found a way for you to tour each garden from the comfort and safety of your own home. The RBCA created a new YouTube channel called Richmond Beach TV, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmwcCXTkvse9tge80vmI0Ww
Thank you to the garden hosts and we look forward to seeing the results of your hard work.
This property was purchased 24 years ago from another local physician with a love of gardening. Stunning views of Puget Sound abound while being surrounded by various forms of art. A very large basalt water feature adds to the magic of the setting. There is a quasi-Asian feel to the property derived from the large rocks, almost 100 bonsai cultivated, pruned and loved--some for more than 40 years--and rhododendrons, as well as the more unusual species purchased from Heronswood. From the bonsai nursery at the far north end of the property there is a secret trail through the woods ending suddenly at the cliffside overlooking Puget Sound. Or perhaps it is a feeling of being 'a small piece of the San Juans,' as it was originally advertised 24 years ago.
The very nature of a "sculpture garden” combines two of the most edifying elements of human experience: the aesthetics of art and the powerful beauty of nature. When we moved to our home and undertook a landscape plan, we observed that many sites could effectively accommodate outdoor art, so several sculpture sites were built into the original landscape design. What is so rewarding about sculpture in the outdoors is their ability to establish a running dialogue with their environment: sun, shadows, rain, reflections of trees, moonlight, and on and on – endless.
The owners moved in 16 years ago and the garden has been in transition ever since. The upper garden is an herbal garden that transitions into a grassy area with a huge corkscrew willow and a lovely clematis on an arbor over a bench. Her passion is to grow things she likes to eat. Edibles are integrated with perennials to create an eclectic and lovely scene. From the upper grassy area take the steps down to the V section where you can wander thru whimsical art pieces, blueberries, strawberries and a fig tree. This area was lawn until 2 years ago. Don’t miss the impressive kiwi vine over the arbor on the south side.
Doug Ito and Mike Longley purchased the home in February 2016 and have since done extensive landscaping and garden development. Although much of the garden is relatively new, it winds through the historic property and utilizes some original plants and fountain in the plan. In 1898 the structure was originally built as a real estate and U.S. post office to facilitate the sale of the lots in the plat of Richmond Beach. Later, the building became the Umbrite Drugstore and in the 1930’s was converted to a private residence.
122 years later, the gardens have been completely transformed on three terraces around the residence and outbuildings. The front entry path is bordered by roses, lavender, and flowering sage. The lower terrace includes: a Japanese garden with white pines, irises, azaleas; a potager garden with boxwood edging surrounding vegetables, perennials and annual flowers. In addition, the lower terrace has three fountains and a greenhouse. The middle terrace lawn is surrounded by perennials including: peonies, iris, sky pencil holly, and a path of fruit trees, sage, and perennials. The upper terrace is edged by pots of hydrangeas, carnations, boxwoods, various annuals and perennials, and two large coral bark maples.
The owner moved in a few years ago and completely renovated the back yard. She got rid of the chicken coops and has thoughtfully planted areas that bloom at different times to create interest year round.
The owners, Kris and Bob Fordice, started planting the garden in 2013 after a big remodel of the house. Since then the garden has grown and evolved adding favorite yard art and water features and interesting plants.
Bill Kessel bought the home in 1977 and he called the yard the northwest prairie look.... nothing there except grass and weeds. He love rhododendrons and over the years planted the yard. He has a wide variety of Rhody's that bloom at different times mingled with cherry trees and mountain laurel. It is an impressive sight when they are all in bloom.
This is an organic community garden open to the Shoreline community. Standard 10' x 10' plots and accessible 4' x 10' plots are rented to Shoreline residents on an annual basis.
If you are willing to open your garden for future tours, please email the coordinator at GardenTour@RichmondBeachWA.org
Sponsored by Richmond Beach Community Association