Sunday, July 7, 2013 is the day of the Bonner County Gardeners Association Garden Tour. This year’s tour features six outstanding gardens in and around Sandpoint, ID. In no particular order, they are:
“Casa de Sunbreak”, located at 66 Tamtam Drive, Sagle, ID and owned by Dave and Leslie Emery. This nine year old garden starts with a covered entry and the sound of gurgling water. Shade plants like bleeding hearts, brunnera and snakeroot are planted around blue spruce, weeping Norway spruce and Japanese maples, while huge peonies accent the scene. A gentle curve leads you down to the lower gardens where huge boulders create beds for ornamental trees, grasses and specimen plants. Flowering crabapples and blue oat grass enclose the space. In the back, a large sunken fire pit sits in an area of Timothy grass, while wisteria vines stretch themselves.
“Dianna’s Weeping Trees” at 435 Mays Road in Sagle, owned by Dianna May, is over 17 years old and covers more than an acre. Upon entry, you meet a forest of foxgloves. Many varieties of weeping trees, including crabapples, provide shade for perennials. Curving paths lead you right up to various thickly planted blooming plants. Two ponds with a waterfall, along with a tri-color beech, anchor the rear of the garden while a lovely gazebo, used for weddings, stands as centerpiece. Walking down the driveway you can see the 10,000 recently planted gladiola bulbs and a large greenhouse filled with dahlia. A picnic area in the cedar grove gives you a chance to cool off before enjoying the rose and peony gardens.
167 Lupine Lane in Sagle, “Islands in the Sun”, created by Charlie and Deborah Steffens is a five year old garden designed with islands of sun loving plants and shady nooks provide shelter for those who want less light. Flagstone paths lead you around, while a water feature provides a soft sound. A raised vegetable garden provides an abundance of healthy food. Tall grasses shelter the fire pit area.
“Blue Heron”, Joyce Dillon’s garden at 207 Birch Banks Rd, Sagle, greets you with peach colored roses. Dillon has created vignettes throughout the garden, displaying a wealth of unusual plants. Contorted filbert, contorted black pine, aruncus, tamarisk, umbrella tree and miniature hostas are some of the prize specimens. Four waterfalls provide a background of soothing sound while you wander from large exuberant plants to small, shy specimens.
On the north/east side of Sandpoint, you’ll find the last two gardens. Giwan and Valerie Ripley’s “Gourmet Greenery” at 511 Ponder Point Drive, Sandpoint, is a beautiful example of combining edible plants with ornamentals. Valerie is a consultant who provides advice on low maintenance, native plant and edible landscaping, and her garden is a great advertisement for that. Vegetables and flowers thrive together, raised beds show off vegetables, tomato teepees, and berries. Tall plants provide privacy. On the street side, a mix of perennials, shrubs and trees provide four season color.
A short distance away, “Tapestry Terrace Bay”, created by Steve and Sandra Gevurtz at 245 Kootenai 4th Ave, Sandpoint, greets you with huge old evergreens sheltering a new shade garden. A lush, green grotto garden canyon has a stream feeding waterfalls below. Designed on several terraces, the garden, with flagstone steps and grass paths, has the color and texture of a fine tapestry. The exquisite bronze statues were created by Steve; visit the gallery to see more of them.
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in four ways:
- Online at www.bcgardeners.org
- In person at the BCGA office at 804 Airport Way, Sandpoint
- In person at Sears in the Bonner Mall, Ponderay
- At any of the gardens on the day of the tour
Not only will you get to see some beautiful gardens and get ideas from them, but you will be supporting the Bonner County Gardeners Association and their work to disseminate gardening knowledge and beautify the area.