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DIG THIS | Plant classes and other horticultural treats

Bainbridge in Bloom

It’s time for Bainbridge in Bloom. This year the gardens are all clustered on the Agate Pass Loop Road. This year’s event, July 10-12, is a return to a drive onto the Island, park your car and stroll through the gardens for a horticulture treat. Courtesy vehicles will be driving the loop to ferry tired bloom goers when needed. Various gardens will feature delectable food, nursery plants, education and other lovely temptations.

Among the attractions:

• The eight year-old-garden of John and Hilary Parker flanks two sides of a road with a huge pond on one side and a recirculating stream connecting the two pieces together. The home and additional building has a definite Northwest feel with ferns, hydrangeas, evergreen trees and shrubs and other drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants are featured in the plant materials. The garden is nearly 100 percent organic and compost tea, mulch and mulches are used to keep everything healthy. There is not a blade of grass at this garden.

Bruce Clark inherited the home and garden of garden designer Anne Clark Holt when she passed away. Holt developed the gardens over time. Clark says his mother enjoyed working with Junco Harui on ideas and plants and his handiwork is shown, especially in the pond. The garden has been featured in several books and most recently in the September 2007 “Martha Stewart Living.”

“It’s extraordinary what one person can create in only part of a lifetime, especially in our temperate climate, when they have the passion for it,” Clark said. “I am glad to have this legacy from my mom with its year-round reminders of her energy, interest, and eye for all things growing.”

• The garden of Joanna and Collyer Church is a peaceful garden with an Asian influence. The garden was begun by previous owners in 2000 and then purchased by the Churches in 2005. The previous owner loved Japanese maples and Collyer Church has taken up that calling. Bloom goers will see his small nursery of plants propagated and nestled in the shade. He’s expanded from Japanese maples to other plants now. Bloom goers will find delight in the soothing plant materials used in this garden: Japanese maples, ferns, bamboo, hydrangeas, a contorted hazelnut, and a small pottager garden.

• Huntley House, the garden of Jody Loving and Jay Schadel, is nestled between the Island Wildlife Shelter property and the Bloedel Preserve. One stunning feature is a rock wall surrounding the home made out of 200 tons of Lynch Creek rock set by two people (one of whom was Jody) with a tripod and chainfall. One level of the plantings festooning this rock wall is called the “white garden” because all the plants have white blossoms. This property includes 4.67 acres of strolling areas with several separate garden rooms. A creek runs through the property, in the woods is a natural pond, and an orchard features fruit trees and several varieties of berries. Nearly everything in the gardens was either built and/or designed by the owners or their friends or family.

• The garden of Ellaine and Tony Sultan is sited along high bank waterfront and could be called an eclectic collector’s paradise. A natural stream flows through the property. A wonderful old small cabin still stands as a reminder of when the property was a writer’s retreat and writers would stay in the cabin. The property is surrounded by a woodland setting festooned with native plants. When visitors come around the corner of the home they’ll discover another garden awash in full sun. Ellaine spends many hours in her garden and her love of plants and interesting color combinations will delight Bloom goers.

Purchase tickets from many local nurseries or call the bloom office at (206) 842-7901 or go to

Native Plant Classes for the Public

Each year WSU Kitsap Extension offers a series of Native Plant Classes for Master Gardener certification in the field of native plants. This year all but one of the classes is open to the public. The class description and information on how to register is found at or call the extension office at (360) 377-4601 for information on registering. This is a perfect time of year to learn about native plants. If you want to take the full course and become a volunteer in the Native Plant and Shoreline Stewardship Advisor Program then register for the full course, as a volunteer. Classes are every Tuesday July 14 through Aug. 11 in Room 406 of the Norm Dicks Government Center.

Peg Tillery is a Horticulture and Shoreline Educator for WSU Extension Kitsap, she can be reached at or (360) 337-7224.

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