The recent weather is treating Puget Sound residents to plenty of sun, and what better way to celebrate the life-giving rays than to view the many plants, perennials and flowers at Woodinville Garden Club’s Tour of Gardens.
The Tour of Gardens, inspired by a garden club member’s visit to a Whidbey Island garden tour in the summer of 2000, returns this summer 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 10.
The garden tour will include five gardens and a pop-up plant sale in Garden #5. In Garden #4, participants can meet the Tour of Gardens poster artist, Kayleigh Wilson, check out her work and have personal posters signed. There will also be a garden-related raffle where participants can win prizes like a two-hour landscaping consultation or a wine-tasting certificate. The event’s usual after-tour festivities — in past years, there was an after-tour reception and wine tasting — will not take place this year due to COVID-19.
The gardens, constructed and refined by local residents, come in all shapes and sizes. “Sometimes they’re big ones, sometimes little … it doesn’t matter because people take a little piece of that garden and think, ‘I could create that in mine,'” said Judy Orbits, Tour of Gardens chair.
The event inspires many to take on projects within their own backyards, and this inspiration is key to the Tour of Gardens, she continued. The tour also focuses on educational and environmental aspects of gardening because “we have to live in harmony with our animal friends here — they sometimes eat half of our garden, but you have to live with it, you know.”
The garden club selects the gardens in the fall for the following summer so that gardeners have ample time to “work on their gardens or whatever projects they are thinking about doing,” Orbits said.
The gardens included in this summer’s Tour of Gardens have received extra time and care because the pandemic caused the 2020 garden tour to be put on hold. “They had to continue to keep their gardens show-worthy for another year and survive the recent record heat,” Orbits said.
Although the pandemic postponed last summer’s tour, it “taught us the importance of having a sanctuary space outdoors for gathering and communing with nature as a way to survive the pandemic. Our gardens — both the beauty parts and the edible parts — have proved to be a vital part of a healthy lifestyle,” she said.
Participants can purchase tickets online (woodinvillegardenclub.org) to see the Tour of Gardens for $25 (with a $2 handling fee per ticket). All orders will be will-call only with pickup from Molbak’s Garden + Home in Woodinville 9 a.m.-noon on the day of the tour. Tickets will also be sold at several local nurseries up to the day of the tour: at Molbak’s, Wells Medina Nursery in Medina and McAuliffe’s Valley Nursery in Snohomish.
Although the garden club is limited to 50 members, many helping hands from the community bring the annual event to life, Orbits said. “It’s a community thing because the money we raise goes right back into the community. It brings people together because they have a fun time going out that day and they get lunch, it’s a fun social thing to do.”
Find more information at: woodinvillegardenclub.org/tour-of-gardens
What else is happening July 9-15
Here are some other events happening July 9-15 in the Puget Sound area. If you would like to submit an event for consideration, please fill out the form at the bottom of the post.
Seward Park Reforestation — July 9
Seward Park Audubon invites visitors to help remove invasive plant species from Seward Park 8:30-10:30 a.m. Tools, gloves and good cheer will be provided as participants work the land to protect the homes of birds and other wildlife. Register online; free. 5902 Lake Washington Blvd. S., Seattle; 206-652-2444; sewardpark.audubon.org
KU Kids in July — July 10
Kirkland Urban presents its first in-person KU Kids event 10 a.m.-1 p.m. To honor the two new beehives at Kirkland Urban, there will be music, a bee-themed craft, balloon twisting and glitter tattoos. Special guest and beekeeper Pedro Miola will host an educational workshop to teach kids about bee behaviors. Free. 425 Urban Plaza, Kirkland; 425-948-1499; kirklandurban.com
Polish Festival Seattle — July 10
Seattle Center hosts a virtual and in-person Polish Festival Seattle celebrating Polish culture, traditions and contemporary achievements at 11 a.m. The virtual festival (streaming at facebook.com/PolishFestivalSeattle) will include a Polish costume exhibit, traditional music and dance, folk art and history. The in-person festival will include a fundraiser offering two-hour vodka-tasting sessions, Polish embroidery workshops, Polish appetizers and live music 1-8 p.m. at the Polish Cultural Center. $35/vodka tasting, $16/embroidery workshop, free/virtual event; 1714 18th Ave., Seattle; 206-684-7200; seattlecenter.com
Sunnyside Nursery Virtual Class — July 10
Whidbey Art Market — July 10-11
Whidbey Island Sculpture Experience and the artists of Whidbey Art Market present a market featuring oils, acrylics, watercolors, handwoven baskets, metalwork and photography 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 10 and noon-4 p.m. July 11. Free. 1162 E. Crescent Harbor Road, Oak Harbor; 360-639-4299; whidbeyartmarket.com
Summer Swig: A Pickup Edition — July 10-11
The Greater Gig Harbor Foundation is celebrating its eighth year of “Cider Swig” with a pickup event featuring a cider sales tent where visitors can stock up on their favorite regional ciders 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. July 10 and 11. BBQ2U, a local barbecue restaurant, will also be providing take-away meal options. Each cider kit will include a mix of PNW ciders, two custom tasting glasses and more. Reserve your kit online; $45-$300. 4369 Point Fosdick, Gig Harbor; 253-514-6338; ciderswig.org
Historic Fort Steilacoom — July 11
Historic Fort Steilacoom in Lakewood opens 1-4 p.m. July 11 (and at least one weekend per month this summer) to invite visitors to walk through and tour four buildings that witnessed key events in the early U.S. settlement of Washington Territory. Fort Steilacoom is a history museum where guests of all ages can explore the military life of enlisted soldiers, officers, the families of soldiers, civilians who worked for the garrison and those who visited from the community. Purchase tickets online; free-$5. 9601 Steilacoom Blvd. S.W., Lakewood; 253-756-3928; historicfortsteilacoom.org
Ask a Scientist-Astrophysicist — July 13
King County Library System hosts an online class where participants can hear scientists’ stories of going from “how?” to “wow!” and follow their passion for science as a profession, 6:30-7:30 p.m. In this session, participants will be joined by a scientist who studies black hole and neutron star astrophysics. Register online; free. kcls.org
Roberto the Magnificent at Kent Summer Concert Series — July 14
City of Kent Parks Department and Kent Arts Commission present an especially kid-friendly “Wednesday Picnic Performances” with Roberto the Magnificent noon-1 p.m. at Morrill Meadows Park. This event will feature physical comedy and juggling. Free. 10600 S.E. 248th St., Kent; 253-856-5000; kentwa.gov
Gas Station Blues — July 15
Downtown Issaquah Association presents a summer concert series at Historic Shell Station every Thursday this summer 7-9 p.m. Eden Moody, a singer-songwriter from Leavenworth, will perform July 15. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own chairs, and beer, wine and food will be available for purchase. Free. 232 Front St. N., Issaquah; 425-391-1112; downtownissaquah.com