Green Thumbs

Of tilling and touring

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

As any avid gardener knows, it takes a metric ton of labor and planning to get a plot of land camera-ready. Occasionally, it’s nice to step away from summer’s endless weeding, watering, pruning, culling and harvesting in order to get a closer look at other people’s gardens. Following are a few suggestions on ways to get the most out of your visits.

At Chuckanut Transition’s seventh annual Sustainable Samish Garden Tour happening from 11am-3pm Sun., July 15, a focus on the growing of food will take precedence. Attendees visiting the four gardens—including Blanchard Mountain Farm, a 1935 farmhouse on the shores of Lake Samish, a “garden to table” restaurant featuring espaliered fruit and herbs, and finally a community labyrinth designed and installed by volunteers—are sure to find out new ways of growing and gleaning.

At the free, self-guided tour, advice will be given about everything from how to grow vegetables, orchards, fruits and herbs, to taking your harvest to market, water conservation and harvesting, designing a hedgerow, creating a backyard wildlife sanctuary, lakeside living, and finding how labyrinths can not only renew and connect a community, but can also enhance any backyard garden. Pick up a map between 10:30am-2pm at the Alger Community Hall, and get going. More info: http://www.chuckanutransition.com

It may not be possible to attend both, but if you manage your time well, you should also be able to make it to the Point Roberts Garden Tour XV happening from 10am-4pm Sunday in the tiny town that is technically located in Whatcom County, but requires entry to Canada to get to (in other words, bring your passport or enhanced license).

It’ll be worth it to temporarily leave the country for the every-other-year tour, which this go-round will feature eight unique gardens. Tickets are $15-$20, and can be purchased the day of the event at Tyee Drive and McKenzie Way, shortly after crossing through the border. The price to the self-guided tour includes a map, entry to the gardens and a stop for afternoon tea and live music. More info: http://www.pointrobertsgardenclub.org

At the WSU Discovery Garden located at the Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center off State Route 536 in Mount Vernon, every day is tour day. The garden has been educating and inspiring the public since the first structure trees and fences were established in 1996, and has long been meeting its goal of enhancing the quality of the environment of Skagit County.

The acreage has it all—from entrance gardens to borders, Japanese gardens, grass plots, fruit trees, ground covers, verdant vegetables, herb gardens, composting structures, nature-scaping, a children’s garden, a collection of plants that thrive in low light, a rose garden, a space for succulents, a water-wise space and beyond. The garden is open from dawn to dusk throughout the year, so a visit in the summer will be far different from one in the fall or winter—even if you’re exploring the four-season garden. More info: http://www.extension.wsu.edu

More Outdoors...
Water Week
It’s everybody’s business

Just in time for Whatcom Water Week, the rain gods have returned in full force to remind us the vital resource is one we can’t take for granted.

While the recent change in weather might’ve curtailed late-summer plans for one last dip in your favorite swimming hole or caused grumbling…

more »
Skagit Paddle
A river runs through it

Paddling down the Skagit River, the last thing I expected was a current running up the South Fork, pushing me into the North Fork.

My car was at the Conway boat ramp. I’d gotten a ride to Burlington and already paddled three hours against blustery winds. The North Fork leading to La…

more »
Life Lessons
Adventures with a gnarly senior

After three consecutive field seasons leading crews comprised exclusively of high-school-age kids and young adults in Oregon, I got a hankering to stretch my intergenerational horizons and signed up to supervise a crew of adult volunteers who were building an interpretive trail over the…

more »
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Summer Book Sale Final Day

10:00am|Lummi Island Library

Rainbow Reads

4:00pm|Ferndale Library

Artist Demo

4:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Last Gasp of Summer Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Books on Tap

7:00pm|North Fork Brewery

Comedy Open Mic


Fancy Bingo

8:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Young Artists Club

3:00pm|Ferndale Library

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Kombucha Class

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Arete Quartet with Will Bernard

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Trove Web Blue Brothers
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Vendovi Tours

10:00am|Vendovi Island

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Bringing Memoir Alive

5:00pm|Village Books

Art Uncorked!

5:00pm|Windows on the Bay

Jazz Jam

5:30pm|Illuminati Brewing

Pub Run

6:00pm|BBay Running

Healthy Meal Planning

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Zambia Travelogue

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Cruisin' the Fossils Coastline with Ray Troll

7:00pm|Village Books

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Sh*tty Ted Talks

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Wind in the Willows

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

La Cage Aux Folles

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

see our complete calendar »

Village Books Trove Web CW Survey2 2018 Cascadia Kids Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 CW Survey 1 Blue Brothers