By Sandy James & Rhiannon Allen
For garden lovers, the highlight of our summer is the Point Roberts Garden Tour, held every two years.
This year, the wonderful full day event will be held on Sunday, June 26, with gardens open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You might notice that the tour is being held a month earlier than usual.
The astute planners speculated that an El Niño winter would result in gardens peaking a month earlier than most years. So far, it looks like they were right, and indeed most other garden tours and nurseries are also holding their events in June this year.
Beginning on June 4, advance tickets will be available at the Blue Heron Gallery and Neilson’s Building Centre in Point Roberts, and at Sunnyside and Harris Nurseries in Delta. On the day of the tour, tickets can be purchased at the two Point Roberts vendors until 3 p.m., and in front of the water district office on Tyee Drive just south of the border crossing until 2 p.m., or until all tickets are sold.
The 2016 Point Roberts Garden Tour features the four Compass Points, with gardens located in the north, south, east and west quadrants of Point Roberts.
Each of the gardens offers a range of diverse plantings, settings and designs sure to capture your imagination and gardening acumen.
In the north compass point, a master gardener’s Chandelier in the Forest garden is being called one of the outstanding emerging northwest perennial gardens, complete with pathways, thickets, unusual perennials and active, sweeping landscapes. A waterfall provides sound and respite. You may also hear the chattering of the native Douglas squirrel that has benefited from the owners’ ingenious development of a suitable habitat.
On the south point of the compass rose (no pun intended) are three delightfully different gardens. The Sentimental Journey garden surrounds perennials and plantings that hearken back to the sights, sounds, and scent of well-loved gardens, integrated into a cottage setting. The plantings nestle around a lovely vintage craftsman cottage that started life as a house in New Westminster.
The Oceanside Delphinium Delight garden by the sea echoes in its movement and hues the splashes of color of a true English country garden, carefully seated close to the sea. The owner has demonstrated not only her palette of color and texture, but also what plants can thrive in dry, salt air situations.
The Subtly By the Sea garden weaves pathways from the front to the back of the house, resplendent in low growing perennials and artistic creations that create the visual interest of a sea-themed front garden. A plantsman’s vegetable and fruit garden is layered in the back yard, showing what can be grown in a sunny, dry exposure.
The east point of the compass features four delectable gardens, each with its own personality. A Vision in Pink heralds the owners’ love of pink perennials and interest in garden movement, with a cascading water feature and many secret paths and sitting places. This is a garden with lots of visual interest and dimensions, scents and sounds.
Beach Cottage Bliss invites you to view an artist’s garden, complete with metal work, whimsical creations, and layered perennials, with creative plant arrangements spilling out of planters. You can also visit the guest cottage, the hub of this gardener’s creativity and interior design talent.
A favorite garden returning from years ago, the Asian-Inspired Oasis invites you into a peaceful garden nestled behind a tall privacy fence, with a natural pergola creatively sculpted over the years by the gardeners training an Atlantic cedar. Admire and hear the use of water, then wander down the perennial-lined pathway to admire the outstanding bay and
Bayview’s Western Front represents the hard work of the owner, who tamed the west-facing side of their residence from a weedy, tangled world to create a raised perennial garden and pathway anchored by a large rock plinth. A true inspiration of innovative garden space mastery.
Lastly, on the west compass point, the All in the Family garden weaves in fruit, vegetable and flower gardens while accommodating recreational and activity space for a multi-generational active family. A formal pergola marries together this varied garden full of love and laughter and happy summer memories.
Need a respite from garden traipsing? Don’t forget the renowned Garden Tour Tea at the Point Roberts Community Center. After your tea, music, and home-baked goodies, take a peek at the community garden behind the center. But, as with the gardens on the Tour, please refrain from picking or pinching plants, and be sure to keep errant children from wandering into garden beds.
Garden owners and master gardeners will be available to answer any questions you may have while visiting this exciting mix of summer gardens.
Please get your tickets early to avoid ticket lineups, and meet us at the Point Roberts Garden Tour 2016.