Stunning gardens blossom and thrive on Whidbey

Dellann Blackstock adds another glass bloom to a dwarf flame bush outside her garden tour home. The blooms are made by DuVetros Studios.  - Jim Larsen/Whidbey News-Times
Dellann Blackstock adds another glass bloom to a dwarf flame bush outside her garden tour home. The blooms are made by DuVetros Studios.
— image credit: Jim Larsen/Whidbey News-Times

Be on the lookout for marvelous outdoor art decorating the six gardens of the Oak Harbor Garden Club’s “Garden Tour & Tea.” Observant visitors will spy such delights as glass blooms on a bush, “yard kitties” galore, metal flowers, a dragonfly statue and carved toadstools.

Six distinct and stunning yards on North Whidbey will be opened up to visitors during the June 19, self-guided tour. This is the 12th year of the garden club’s popular event. Four of the homes have water features, which are increasingly popular with gardeners of all sorts.

According to the garden club’s tour information, the first stop on the tour is at Darlyne and Karl Krieg’s farm, featuring two ponds stocked with fish and beachside gardens. The family has experimented with different plants to find ones that withstand the windy marine environment.

The next garden is owned by Karlyne and Norm Larson. Their gardens include two water features, a drip sprinkler system and an variety of pond plants and other perennials.

Ross and Claire Reed host the third stop on the tour. The flower beds, shrubbery, rockery, walls, patios and a garden room are the result of nearly 40 years of hard work. Claire Reed has a collection of more than 40 different hardy fuchsias.

The fourth stop on the tour is the grand, manicured and artistically planned gardens of Dellann Blackstone. He water-view home is surrounded by garden art and gardens of mock orange, spirea, iris, peony, salvia, fruit trees, nut trees and vegetables. Tea and tea sandwiches will be served at on Blackstone’s wonderful covered porch.

The next stop is a rural garden belonging to Bob and Carolee Nelson. The 20 acres includes ponds, flower beds, evergreen trees and bushes, and woods with trails.

The last stop on the tour is Tom and Besty Murphy’s unique property on West Beach. The property is home to great stands of native plants, rhododendrons, perennials and large spruce trees, including one the couple believes is the oldest spruce on the island. The yard is an oasis for visitors, with interesting benches overlooking the water, a fire pit patio and a spot for contemplation dubbed “That’s Not the Point.”

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