Strolling through other people’s gardens is one of the best ways to discover great design concepts and new plants. It is always a good idea to do this through a garden tour as you will be welcomed with open arms during your visit.
On Saturday, 18th of June Six beautiful gardens are showcased at the Spokane in Bloom Garden Tour. The Inland Empire Gardeners, our community’s largest gardening club, will host this event from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. All gardens are on the south side of Spokane. There will be artists and vendors at each. Musicians also perform in many places.
Tour participants should find many ideas from Joe Laynor’s garden at 5815 E. 25th Ave. He and his wife Pam live on a 5-acre property that they share with their daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren.
“Our houses were built in 2015,” he said. “A landscaping company planted the big trees first, then the hardscaping. In 2018 I started landscaping and that’s when I realized that this is such a massive blank slate! Now that I’m retired, I have plenty of time every day to work outside.”
Visitors are greeted with bright flowers and colorful baubles outside the Laynor home. However, the peaceful setting masks the challenges of gardening in a wooded setting.
Joe Laynor has created a landscaping in his garden that will be featured on the Spokane in Bloom garden tour. (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPEAKER-REVI)
“After moving here from Georgia, I wanted to grow all my favorite things,” he said. “I spent $1,000 on plants and the deer ate everything. Now when I go to nurseries I look for deer resistant or at least deer tolerant plants.”
In addition to the deer problems, he also has to deal with gophers, chipmunks and turkeys. Despite this, the property is now a certified wildlife habitat, with feeding stations and plants for the birds, as well as a natural spring that attracts wildlife.
Laynor’s plant selection is very appealing.
“I originally wanted to go with a Japanese theme, but I love the colors of the flowers so much that I changed my mind,” he admitted. “My favorite color combination is chartreuse and purple because I’ve always enjoyed the contrast.”
He has achieved this with dark red barberries, purple smoke bush (Cotinus), golden cypress, Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa) and yellow-green spireas. These shrubs are accompanied by rhododendrons, snowballs, daylilies, penstemons, sage, catnip and bell peppers (Heuchera).
The resulting mix clearly shows Laynor’s love of gardening.
“This is definitely a plant lover’s garden, a hodgepodge of different plants,” he said. “All the work was worth it because now I can see the beauty of what I first imagined. I encouraged people to just walk around and enjoy the tranquility of the area.”
There will be two food trucks at this location to help visitors keep their energy levels up.
The following gardens are also on the tour:
Walt Woliver and Ashlee Cribb, 1122 E. 20th Ave. – This 1-hectare garden, which has been tended for nearly 110 years, features terraces, cascading water features, rose gardens and pleasant seating areas to enjoy the surrounding scenery.
Dieter and Julie Lübbe, 1720 S. Rockwood Blvd. – Visitors will enjoy masses of colorful flowers and a terraced backyard that includes an impressive collection of evergreens and a large waterfall.
Don and Diana Storey, 1724 S. Rockwood Blvd. – Homeowners’ travels have inspired their landscaping. One of the focal points is a replica of the Japanese Bridge in Butchart Gardens’ Japanese Garden, which traverses one of two large water features.
Doris Monson, 4521 E. 56th Ave. – This landscape has been redesigned over the last twelve years and is filled with a pleasing variety of trees, shrubs and flowers that are deer resistant.
Paul and Ann Hawkins, 7525 S. Regal Road – A formal French country garden with box trees and hornbeam hedges will greet visitors here. Deer-resistant, long-flowering perennials and an iris border provide a color contrast.
Proceeds from the Spokane in Bloom garden tour benefit charitable programs.