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Fri., July 11, 2008

CdA Garden Club tour features seven amazing entries

A parade of fuzzy quail chicks, a newly fledged black capped chickadee and family of robins are among the summer residents in a Hayden Lake garden created by a retired veterinarian and his wife.

The couple, Gary and Lucinda Ade, and six other gardeners will open their creations Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for this year’s Coeur d’Alene Garden Club tour.

Now in its 11th year, the self-guided tour raises funds for numerous nonprofits, such as the Kootenai County Humane Society, centers for women and children and scholarships for graduating high school seniors.

“This is our gift to the community,” said Bonnie Warwick, veteran tour organizer.

anyone who’s ever wistfully thumbed through a garden magazine, tended a garden or is in search of a few hours of summer entertainment – complete with live music and garden vendors. The Ades began by painstakingly clearing their .75-acre stand of old pines. They spared some choice Ponderosas, whose height and hefty trunks help contribute to an established garden atmosphere. In fact, the roughly 5-year-old plantings are still in their infancy.

Behind a warm-hued garden gate, a manicured, deep green lawn is punctuated by beds of plants. Hostas, red and yellow begonias, hydrangeas and ornamental grasses thrive under towering old pines.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised that you can put in something that looks like it’s been here awhile,” Lucinda Ade said.

A generous mound of fertile soil, dubbed “ski hill,” is planted with perennials that produce colorful blooms from spring to fall. Ades researched and shopped as many nurseries as possible to ensure her garden would include species that provide colorful blooms throughout the growing season and be able to survive North Idaho winters.

Lemon balm, fennel, dill, thyme, parsley, chives, oregano, rosemary and garlic make up the kitchen herb garden.

“When I need fresh herbs, I just come out here,” said Lucinda Ade, who loves to cook.

When it comes to the garden, she said she’s pleased she and her husband did the lion’s share of the work transforming their property into a diverse gardening paradise. Her husband, she said gratefully, does the heavy lifting.

“My husband loves to tell everyone there’s not a single plant in the entire yard that wasn’t moved at least once,” she laughed.

Raised beds under full sun produce tomatoes, snap peas, beans and squash. Blueberry bushes, strawberry plants and fruit trees fill out the edible garden.

Outside the garden gate, there’s even a test garden brimming with deer-resistant plants. “It’s deer central out here,” Lucinda Ade said of her experimental plantings.

This year’s tour, for the first time, will be captured on video for viewing year round, Warwick said. The garden club plans to make the DVDs available to senior centers, assisted-living facilities, nursing homes and hospice patients.

“Gardeners are all such caring, sharing people, and we’d like to give those who can no longer garden a vicarious garden tour,” Warwick said.



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