June 15, 2014 in Features

In the Garden: Garden tour puts spotlight on Spokane Valley

By The Spokesman-Review
Tyler Tjomsland photoBuy this photo

Karol Startzel smiles as she stands next to a Chionanthus virginicus, or Fringetree, in her Spokane Valley garden, which will be among the stops on the Spokane in Bloom Garden Tour.
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If you go

Spokane in Bloom Garden Tour

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $12, can be purchased at most gardens the day of the tour or ahead of time at these Spokane nurseries:

• Blue Moon Garden and Nursery, 1732 S. Inland Empire Way

• Gibson’s Nursery,

1401 S. Pines Road

• Green Thumb Nursery,

16816 E. Sprague Ave.

• Judy’s Enchanted Garden,

2628 W. Northwest Blvd.

• Northwest Seed and Pet, 7302 N. Division St. and 2422 E. Sprague Ave.

• Ritter’s Florist and Nursery,

10120 N. Division St.

• Tower Perennial Gardens,

4010 E. Jamieson Road

More info: www.tieg.org

If you enjoy peeking into other people’s gardens, you’ll be happy to hear the garden tour season officially kicks off with “Spokane in Bloom” on Saturday. Put on by the Inland Empire Gardeners, it will feature eight stunning Spokane Valley gardens.

Since there’s so much to see, visitors should walk particularly slowly through Karol and Todd Startzel’s garden to avoid missing anything.

Karol Startzel, who manages The Greenery retail plant shop on the Spokane Community College campus, has placed her indelible stamp on this amazing garden.

“I have a real love for trees and have over 100 right now,” she said. “I seek out unusual ones you don’t necessarily see in a lot of places and have labeled them so folks will know what they’re looking at.”

Sprinkled throughout the garden are creatively welded sculptures certain to delight and amuse visitors. When she took a yard-art welding class at SCC a few years ago, that launched the start of her obsession.

“I like making things out of things that used to be other things,” she said. “Something destined for the trash can have a purpose again and I love that.”

There are many beds overflowing with blooming shrubs, trees, perennials and annuals, all designed to appeal to the senses. In addition, visitors will enjoy checking out the chicken coop, rabbit hutch and gazebo, all custom-made by Todd Startzel.

“It’s a unique space in the middle of the woods where you get to just wander down paths, hear the birds and see the plants,” Startzel said. “There’s a lot to stimulate your senses but it’s relaxing at the same time.”

Because the Startzels live in a gated community, a minibus will pick up passengers at Horizon Middle School, 3915 S. Pines Road, every half hour until 4 p.m. and deliver them to the garden. No tickets will be sold at this stop.

The following gardens are also on the tour:

Nick and Shelley Van, 12510 E. 21st Ave. – This garden features a tiered lawn and garden rooms containing roses, Japanese maples, plum and cherry trees. Their vegetable garden is fenced to keep the critters out and there is a rock bench sheltered by a vine-covered arch for peaceful contemplation.

David and Jane Scott, 13710 E. 42nd Ave. – Visitors will find many flower beds, lush lawns and two streams flowing into a 1,200-gallon pond. Enjoy the attractive fountain, brick patios, outdoor kitchen, horseshoe pit, fruit trees and vegetable garden.

Michael and Jennifer Gilbert, 520 N. Glenn Road – Enjoy a water-wise garden with drought-tolerant plants, perennials to attract hummingbirds and bees, and colorful container plantings. Look for interesting foliage and tropical plants located throughout. The raised-bed vegetable garden and covered patio complete this well-rounded landscape.

Ann and Gary Edwards, 8218 E. Maringo Drive – This garden alongside the Spokane River features a tiered vegetable and flower garden, perennials and native plants, and a waterfall cascading into a quiet pool. Colorful plantings include wildflowers, butterfly bushes, iris and flowering vines. The owners have built a large barn housing a classroom and kitchen, greenhouse and chicken coop.

Barb and Don Cagle, 17912 E. Mission Ave. – Enjoy wandering down the many paths leading to more than a dozen garden rooms, each with a different theme. These include a tranquil shade garden, secret garden with fairies and gnomes, and butterfly and squirrel gardens created for the owners’ granddaughters.

Gregg Perrenoud and Linda Bruseth, 3510 N. Malvern Road, Otis Orchards – The primary features of this garden are a 150-foot-long, two-level bonsai bench where plants grow year-round, and garden art and sculptures. There are also vegetables, fruit trees, berries and grapevines. Some of Perrenoud’s art pieces and bonsai will be available for purchase.

A bonus stop on the tour is Wabi Sabi Nursery, owned by Dave and Sue Daniel. Located at 1719 S. Pines Road, it features a lovely display garden. They sell Japanese maples, hostas, bonsai, stone lanterns and bamboo. Enter to win a $100 gift certificate to the nursery.

In addition to music, art and garden-related vendors at each stop, lunch is available for purchase at the Startzel and Edwards gardens. Proceeds from this tour will go toward community service programs.

Susan Mulvihill can be reached via email at inthegarden@live.com.

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