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In the Garden: Coeur d’Alene Garden Tour opens gates to colorful, whimsical North Idaho gardens

Have you ever yearned for a personal invitation to explore a beautiful private garden? On July 15, you’ll be invited into six gardens in North Idaho during the Coeur d’Alene Garden Tour.

Sponsored by the Coeur d’Alene Garden Club, the tour runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and also features artisans and vendors of garden-related items, and live music.

Chair Bonnie Warwick said this year’s theme is “smaller gardens with bigger ideas.” Visitors to the garden of Judy Danner, 12691 Emerald Drive in Hayden, will find plenty of ideas to apply in their own gardens.

Danner’s immaculate front yard beckons with curving flower beds filled with roses and colorful perennials. A pair of beautiful New Dawn climbing roses arch gracefully toward each other across the front of the garage. But this is only the beginning of what awaits tour visitors.

“When they come around the corner of the house and head toward the backyard, they’re going to be surprised,” Danner said. “The garden doesn’t look that big from the front, but what they find in back should make them smile.”

What started out as grass, towering trees and a small hill when Danner moved here 11 years ago has been transformed into a series of garden “rooms.” Rather than being divided by hedges or fencing, each room is unified by its plantings and themed garden art.

“I wanted garden rooms because I read about them in a magazine and figured they must be the new thing people were doing,” she said. “My room themes are an English garden, canoe side garden, rose garden, children’s garden, Western garden and a wonky garden.”

Roses are a recurring aspect throughout Danner’s garden. Her favorites are David Austin roses because of their glorious, fragrant blossoms. They are accompanied by colorful flowers such as delphiniums, bee balm, geraniums, petunias, columbines, foxgloves and sweet Williams. Attractive clematis vines drape over the fence.

“My garden comforts me, and I love to create,” Danner said. “I want to inspire people do to more in their gardens because you don’t just plop a plant on either side of your front door and call that good.”

The following gardens are also on the tour:

Ron and Lynn Houck, 4354 Schilling Loop, Post Falls – With its woodland setting, this charming garden features splashes of color from annuals and perennials, trellises that lead from one area to another, peaceful spots to sit and a very effective deer fence that makes all of this possible.

Michael and Diana Anson, 1331 N. Glasgow Drive, Post Falls – A view of the Post Falls prairie provides a pleasant backdrop to this garden containing gazebos, sitting areas and a large koi pond.

Bob Bloem and Claudia Lowry, 704 Vintage Ct., Coeur d’Alene – This small garden gives the illusion of size through the effective use of terraces and winding pathways. Visitors will enjoy the waterfall, pagoda, attractive plantings and small courtyard.

Will and Susan Beglinger, 1028 E. Sherman Ave., Coeur d’Alene – The garden surrounding this historic Victorian home features fruit trees, berry vines and water features. Carefully planted beds and containers provide color and fragrance.

Gregg and Gloria Johnson, 1103 E. Indiana, Coeur d’Alene – At just two years in the making, this garden is brimming with flowers, vegetables and beneficial insects. The two-tiered planting beds mounted along the house and fence provide additional growing space.

Proceeds from the tour will benefit local charities and North Idaho College scholarships.

Susan Mulvihill is co-author, with Pat Munts, of “Northwest Gardener’s Handbook.” Contact her at Susan@susansinthegarden.com Watch this week’s “Everyone Can Grow a Garden” video at youtube.com/c/susansinthegarden.