Walking through the rose arbor in Jack and Camie Beebe’s lush garden is like stepping through C.S. Lewis’ wardrobe.
On one side is frantic color, demanding energetic attention. On the other is peaceful green, its lull hypnotic.
“It’s a secret garden. Isn’t it wonderful?” says Bonnie Warwick, just above a whisper. She’s coordinating Coeur d’Alene’s annual Garden Tour this year and placed the Beebes’ first on the docket. Her admiration isn’t misplaced.
In the midst of this walk-in closet of greenery sits a huge wooden swing. Its invitation is hard to ignore, by design.
“When we built this house, we wanted to bring the outside in and the inside out,” Camie says. “We wanted to make the yard a living area.”
Of course they did. Their house sits high above Lake Coeur d’Alene and boasts an unobstructed view that stretches from Wolf Lodge Bay to Tubbs Hill.
The Beebes carpeted their outdoor living room with flawless lawn and surrounded it with floral “rooms” connected by a stone-and-moss path. The beds radiate from a lily pond, fringed with tall grasses and alive with the chorus of frogs.
Personalities vary from bed to bed. Snapdragons, asters, butterfly bush, veronica and a wooden house for the butterflies. Carnations, geraniums, phlox and baby’s breath all white and visible after dark in the moon garden.
The Beebes’ modesty about their hilltop Eden adds to its charm. They garden for pleasure and escape, not for recognition.
But friends and neighbors talk - and Bonnie listened. When she asked the Beebes if she could include their garden with seven others on the annual tour to raise money for Coeur d’Alene’s Cultural Center, they graciously agreed.
“We spend every minute of our lives in here,” Camie says. She’s not complaining; she’s grateful.
“But we like to do it,” Jack says.
“It’s a nice escape.”
They sweat and run around in the skimpiest outfits - things you just wouldn’t expect on bankers, engineers, cops, lawyers. No wonder crowds flock to the Coeur d’Alene Triathlon.
The race usually draws about 800 fine-tuned athletes and they need help every inch of the way. That’s why volunteer coordinator Jordan Keough is begging for people to help. He needs people to write numbers all over the lean bodies, set up bike racks, steer runners, hand out food and water, etc.
Every volunteer gets a T-shirt. This year’s race is Aug. 10. Call Jordan at 777-7701.
A fair weekend
Summer is the best time for cheap family fun. Every town has a fair with its own flavor. This weekend, it’s Rathdrum’s turn.
Food and crafts booths open in Stub Myers Park at 4 p.m. today. The music, from Men in the Making, starts at 7 p.m. Go and dance with your kids in the summer warmth. You can’t beat the price - it’s free.
There’s a campaign afloat in the state to name streets after local writers. Here are my suggestions: Marianne Love Lane for Sandpoint and Bert Russell Boulevard for Harrison, if it ever grows big enough for a boulevard.
Whose name do you want to see on a street sign? Spell out your reasons for Cynthia Taggart, “Close to Home,” 608 Northwest Blvd., Suite 200, Coeur d’Alene 83814; fax to 765-7149; call 765-7128; or e-mail to email@example.com.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Tour details Eight gardens in Coeur d’Alene, Dalton Gardens and Hayden are on this year’s tour. Tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for children and include maps. A bus tour with lunch costs $15. The gardens will be open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday. Call 765-6570 for details.
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