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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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CdA garden tour invites visitors into whimsical world of Dalton Gardens property

For 19 years, the Coeur d’Alene Garden Club has been giving us the opportunity to celebrate some of the most beautiful gardens of North Idaho. This year’s garden tour takes place July 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features six gardens sure to inspire.

At Tina and Ed Hood’s garden, the attractive curving planters in the front yard give visitors only the slightest clue as to what awaits them in the backyard. Entering through a pair of large double gates designed to keep the deer out, they’ll discover water features, meandering paths, colorful plantings, beautiful trees, a plethora of birdhouses, and plenty of whimsical garden art throughout.

Located at 6048 N. 16th St. in Dalton Gardens, this garden was part of the Coeur d’Alene garden tours held in 2006 and 2010.

“The Hoods’ garden has really evolved over the years,” said tour chairwoman Bonnie Warwick. “This garden is truly exceptional, so much so that they are being given a special award by our garden club.”

Tina Hood is a real estate agent whose primary role in the garden is weeding. She describes Ed, a retired forester, as having the imagination and creativity to create this delightful 1-acre garden.

“He likes whimsy so he enjoys collecting and displaying things that make us smile,” she said.

Visitors will get a kick out of the metal sculpture made from assorted plumbing parts where water shoots out in different directions. At the back of the garden, there is a small greenhouse constructed from recycled windows.

Tina enjoys planting the annual flowers in the garden each year.

“Everybody reacts to flowers in such a positive way; they draw you into a garden,” she said. “On the other hand, Ed is always thinking about how things can be improved. It’s easiest for me to just say, ‘Yes, dear, if you want to.’ ”

The following gardens are also on the tour:

Krista and Carl Adamson, 2616 Loire Drive, Coeur d’Alene – The Adamsons have focused on selecting trees that provide a shady retreat for their family and a sense of solitude. The tall ornamental grasses that act as privacy screens also offer winter interest in the garden while perennial foliage offers a cooling backdrop to the landscape.

Dennis Liming, 1053 N. A St., Coeur d’Alene – This garden features 100-year-old blue spruce, Japanese maples, river birch and vine maples. The resulting shade is home to ferns, hostas and astilbes. In the backyard, visitors will see a private retreat filled with colorful containers and garden art.

Holly Stetson, 101 E. Miller Ave., Coeur d’Alene – Here is a cottage garden featuring arbors covered with climbing hydrangea, clematis, roses and lace vine, and a productive vegetable garden. The owner has underplanted her fruit trees with shade-loving plants. Window boxes and raised beds are filled with colorful perennials and annuals.

Vickey and Ken Roberge, 105 E. Miller Ave., Coeur d’Alene – The white picket fence surrounding this garden provides a pleasing backdrop to the colorful annual and perennial plantings. Handmade birdhouses and whimsical garden art contribute to this enjoyable setting.

Janet Torline and Jessica Mannon, Kootenai Environmental Alliance Community Roots Gathering Garden, Hubbard Avenue and College Drive on the North Idaho Campus, Coeur d’Alene – The mission of this garden is to develop a healthy, local food harvest while partnering with NIC’s culinary arts programs. There are herb beds, container gardens, fruit trees, native plants, a children’s garden, hoop house, rainwater collectors and solar panels.

Proceeds of the Coeur d’Alene garden tour will benefit local charities and the North Idaho College Dual Enrollment Scholarships.

Susan Mulvihill is co-author, with Pat Munts, of “Northwest Gardener’s Handbook.” Contact her at

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