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The Unexpected Garden Tour

Flashback Thursday (2016)

I love finding the unexpected.

Saint Michael

Last summer in 2015, I went on the Snohomish Garden Tour in the historic district. I was pleasantly surprised to find some unexpected art and other amazements.

Except for one curmudgeon garden host, it was a delightful tour. The plentiful gardens surrounding historic homes made it worthwhile.

The docents in each garden made people feel welcome and answered questions. I met one homeowner couple and enjoyed a pleasant conversation with them. All in a good day’s tour.

The day’s first order was crossing Puget Sound (I affectionately call the moat) via the Kingston/Edmonds Ferry.

The surprise came when walking through the Snohomish historic district; I came up to St. Michael’s Catholic church that was on the tour. At least, I thought it was a church.

Saint Michael
It looked like a church.
Church Castle
A castle church
Saint Michael
A tall plume poppy (Macleya cordata) stood near the front steps.
The garden entry was on the side of the church building.
Enter up the steps
I followed people inside.
Metal Art
Down the path, we came upon metal art pieces nestled in with the plants.
Metal Art
The light of the sun reveals the shadow of time.
Metal Art
More metal art is placed strategically around the garden.

A gazebo stood at the end of the narrow path. With too many people already crowded into it, I skirted around to a way along the building when I came upon a …


Buddha! There was a Buddha statue in a Catholic church garden. How odd, I thought. I encountered another Buddha clothed in moss and sitting in a birdbath filled with succulents under a chandelier.


It wasn’t until I was halfway through the garden that I realized that although the building housed a church in the past, it became the private space for artists Guzak and Blake of Angel Arms Works. That will teach me to read the descriptions before entering a garden!

Angel Welcome

I didn’t get the name of this fig tree loaded with fruit. This healthy-looking shrub also had a clematis growing up through its branches.

Fig Fruit
Fig and Clematis

Finally, the crowds thinned out, and I looked at the arbor. A large grape vine covered it completely. It, too, was loaded with fruit.

Grape Arbor
Grape Arbor
Grape Arbor Ceiling
Saint Michael
Another vine is climbing up into a covered entryway. Do you see the faces?
I loved the simple containers overflowing with plant life!
I found more unexpected art on the wall behind the conifer.

Down the road in the Kerkley garden, a couple of folk art pieces caught my eye. I liked how the door with peeling paint looked abandoned, leaning up against the house, with a little angel sticking by its side.

Angel Door Art
An old weather vane in another part of the garden.

In the Roberge’s delightful garden, two urns overflow with the white flowering Bacopa and flank the steps leading up to their porch. I like how they placed a candle in each one.

Candles and Bacopa
Candles and Bacopa
Moss cake
Have a piece of succulent cake. Made with soil, moss and succulents, this was a fun surprise sitting on one of the porch benches.
A mailbox sits on an old stump on one side of the house.
Postcards adorn the box.
Iron Scarecrow
An iron scarecrow stands guard over the vegetable garden. What happened to its head?

Finding the unexpected is the best part about touring gardens.

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