Chamber wants to bring tourists to Silverdale

"In the green spots between the asphalt and concrete that make up the urban Silverdale landscape, Kitsap gardeners busily tend to the soil that becomes their green-thumbed expression.These lush gardens are nestled in the nooks and crannies of Central Kitsap, giving joy only to those who brought them to life and those in the know of their location.Until now.Or, to be more specific, until early August, when the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce unveils its first Summer Splendor Garden Tour. It's meant to showcase the handiwork of six Central Kitsap horticulturalists while raising funds for the Clear Creek Trail.Though proceeds will benefit the Clear Creek Trail in the first year, organizers say a board will decide what organization receives the fundraising money in subsequent years.Maggie Brewton-Hight, the co-chair for the garden tour committee, said the seeds for the tour were planted ages ago by citizens and chamber members.It's the fact that ... we don't have anything like other cities and other towns do, Brewton-Hight said. They have garden tours of beautiful areas.After hibernating in the chamber, Brewton-Hight said some members decided to focus their energies on bringing the idea to life.This year, the tour covers six Central Kitsap homes. Brewton-Hight said the chamber group figured who would be included in the tour by a nomination process and word of mouth.Once the target gardens were selected, the garden tour committee approached the homeowners and asked if they would be willing to open their homes up to viewing.The result is an eclectic mix of garden styles and sizes. Here's a glimpse:A Chico Way home is the first stop on the tour, featuring Japanese gardening styles and native Northwest plants. In some areas, the gardener has incorporated some cottage garden features;A Seabeck Highway home displays a large lawn bordered with broad flower beds and meandering streams. The property features a small pond a a view of Hood Canal and the Olympic Mountains; The third stop on the tour is the Crista Shores campground rose garden. The garden displays mores than 200 varieties of roses and a Japanese bridge and bench. A beautiful view of Dyes Inlet is visible from the bench;The next Seabeck-area home offers yet another Japanese-style garden, with water features and a natural, wooded setting. The home and guest houses are nestled within the flowering gardens and grounds;The next garden Brewton-Hight calls absolutely one of a kind. The Erlands Point property features three distinct garden rooms. The first is a shade garden in a woodsy area with a cabin and waterfall. The second is a vegetable and fruit garden, with innumerable edible plants. The third features unique garden ornaments amidst tall and short grasses;The last stop on the tour is east of Silverdale and is described by Brewton-Hight as the most whimsical garden in the tour. Its gates and fences are hand crafted out of branches. The Silverdale Chamber of Commerce Summer Splendor Garden Tour, which lasts nearly a whole day, takes place Aug. 5-6 and costs $15. For more information, or to volunteer to help with the tour, call the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce, 698-6800."

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