Gardeners expect first tour to be splendid

"If all the gardens on the Summer Splendor Garden Tour are like the one owned by Karen Triplett and Mark Eder, or like Paula Crane's, those on the tour will be in for a real treat this weekend.The gardens are just two of the six that will be featured in the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce's first Summer Splendor Garden Tour, which is scheduled for this weekend. All proceeds from the tour will benefit the Clear Creek Trail.Karen Triplett and Mark Eder's garden, if you want to call it that, looks like the place where children believe elves live. Although located near busy Central Valley Road, Triplett and Eder's garden is surrounded by the silence of 10 acres of trees. Built behind Triplett and Eder's log cabin, the gardens have everything from a shed built out of recycled wood to a planter that looks like a dragon. All the fences are made from twigs and bound with twine - even the windows on the sheds are made with disposed glass. One of several streams that run through the garden leads to a duck pond, built to control the slug population, and there are two cages for birds.Wild flowers, trees and pumpkins highlight the gardens, which are numerous and brimming with vegetation. No two plants look alike in the wild-but-contained hodgepodge of agriculture.I don't consider it work, Eder said. It's therapy.And that is really only half of it. Of Triplett and Eder's 10 acres, only five have been developed, leaving plenty of room for whatever else they can think of.Triplett and Eder also will host Mary Preus, author The Northwest Herb Lover's Handbook, who will sign books during the tour.Crane's garden, located off Chico Way, descends down a hill toward Dyes Inlet, ending at the waterfront. Those taking the tour will be able to walk down to the Japanese style garden on steps or by a zig-zag trail that winds through the garden itself.Closer to the house is a potting shed that was the garage when the Cranes moved in 19 years ago. They turned the driveway to the garage into a lawn that offers a view of Dyes Inlet. The lawn is lined on one side with a group of fragrant flowers and the other with hedges to prevent people from plummeting down the crest of the hill before it slopes down to the waterfront.I have this thing about people falling off the side, Crane said.The front yard is capped off with several planters, a little gazebo and a small yard built for weddings for her two daughters who, unfortunately, decided to wed elsewhere. Crane said she loves everything about gardening, except the snakes. She said a small purple Japanese maple growing in her front yard represents her attitude about gardening - she got the tree when it was very small, but it has since blossomed and been pruned into a magnificent centerpiece.It has made me more patient. I understand the need for things to develop, Crane said. All it takes is time. When and WhereThe Summer Splendor Garden Tour will take place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 5-6 at six Central Kitsap gardens. A free bus will carry tour-goers to the gardens; it will leave the Clear Creek Interpretive Center near the intersection of Bucklin Hill Road and Blaine Avenue. Parking at the Interpretive Center is free. Tickets for the tour cost $15 and can be purchased through the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce at 692-6800. An additional sack lunch prepared by Stuart's Deli can be purchased for around $6. The $15 ticket is good for a garden passport which can picked up at the Interpretive Center."

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