| Into the Garden
Its First Annual
Saturday, May 31, 2003, was a sunny spring morning
perfect for trimming hedges, planting sweet peas and
spreading mulch. But nearly 750 Northwest garden
enthusiasts set down their trowels and headed to
Seattle Pacific University for the inaugural SPU
Queen Anne Garden Tour.
Horticulture expert and Seattle Post-Intelligencer
columnist Marianne Binetti kicked off the sold-out event
with the lecture, “Shortcuts to a Show Garden.” She made transforming
one’s garden sound easy: Just follow the “Four P’s.” Choose “powerful
plants,” employ “pots with pizzazz,” showcase “personal art” and “paint anything
you want” her top suggestions being pots, birdhouses and other garden accents.
|A perennial border — including
more than 75 plant varieties from
Acanthus to Zantedeschia — encircles Alexander Hall,
the University’s oldest building.
Self-guided tours of the University’s award-winning landscapes
and borders followed Binetti’s presentation. Featured SPU gardens included the
tapestry of perennials surrounding Alexander Hall, the ornamental grass garden
in the courtyard of Weter Memorial Hall, Martin Square’s large-scale planters,
and the rose garden next to Tiffany Loop. Seattle Pacific head gardener Jeff Daley
was on hand to answer plant questions and share the history of SPU’s gardens.
“I’ve admired Jeff ’s work for quite a while he’s a real plantsman
and gifted garden designer,” says Debra Prinzing ’81, one of
the event’s chief organizers. “The tour offered a wonderful chance to share
SPU’s showcase gardens and inviting campus with the greater community.”
Later in the day, participants toured five private residential gardens on Queen
Anne Hill, many of which have been spotlighted in gardening books and magazines.
On the itinerary was the garden of Ralene Walls and Burton Walls ’66, featuring
more than 30 antique garden roses; the tiered landscape of
Virginia Hand’s garden; a cottage-style garden tended by Thomas Talcott; Stephanie
Ellis-Smith’s and Doug Smith’s semi-formal, foliage-strong garden; and Robyn
Cannon’s and Don Cannon’s European-style garden.
Sponsored by the SPU Alumni Center and The Society of Fellows, the garden tour
was a brainchild of Alumni Director Doug Taylor and Prinzing, a garden writer and
horticultural expert. “It was fun to open SPU up to people who’ve never visited the campus
before,” says Taylor, “and it was wonderful to see the huge numbers of people
who participated. This was just the kind of experience we wanted to create for
“Of all the garden tours I’ve attended, this one was the best
value for the price of the ticket,” says Binetti. “A variety of garden styles
within a small area, entertainment in the gardens themselves and breakfast as
a bonus I can’t wait to see what SPU comes up with next year.”
May 22, 2004, is the tentative date for the second SPU Queen
Anne Garden Tour. “I think this event will become a favorite among garden enthusiasts
and those who appreciate God’s beauty
in the garden,” says Prinzing.
— BY SARAH JIO
— PHOTOS BY
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