6 private gardens to be featured in Federal Way's 15th annual garden tour

Leah Boehm-Brady
Leah Boehm-Brady's garden will be featured in the 2014 garden tour on July 19.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Flower fanatics can get their fill of floral landscapes during the Federal Way Symphony’s 15th annual garden tour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 19.

Six private gardens will be included in the self-guided tour this year, as well as the Federal Way Symphony’s partners, the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden and the George Weyerhaeuser Bonsai Collection.

In addition to flowers, visual arts and crafts will be on display and Leon Christian, a local guitarist and music educator, will play live music from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Bianca Ponnetkanti of Tacoma will play the violin from 2-4 p.m. Riz Reyes will speak about “travels of the young gardener” at 11 a.m. in a program tent at the Bonsai Collection courtyard.

Event organizers partnered with the botanical garden and the bonsai collection to draw a greater crowd and to promote nonprofit gardens, said Mary Blacker, the tour’s chairwoman.

Most of the private gardens were designed by landscape architects or master gardeners, Blacker said.

Master gardeners will be available to answer questions, and each garden will have a vendor or two selling art, she said.

The tour is a fundraiser for the symphony, specifically benefitting the free ticket program for youth and the summer youth music programs, said Anna James Miller, executive director of the Federal Way Symphony.

Between 100 and 200 tickets have been sold so far, she said. The symphony hopes to have at least 500 people attend, a number that has been reached in the past, Miller said.

Tickets are $20, available online at or by calling the symphony’s box office at 253-529-9857. Tickets are also sold at various places around town, including Branches Garden Center, Oriental Gardens, Watson’s in Puyallup and Marlene’s Market.

The tour is not recommended for children under 10 or guests in wheelchairs. Pets and strollers are not permitted. Directions to each garden are included in the ticket book.

Susan Stroh's garden will be featured during the 2014 garden tour on July 19. Contributed photo

The Flesher garden will also be featured in the 2014 garden tour on July 19. Contributed photo

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