Arts and Entertainment

PowellsWood is in bloom

By BRAD BROBERG

For the Mirror

Federal Way residents can enjoy the beauty of a glorious local garden earlier — and more often — than ever this year.

“We’re stretching the season,” said Monte Powell, founder of PowellsWood.

By opening the garden this Saturday and Sunday for Easter weekend and welcoming visitors every Wednesday and Thursday through the fall, Powell and his wife, Diane, are continuing to find more and more ways to share their private paradise with the community.

This fall, they also will share it with some of the finest gardeners in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia when PowellsWood hosts a meeting of the Pacific Northwest Garden Conservancy Forum.

“That’s quite an honor and we’re very excited about it,” said Powell.

Located at 430 S. Dash Point Road, PowellsWood first began to take shape in 1992. That’s when the Powells bought a 40-acre greenbelt near their Marine Hills home.

Monte, a Master Gardener, dreamed of preserving most of the site as natural open space while dedicating a portion to a formal garden. After spending several years cleaning up the site, he blanketed it with 18 inches of mulch, then began planting.

Today, the two-acre garden features a manmade pond, a restored creek, winding grass paths and hundreds of trees, shrubs and flowers divided into themed garden “rooms.”

Until now, the earliest the garden has been open is Mother’s Day weekend in May. Opening a month earlier will give the garden a chance to show a fresh face with tulips, hellebores, rhododendrons and anemones taking center stage, said Powell.

On Saturday, visitors can attend classes on container gardening. On Sunday, a theater group called Motivity will present “Fairy Tales in the Woodland,” a short production for children and adults based on the story of Hansel and Gretel. In addition. Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions, and visitors can browse gardening books.

Future weekend openings include Mother’s Day (May 8-9), Armed Forces Day (May 15) and Sept. 11-12, when PowellsWood hosts the garden conservancy

Wednesday and Thursday drop-in hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting the week after Easter. In all instances, admission is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

The Garden House at PowellsWood hosts gardening classes throughout the year and can be rented for meetings. To schedule a meeting, arrange a guided tour or get more information about classes, call (253) 529-1620.

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