Double the pleasure at 'ralaxing' garden


For the Mirror

Something new is always popping up in Monte and Diane Powell’s garden.

This spring, it’s a spacious sun room and cobblestone patio overlooking the heart of their 3-acre suburban oasis.

Located at 430 S. Dash Point Road, PowellsWood: a Northwest Garden is an emerald escape featuring a manmade pond, winding grass paths and hundreds of trees, shrubs and flowers. The new sun room is attached to a rental home the Powells own on the property. Combined with the home’s basement, it forms The Garden House, which hosts gardening classes and can be rented by garden clubs for meetings.

Visitors will have three opportunities to see it all for themselves this month as the Powells salute mothers and the military by opening their private garden to the public on consecutive weekends.

PowellsWood will welcome visitors this Saturday and Sunday in honor of Mother’s Day and on May 17, in honor of Armed Forces Day. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $2 per person or $5 per family. Children under 12 are free. Light refreshments will be served both days.

Master Gardeners will be available both weekends to answer questions, and visitors can browse a small library of garden books for information and inspiration.

PowellsWood occupies part of a 40-acre greenbelt the Powells purchased just west of their Marine Hills home in 1992.

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

Tanya DeMarsh-Dodson, a Seattle horticulturist who has been cataloging the

garden’s collection for the Powells, says visiting PowellsWood provides home

gardeners with a great opportunity to see mature versions of plants that they otherwise would only see in small containers at nurseries.

The Powells have opened their garden to the public more than a half-dozen

times in the last few years, but that doesn’t stop people from returning

again and again, said Avril Steele, head gardener at PowellsWood.

“It’s amazing the number of people who come back,” she said. “They spend a good part of the afternoon just sitting, looking, poking around. If this was the

’60s, you’d say they were feeling the vibe.”

“I think it’s because the place just feels good,” said Powell. “Calm

and relaxing.”

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