Mukilteo tour combines quilting, gardening

Most people don’t want trains in their back yard.

This Lynnwood couple can’t get enough. They have 550 feet of track and a bonanza of boxcars.

The chug of a locomotive harmonizes with the tranquility of their home on the banks of Lake Serene.

Glenn and Barbara Shadduck combine their hobbies of railroading and gardening.

He runs the railway. “I weed and I feed,” she said.

It is the first-ever garden railroad to be featured on the Mukilteo Garden and Quilt Tour, which runs July 20 and 21. The self-guided tour, held every other year, is an unusual venture by Mukilteo Way Garden Club and Mukilteo Lighthouse Quilters.

“It’s a collaboration and an overlap of interests,” quilter Wendy Stafford said. “We match all the quilts to the gardens they will be shown in.”

Admirers can do more than look.

“There are 14 quilts for sale, from $35 to $600,” Stafford said. Members from both clubs will be at each home to answer questions about quilting and gardening.

Garden themes include Asian, cottage, historical, natural, dahlias, water wonderland and train yard.

“We try to make it a very eclectic mix,” garden club spokeswoman Jean Skerlong said. “We don’t want anybody to say, ‘Oh, the last one looked just like this.’”

Organizers hope to get 1,000 people at the two-day event. That’s no problem for the Shadducks, who enjoy entertaining droves of people. Their yard is a tour stop for railway hobby conventions as well.

The lake is the backdrop for the hillside G-scale model railway that winds around replica buildings, plants and a pond. Miniature quilts were made to hang in the railway scenarios during the tour.

“The train can be seen from different angles. It changes how you see the trains. The trains hide in the trees,” Barbara Shadduck said.

At night, the engines come in the house.

So, too, do some of the flowers.

“I have a lot of roses. I love roses and lilies, things I can pick and bring in the house,” she said. “I love the guys that have a huge cut life that last so long when you pick them.”

It fits with the rule of thumb for what goes into her garden: “If it doesn’t bloom and I can’t pick it and take it in the house, it loses its place.”

Barbara Shadduck and the house go way back. “My parents bought it the year I was born. We lived in it until I was in the fifth grade.”

The home stayed in the family. She and Glenn moved into it when they returned from overseas from his military service. Flowers and grandkids are the focus of her nurturing since she retired from teaching first-graders seven years ago.

Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com.

Mukilteo Garden &Quilt Tour

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 20 and noon to 4 p.m. July 21

Admission: $15 for advance tickets or $18 if purchased on the days of the tour at Rosehill Community Center, tour headquarters, 304 Lincoln Ave., Mukilteo.

Advance tickets are available at Pacific Stone Company, Mukilteo Art and Frame, The Needle &I, Papa Murphy’s in Mukilteo, Sky Nursery in Shoreline, My Garden Nursery in Mill Creek, Barbara’s Floral, Mukilteo Ace Hardware, Aunt Mary’s Quilt Shop, and Pacific Fabrics &Crafts.

Raffle: At Rosehill Center, enter chances to win raffle items such as a weekend stay at the Marriott, gardening goodies, a quilt kit or a pizza a month.

For more information: www.mukilteogardenandquilttour.org; Mukilteo Way Garden Club: www.mwgc.org; Mukilteo Lighthouse Quilters: www.mukilteolighthousequilters.org

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