EDMONDS — Suzanne Juergensen is a self-taught gardener, though you’d never believe it if you just walked by her botanical bonanza.
You can see her garden during the Edmonds in Bloom tour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
A native of Upstate New York, Juergensen moved to Seattle by way of San Francisco about 20 years ago. There she started puttering in her landlord’s University District yard.
“It’s so lush here in the Northwest, I was inspired,” said Juergensen, 63. “After awhile my landlord began paying me to work in the garden.”
Juergensen studied garden books and magazines, and took note of other gardens in Seattle.
“Education is an ongoing process, but I began to figure out what plants fit together and what I liked.”
While earning her master’s degree in fiction writing at the University of Washington, Juergensen decided gardening also was better than spending time with editors or a lot of money on a gym membership.
“It’s invigorating and I like to work hard, so I have something else to show for the gardening besides a half-acre of plants,” she said with a laugh.
Juergenesen and her husband Jess Grant bought their north Edmonds home in 2013. The house, with its spectacular view of Puget Sound, was built in 1983 by Harry and Mavis Norton.
The Nortons provided some good basics: They planted dogwoods, maples, lilacs, Douglas firs, ferns and rhododendrons. And they gave their home a nice general layout for the garden.
But Juergensen has redesigned or reclaimed nearly every square foot of the place. In fact, she has about a dozen separate garden areas to visit.
You will have fun and be introduced to some plants you perhaps have not seen before.
One this reporter had not seen before was a white Ukigumo Japanese maple in the side yard dog garden — indeed a place for the Grant-Juergensen dogs, Beulah and Daphne, to play.
The dogwood island area, as Juergensen calls it, sits above the house at its entrance.
Take note there of the dwarf conifers and ornamental grasses that grow beneath the dogwoods. Also, check out the raised beds known as hugelkultur, which are made of yard waste and hold moisture, provide winter heat, build fertility and maximize space, Juergensen said.
Grant has built a number of water features throughout the garden, and the stone paths are beautiful throughout.
Walk through the flower and rose garden, herb hill, the hummingbird garden, the scent garden, the forest and the shade garden, where you can cool off if Sunday is an especially warm day.
In the vegetable garden, along with tomatoes, squash, peppers, raspberries, blueberries and Jerusalem artichokes, notice the exceptionally healthy (and state-licensed) cannibis plants.
At this time of year, the salvia, lavender, crocosmia, penstemon, jasmine, dianthus, heliotrope, carnations, phlox, lemon verbena, curry, hardy fuchsia, dark laurel and Japanese maples look (and smell) wonderful together.
Juergensen proves she knows how to group her plants.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edmonds in Bloom
The 22nd annual garden tour is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 16. There are six stops on the three-hour, self-guided tour, including the Chase Lake Elementary School Garden. The five private gardens on the tour include a lavish new-construction garden, an older homestead, a lush show of annual flowers, and a Northwest Asian-fusion oasis. Admission is $20 at the first garden, at 8912 189th Place SW. More information is available online at www.edmondsinbloom.com.