Camano garden reborn after disaster

CAMANO ISLAND — The island was like paradise to Carole Ferraud and her husband, Sandy.

The California couple discovered it by chance when exploring the area.

“My sister lives in Snohomish and my father lived in La Conner. I didn’t know about Camano Island,” she said. “I found it by accident. It was karma.”

The couple moved into a home on Bayside Road last summer with plans to retire happily ever after.

“It had a lovely garden, lush green, and a pretty spectacular view,” she said.

Last winter, it all turned brown.

“My entire septic system failed. In the process of removing the drain field my entire garden was annihilated,” she said. “My lovely lush garden turned into a mud pit. I lost everything.”

Carole, a retired school superintendent, wasn’t defeated by dirt and devastation.

“As soon as I could stop crying, we said, ‘OK, this is a disaster but it’s an opportunity to make it something better than it was before,’” she said.

It was a productive learning experience.

“I never had a garden like this. Things grow here. It is very different. I lived in mountains and the desert,” she said.

“We spent the time from January until now reinventing the garden. It is stunning.”

See it on the Camano Island Backyard Wildlife Habitat Garden Tour on June 25. The four gardens on the tour range from small to large, simple to extravagant, forested to waterfront.

“This is like heaven,” she said. “I wake up every morning and can’t believe I live here.”

If you go

The Camano Island Backyard Wildlife Habitat Garden Tour is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 25. Maps to the four gardens are available at the Camano Multipurpose Center, 141 NE Camano Dr., on the day of the event.

The tour is free.

The tour promotes awareness of the National Wildlife Federation’s Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program. Information on native plants, wildlife and composting as well as challenges faced on particular properties will be available.

“Exploring Camano Island: A History &A Guide” will be available for $20 during the tour as a fundraiser.

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