A quilt titled “Wheel of Fortune” hangs on the fence at the Mukilteo Garden Quilt Tour home of gardeners MaryJane Cavanagh and Les Nelson. The tour is July 16 and 17. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A quilt titled “Wheel of Fortune” hangs on the fence at the Mukilteo Garden Quilt Tour home of gardeners MaryJane Cavanagh and Les Nelson. The tour is July 16 and 17. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Garden tours are blooming in Mukilteo, Edmonds and Mill Creek

The July tours feature quilts, artists and musicians in addition to pretty plants galore.

MUKILTEO — MaryJane Cavanagh is ready for hundreds of strangers to traipse through her yard this weekend.

They can pick fresh strawberries and soak in a view of the Sound while smelling the roses and admiring quilts.

Her home is on the two-day Mukilteo Garden & Quilt Tour, combining nature and fabric art.

“It’s my bucket-list lifelong dream,” said Cavanagh, a retired social worker who transformed the fixer-upper house and overgrown garden into a showplace.

Garden tours are back in bloom.

Many area clubs postponed or scaled back tours the last two years due to the pandemic. The tours are a fundraiser for community causes and student scholarships.

For gardeners, it’s a chance to see what others are doing and display their creativity.

“They are so excited to share,” Mill Creek Garden Club spokesperson Lila Johnson said.

A raffle quilt titled “Amish with a Twist” is on display in the garden of a Mukilteo Garden Quilt Tour. The tour is July 16 and 17. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A raffle quilt titled “Amish with a Twist” is on display in the garden of a Mukilteo Garden Quilt Tour. The tour is July 16 and 17. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The Mill Creek tour on July 23 has five homes in Lynnwood, Bothell and Mill Creek.

“One garden has artificial turf and a putting green,” Johnson said, adding, “It’s not the main feature.”

Other homes include zen and entertainment gardens.

“There’s not a clunker in the group,” Johnson said.

In Mukilteo, five of the six tour gardens are walkable in the Old Town section. Cavanagh’s home is a mile away, near the Everett border and up the hill from the ferry terminal.

“We are the gateway house into Mukilteo,” she said

A view from the porch of the Mukilteo Garden Quilt Tour home of gardeners MaryJane Cavanagh and Les Nelson. The tour is July 16 and 17. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A view from the porch of the Mukilteo Garden Quilt Tour home of gardeners MaryJane Cavanagh and Les Nelson. The tour is July 16 and 17. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

It’s the honeymoon home for Cavanagh and her husband, Les Nelson. She lived in Lynnwood and he in Shoreline before marrying five years ago. He made the wooden “sharing kiosk” cart for plums, apples, herbs and other garden goods that are free for passersby on Mukilteo Boulevard. The corner-lot yard has fruit trees, paved pathways, birdhouses, two swings and numerous flower varieties.

“I have every kind of lavender,” Cavanagh said.

More than plants bloom on these tours.

Edmonds in Bloom has musicians and artists. The tour with eight homes is Sunday.

The Mill Creek tour has artists on site.

Quilts are a tradition on the Mukilteo tour, last held in 2019.

Dried herbs hang in a “sharing kiosk” at a Mukilteo garden-quilt tour home on Thursday, July 7, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Sydney Hoard, Mukilteo Lighthouse Quilters Guild spokesperson, said gardens and quilts are a natural combination.

“They enhance each other,” she said. “I use a lot of color and when it’s next to greenery it sets off the color. They will enhance the garden as well.”

The more than 90 quilts that will be hung in gardens for the tour are exhibited at Mukilteo’s Rosehill Community Center through July. Several are for sale. One quilt will be raffled in a drawing.

The tours sell a limited number of tickets.

“We do expect to sell out, but any leftover tickets will be sold at the will-call location,” said Patty Fleming, spokesperson of the Edmonds club, which held a tour last year.

“We have a new feature this year in our ticket, a QR code to a Google map of our gardens for easy directions.”

A heart shaped bush at a Mukilteo garden-quilt tour home on Thursday, July 7, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Mukilteo Garden & Quilt Tour: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 16 and 17

There are six gardens with over 90 quilts.

Quilts are on display in the gallery inside Rosehill Community Center through July. The Mukilteo Lighthouse and Gift Store will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on tour days.

The tour ticket brochure pickup is at Rosehill, 304 Lincoln Ave.

Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 day of tour.

Raffle tickets for the quilt drawing are $1 each or 6 for $5.

More: www.mukilteogardenandquilttour.org

Edmonds in Bloom: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 17

Musicians include keyboard, accordion, harp, cello, flute, violin, trombone and percussion.

Garden styles include: A sleek, modern environment created with easy care, drought-tolerant plants. A woodland and water garden passed down from one family gardener to another. A carefree entertainer’s garden that sets the stage for gatherings with flowers, food and fun. A plant-lovers playground that transforms a small space into a garden overflowing with color and texture.

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 day of the tour.

More: edmondsinbloom.com

Mill Creek Garden Club: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 23

Artists will feature pottery, glass fountains, sun catchers and potting benches made from recycled fences.

Original art in small framed prints and wrapped notecards by artist Dianne Astrof will be sold. The sunflower in the tour’s promotional materials is by Astrof, who died in 2019.

The “entertainment-plus” garden on 1.5 acres has a cabana with full kitchen, outdoor seating all around, a fire pit and two pergolas.

Another garden is titled “Perennial woodsy and no bears allowed.” Once a year a bear wanders through. Hopefully it won’t be on July 23.

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 day of the tour.

More: millcreekgardenclub.com/garden-tour

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

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