“…Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there…”

—“Lines Written in Early Spring” by William Wordsworth

The first sighting of cherry blossoms, pretty in pink, studded along their sturdy brown brethren branches, usually means the arrival of spring and gardens — Edmonds in bloom.

Sprawling, wild and wonderful. Tidy little fiefdoms of nature’s finest, petal faces turned resolutely toward the light. Sparkling, bobbing, gilded greens and blues. Floral confection everywhere, as a child leaves behind treasured toys.

Walk down any street to see an explosion of color. Trees restored to its former, pre-hibernation glory and low-hanging come-hither fruit, mid-blush. Vines and crackling leaves from seed beds draped just-so from beckoning cliffside backyards. So many naturally bejeweled flowers drinking in Northwest showers, basking in precious sunlight.

March 20th officially marked the start of spring and gardening season this year. Planting bulbs and seeds, weeding and pruning...enjoying all that Nature gives up, freely.

The tiny town of Edmonds takes its gardens seriously, putting on quite a yard-to-yard show, with a little help from many, many green-thumbed friends. Beginning or advanced, there’s a helpful resource around every corner, and every reason to celebrate.

The annual Edmonds Garden Market, now combined with the summer market, happens every Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., in downtown Edmonds, from Main St. (look for the fountain) to Bell at Centennial Plaza. This year, Edmonds Historical Museum’s spring-to-summer market runs May 7 to Oct. 8, offering up seasonal produce, plants, flowers, arts and crafts, and food from 90 vendors — local, small, family farmers, food producers, and artisans — committed to making or growing in Washington only.

The Edmonds in Bloom Garden Tour started in 1995/’96 with beautification, neighborhood pride, showcase, and a little healthy competition in mind. A Garden Tour followed in 1997, giving the general public a bird’s-eye view of some of the most visually appealing gardens in the area, as well as plenty of gardening inspiration. The Tour and the competition, now Garden Recognition Month, stuck, becoming much-beloved traditions.

In 2020, the Tour — run solely by volunteers — sold out, the first time in its 26-year history.

“Each garden reflects the personalities and horticultural interests of the hosts. Visitors were treated to serene ponds, vibrant waterfalls, creative plantings, exuberant colors and varieties of foliage [2021 Garden Tour, Edmonds in Bloom website].”

Last year, merchants at Bountiful Home, Morgan & Moss at FIELD, Garden Gear and Gallery, and Sky Nursery helped with ticket sales, the City's Tree Board members took the time to label all the trees in the featured gardens, volunteers kept things moving, and residents were kind about the slight increase in traffic.

Tour proceeds fund Edmonds in Bloom projects, like horticultural student scholarships, hanging basket/outdoor plant sponsorships, and support for school projects.

This year’s Tour is set for Sunday, July 17.

Edmonds in Bloom also hosts Kids Plant for Mom’s Day (Edmonds Farmers Market, May 7, 2022), Garden Recognition Month (June), and a Garden Party, among other events.

Don and Lili Hall’s Garden Gear & Gallery, 102 5th Ave. N., downtown Edmonds, is a one-stop shop for gardeners. Open since April 1996, the colorful shop overflows with the latest gadgets (tools), supplies (trellises, pottery, self-watering indoor planters), healthy, seasonal plants and seeds, outdoor art (bird houses, roosting pouches, wind chimes, sculptures), and more. If that’s not all, Garden Gear & Gallery has staff on hand to clean and sharpen Felco pruners.

Todd Waddell’s mom used to sell seeds to the Weed Lady, aka Joan Searle, who ran a small business out of an old cottage home on 122 4th Ave. S. As a boy, he’d hang out in the backyard, enjoying the spoils of nature as they talked shop. When he grew up, 30 years later, the gardener in him would take over the same small shop with Searle’s blessing in 2007, as the purveyor of all lovely things, great and small, indoor and outdoor…Bountiful Home.

Waddell keeps his Bountiful Home & Nursery wild, wonderful, and whimsical.

“Heading out to the nursery, the once-tousled herb gardens in the back yard now coax customers along tidy pathways. Brightly colored beds surround tables of nursery plants and garden accessories. Waddell describes it as ‘wild and wonderful.’ He is not afraid of color. Chartreuse is a recurring accent in the plant selection, partnered with blues, purples and oranges. Inspired by the borders, browsing the backyard nursery becomes an opportunity to begin painting one’s own backyard canvas [‘Bountiful Home: Thriving Then and Now’ by Carol Murray, president of Edmonds in Bloom, June 26, 2021].”

Visitors can easily get lost at the shop, converted from a quaint 100-plus-year-old cottage house off Main St., lingering over an Easter Table fit for a village, with cute and charming accents…table runners, embroidered napkins, stuffed bunnies peeking out from behind place card holders, vases waiting for peonies and poppies.

“…Following my dream, I set out to amaze and delight shoppers who would visit the shop. Old world home decor with an organic influence greets those who enter and in the kitchen, gourmet goodies abound. We have a beautiful garden and nursery in the back of the house filled with surprise. Old apple trees watch over junk fences laden with relics of yesterday, while a wonderful collection of favorite flowers visit throughout the seasons. Come on in for a visit, a dose of beauty, and wonderful items for you and your garden [Bountiful Home & Nursery website].”

Feature image: Red Peonies, Edmonds Spring/Summer Market by Janine Harles
Additional images: c/o Edmonds in Bloom Tour 2021 (Rivera Garden), Garden Gear & Gallery (Carol Banks Weber, Janine Harles), Edmonds in Bloom Tour 2021, cont., Edmonds Market by Janine Harles, c/o Bountiful Home