ACT's Secret Garden Tour set June 29-30

Tri-City HeraldJune 26, 2013 

Six backyards - each with a different theme - are on the Academy of Children's Theatre Secret Garden Tour on June 29-30.

One has a Hobbit-themed arbor, another garden art and all have an array of bright flower beds to enjoy.

Joyce Rogers-Pinkerton of Kennewick said her garden is constantly evolving.

"We've been here 20 years, and I'm always finding something to tweak. I'll find a new plant that sounds interesting and just have to track it down," she said.

She lives on 2.75 acres, but part of it is pasture for her horse and habitat for a variety of birds. She has an area planted all in white flowers, a dove aviary and a fish pond. There are roses and dahlias, strawberries and apples, shade-loving hostas and sun-loving perennials.

"Somehow, we've also managed to tuck in some lawn and basalt terrace," Rogers-Pinkerton said.

The garden tours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. You can view them in any order, but there's no going back for a second look, so take your time.

"A new element to this year's tour is random performances or demonstrations by a variety of artists and gardeners," said Adele Connors, ACT's development director. Mid-Columbia Libraries, one of the garden sponsors, is organizing a Reader's Theater at its garden. The Mid-Columbia Mastersingers and Columbia Basin College's Legally Blonde performers are collaborating to create a musical-themed garden. And ACT's own Encore Troupe will be highlighted at a garden.

Musician Steve Haberman will perform, and several of the gardens will feature an on-site painter creating a work-in-progress. Heritage Nursery, also a garden sponsor, is providing an expert staff member to demonstrate new gardening techniques.

Funds generated by the Secret Garden Tour support ACT's on-going education classes and programs.

"Last year, ACT served over 6,000 local students, offering them the only access to professional performance art in our region," Connors said.

Tickets cost $15. They can be bought at Heritage Nursery, 2816 W. 27th Ave., Kennewick, and in Richland at Wood's Nursery, 2615 Van Giesen St., and the ACT office, 213 Wellsian Way.

Tickets also are available at www.academyofchildrenstheatre.org. Print out the receipt and present it at the first garden, 5120 W. Yellowstone Ave., Kennewick. There, you'll be given a program with the addresses of each garden on the tour.

On the days of the tour, tickets will be sold from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the garden on Yellowstone Avenue.

Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; lhulse@tricityherald.com

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