Seven private gardens in the Tri-Cities open to the public for one day Saturday as part of the Academy of Children's Theatre annual Garden Arts Tour.
"Showcasing a variety of diverse gardens, the 2014 tour features an inside look at the fruits of gardening expertise from an impressive group of amateur horticulturists and landscape architects," said Adele Connors with ACT.
The self-guided tour is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $15.
The tours feature lush blooms, shrubbery, cobblestone pathways, yard art, water features and Zen garden hideaways, as well as various theater and music performances.
One of the musical performances involves the cast from the Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre's production of Sound of Music, who will perform a few songs from the show at one of the homes.
Also, Steve Haberman will play a selection of piano tunes at another home.
Gardening demonstrations are also part of the tours.
Various master gardeners offer some expert demonstrations on how to grow the perfect vegetable garden.
The garden tour is one of ACT's major fundraisers. Proceeds from the tour help support the on-going education classes and programs ACT offers throughout the year to kids of all ages, Connors said.
Some of the stunning gardens to be viewed on the tour include Zen gardens, herb gardens, rivershore retreats and a captivating greenhouse featuring its own dining room.
There's also a portal that leads to a soothing desert garden, backyard paradises that abound with potted plants and unique style, a garden that pays tribute to outdoor art, another that is themed from European splendor, and a cool fire pit surrounded by inviting gardens.
Each garden has a separate sponsor and entertainer.
Here's a list of the gardens on the tour:
-- Garden 1: Zen and Now, 2102 Davision, Richland. Haberman performs noon to 2 p.m.
-- Garden 2: Rivershore retreat, 873 View Drive, Richland. The art of Maggie Remington will be displayed throughout the garden all day.
-- Garden 3: Connie's European Splendor, 99005 Reata Road, Kennewick. Sound of Music performers sing at 11 a.m. Mastersingers perform at 12:30 p.m. Singer Anjuli Herr with ACT's Encore performance troupe performs at 2 p.m.
-- Garden 4: Life is a Journey, 17334 S. Fairview Loop, Kennewick. Jack Hogg from Heritage Nursery demonstrates gardening techniques from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sound of Music singers perform at 11:30 a.m. and Mastersingers at noon. Musician Chuck Williams plays at 2 p.m.
-- Garden 5: Backyard Paradise, 10016 E. Badger Road, Kennewick. Singer Cleo Howell of Encore Troupe perfroms at 12:30 p.m. Poet Jordan Chaney recites at 1 p.m. Winetasting is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
-- Garden 6: Tribute to Garden Arts, 106429 E. Badger Road, Kennewick. The work of Plein Air artists Pat Fleming, Dave Poynter, Greg Ashby, Ed David and Janet Lee exhibited all day.
-- Garden 7: Demonstration Garden by Highlands Grange Park, 1620 W. Union St., Kennewick. Master Gardeners and herb garden demonstrations by Benton Franklin Community Heath Alliance all day. Singer Cathy Kelly and guitarist Brian Swearingen perform at 1 p.m.
The Garden Arts Tour is for anyone who just likes looking at beautiful flora and fauna or for those seeking ideas for your own yard, said organizers.
Tickets can be purchased at www.academyofchildrenstheatre.org or the ACT studio at 213 Wellsian Way in Richland.
Tickets have a map with directions to each garden, as well as a short history of how the garden evolved.
Tickets also are available at McCurley Integrity Honda in Richland, Heritage Nursery in Kennewick and Beaver Bark in Richland.
-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dorioneal