Inspiration for the home gardener, close to home

The Bonner County Gardeners Association Garden Tour is happening Sunday

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

It’s commonplace for artists, musicians, writers and creators of all types to draw inspiration from the works of others in their own endeavors.

The Community Garden sitting pretty a week before the BCGA Garden
Tour. Photo by Lyndsie Kiebert.

As it turns out, the same goes for gardeners. The annual Bonner County Gardeners Association Garden Tour, happening July 7, is the perfect opportunity to brainstorm your next outdoor masterpiece, camera in tow.

Garden Tour committee member Eileen Esplin said proceeds from tour ticket purchases go toward BCGA’s various educational programs, including basic gardening and home horticulture classes offered to Bonner County residents throughout the year. Earnings also go toward BCGA’s community beautification efforts, including sponsorship of several downtown flower baskets and the enhancements in front of the Bonner County Fairgrounds main exhibit building.

This year’s tour consists of eight locations, all in or near central Sandpoint: 602 and 608 Creekside Lane, 2204 and 2211 Browning Way, 901 Pine Street, 502 South Marion Avenue, 1712 Poplar Street and the Community Garden at 6th and Pine. The group is made up of largely home gardens — consisting of flowers, vegetables and fruit — volunteered for the tour by private people, Esplin said. The tour is self-guided, and BCGA volunteers will be at each location.

“You get to see some beautiful gardens in the community that you otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to see,” she said.

Aside from the simple enjoyment that comes from touring some of the county’s most elaborate backyards, Esplin said those aspiring to step up their gardening game may have something more to gain.

“You get inspired,” she said. “You see what other people have done, and you do get ideas for your own garden, like how to arrange flowers, and what types grow here.”

Esplin said the BCGA Garden Tour started in 2002, and each year since has revealed pleasant surprises at every garden on the tour map. It’s something Esplin and many others certainly look forward to each summer.

“I just love looking at what people have done,” she said.

The 2019 BCGA Garden Tour is happening 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, July 7..Tickets for the tour are $15 per adult, and children can attend for free. Buy tickets ahead of time online at, or purchase them from a BCGA volunteer at any of the gardens on the tour. Tickets purchased day-of at tour locations must be paid for with cash. Please leave pets at home.

Tour maps and address lists are also available at

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