Arts and Entertainment

Island blooms this weekend

Children like to play on the secret stone stairs at the Rockefellers
Children like to play on the secret stone stairs at the Rockefellers' home.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review

Bainbridge is known for its beauty and captivating scenery, though some islanders spend countless hours making their own little corners of the island a little more beautiful.

This weekend, they’ll show you just how beautiful Bainbridge can be.

Bainbridge in Bloom is an annual tour through six of the island’s many amazing gardens.

For 24 years the event has offered walk-throughs of island gardens. It also serves as the main fundraiser for the Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council.

“All proceeds from the weekend benefit our programs throughout the year,” said Lindsay Masters of the Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council.

Until the Bainbridge in Bloom weekend arrives, the garden locations are kept on the down-low. But organizers are confident that they will impress tourists.

One such impressive garden is at the home of Anita and Phil Rockefeller. The Rockefellers’ home is a tranquil patch of land among the island’s forests. Since they moved to the home in 1971, they have crafted their property into quite a spectacle with native ferns, rhododendrons, filbert trees, grass pathways, and much more.

The groomed property is the product of decades of work.

“It has evolved,” said Anita Rockefeller. “It was a little house and we landscaped around it, and remodeled a little bit.”

After each remodel, new opportunities to beautify the home would arise.

The Rockefellers’ home will also be one of two featured gardens that will have arts and crafts vendors on site. Clothing, jewelry and artwork will all be featured.

“We try and recruit vendors who have some connection to the garden in their work,” Masters said. “It’s nice to be able to shop, too.”

All six gardens will be toured throughout the weekend, whether by personal tours, shuttle tours, or even by bicycle.

Friday, June 13 offers a self-guided preview tour through the gardens. Maps to all the gardens will be available at the “Bloom Hub” located at Woodward Middle School at 9125 Sportsman Club Road.

On Saturday, June 14 and Sunday, June 15, garden tourists can start at the Bloom Hub where they will catch a shuttle running to each garden site. Tours are held from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. each day.

Tickets for the Friday preview are $60, while general admission for the Saturday and Sunday tours is $30.

The shuttle service this year is extensive. Four shuttles routes will travel to all the different gardens and more.

“You hop on the bus, and it takes you to the gardens and you visit for as long as you want,” Masters said. “And then you go back to the drop-off and pick-up spot which will take you to another garden.”

Shuttles will also stop by downtown Winslow and the ferry terminal so visitors can grab something to eat and even walk right off the ferry and start touring.

Cyclist who want to pedal their way from garden to garden are welcome. Cyclist tickets are $20.

The Evening in Bloom gala will conclude the weekend island garden experience. Held at the Manner House on Pleasant Beach, the gala will feature an auction offering everything from memorable experiences to fine art.

One auctioned item will be a party hosted by island author and storyteller Michael Shannon.

Shannon will provide an evening for up to 25 people who will engage in writing limericks — even, and most likely, limericks of the adult variety.

Art, crafts and jewelry will also be up for auction. Tickets for the gala are $125 and include a dinner with live music. A catalogue of auction items is available on the arts and humanities’ website.

“The Evening in Bloom auction is a long-standing tradition of Bainbridge in Bloom,” Masters said. “It includes dinner, live music, and of course the opportunity to bid on lots of great experiences, events and even fine art.”

Tickets for Bainbridge in Bloom are available on the Bainbridge Arts and Humanities’ website at Tickets can also be purchased at the Bloom Hub at Woodward Middle School.

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