(This is a 2016 garden description. Gardens for this year’s tour can be found here.)
The gardener who volunteered to create the white rocks formation spelling “ALKI” (at the divide on SW Admiral Way and 59th Avenue SW) is also the owner of the French colonial home they have named “Whitecap.” Community spirit is also apparent at Whitecap where the neighbors and passing cars are treated to changing color outside the fence spring to fall. In spring, daffodils and lavender bloom, bright white daisies flourish all summer, and in fall, the espaliered Boston ivy is a beacon of red.
A garden of lush northwest plants grow on the other side of the fence, giving a tranquil, private feeling to this charming 70 year-old home. Magnolias, Japanese maples, and a tulip tree provide shade to the understory of rhododendrons and nandinas. The garden art is designed by the owner with driftwood from Alki and Bellingham beaches, and railroad spikes.
Espaliered camellia grows along the wall of the house, and a climbing hydrangea provides a backdrop for the large bench, made by the owners’ son with driftwood salvaged from the shores of Alki Beach.
A honey locust in the lower garden is a neighborhood landmark, with gnarled trunk, white flowers and thorns, creating a graceful silhouette at sunset. Surrounding the driveway are white and pink pieris, a star magnolia, and raised-bed vegetable gardens. Visitors may visit the deck where whitecaps can be seen on the water during storms, thus the home’s name, “Whitecap.”