By DEVIN WEEKS
COEUR d’ALENE — Crimson snapdragons pop out of the shady green lining Will and Susan Beglinger's white picket fence.
Magenta foxglove, brilliant yellow daylilies, bright white gooseneck and cotton candy-colored hydrangea add to the vibrant display of plants and flowers in the Beglingers' downtown Coeur d'Alene garden, which will be open for guests Sunday during the Coeur d'Alene Garden Club's annual Garden Tour.
"Our friends come over and they always want to walk around, or we make them walk around,” Susan said, grinning. "They’re always interested in what new plants we’ve got or what we’re doing."
The Beglingers purchased the historical Thompson House at the corner of Sherman Avenue and 11th Street in 2005. The home was built in 1902.
“There was a lot of work to do,” Susan said.
"Especially the yard,” Will added. “The house was in good shape, but it had to be completely done, all the layers of wallpaper taken off."
Since purchasing the home, the Beglingers have surrounded it with visually and olfactory-pleasing plants, shrubs, berries, flowers and fruit trees.
"They all have been grafted so the cherries each have five different types of cherries and the apple has four or five,” Susan said of the trees. "They’re all different."
Cool green grass cushions the feet as visitors meander, discovering three soothing water features, a harmonious balance of shade and sun, a hidden Buddha and peaceful places to stop and stay a while — all beneath the limbs and leaves of a towering ancient maple tree.
The couple has repurposed the old carriage and wash house, giving new life to an old building on the grounds.
"We wanted to keep that intact,” Susan said. "That’s become our garden shed."
As first-timers on the Garden Tour, Will and Susan are looking forward to entertaining guests and sharing their projects and passions with other garden enthusiasts.
"For many years, the public and the community has had questions and curiosity about their home and have watched it over the years and wondered what’s inside those beautiful gates," said Bonnie Warwick, chair of the Coeur d'Alene Garden Club. "This is the perfect time to showcase what they have done since they've moved into their house.
"It's nothing short of remarkable what they've accomplished," she continued. "It's just a remarkable jewel box of a home and garden."
The 21st annual Coeur d'Alene Garden Club Garden Tour is Sunday, rain or shine, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Six private gardens, including the Beglingers', will be on the tour. Many will feature artisans, vendors and live music.
Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3399960 or by stopping by several local garden retailers. Tour day tickets are $20.
No smoking, strollers or pets allowed. Proceeds benefit local charities and North Idaho College scholarships.