Marge Woodfin, Pilot staff writer

The day was a bit gray and overcast last Saturday, Aug. 21, but spirits were high in the eight gardens that were open for the fourth annual Coastal Garden and Art Tour.

Tour visitors expressed delight with the beautiful gardens and art displayed along the tour, and the tour planners were delighted with the income from the sale of 271 passport tickets that will help keep the program thriving for another year.

The wonderful variety of gardens and art ranged from the Otto/Waddell garden 5.6 miles up the North Bank Chetco River, to the Dickson community-supported agriculture farm on the south end of Highway 101, and the amazing variety in size, location, and plantings in the gardens in between.

Glorious ocean views, combinations of produce, flowers, bushes, and trees, rock garden, bog garden, bamboo, special garden alcoves, gentle paths in a Japanese-style garden, whimsical garden art, plus a large amazing garden hidden behind a refurbished 1920s mill house in the middle of town.

The overheard comments were all positive, including the delicious treats served at several locations, and the opportunity to meet artists and watch them in action.

Artists included watercolorists, Christina Olsen, Brenda Stafford, Claudia Mach, and Dale Wells; oil painters Jim McCarten, Kandi Legg, Kathy Huxley, and Karen Berry; acrylic and mixed media artists Everett Carpenter, Katrina Parke, and Bonnie Loewen; jewelry maker Jean Johnson; weaver Jane Opiat; plus Lorelei Hanna's stained glass garden art and Bob Stafford's handmade lighthouses.

A special, unexpected surprise at the Otto/Waddell garden was mother and daughter artists, new to Brookings, Dana and Aynia Nelson, who have become supporters of Manley Art Center and Gallery.

The Master Gardener program is sponsored by Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service to provide classes to educate gardeners in all areas of successful gardening.

The next Master Gardener program will start in January and run each Friday for 10 weeks, at the OSU Extension Office at Gold Beach Fairgrounds. Numerous interesting topics are covered during the courses, many by noted experts. The office may be reached at 541-247-6672 or 800-356-3986.