It will be featured in Sunday’s Symphony of Gardens tour
On Sunday, June 29, Ann and John Lutz will open their residential garden to patrons of the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra’s Symphony of Gardens tour. Theirs is one of two Redmond homes for this year’s fundraising event. Three Kirkland gardens are also included.
The two-and-a half-acre Lutz property resembles a private arboretum, with both unusual trees and a profusion of flowers. They’ve lived there for 18 years.
“It was dead bare when we started. Everything you see, we planted,” said Ann.
As the couple showed the Reporter around, she added, “I name all my gardens so John knows where to look for me,” while she’s pruning bushes or deadheading flowers. So she’ll tell him, before she disappears into the lush greenery, whether she’s en route to the Island Garden, Pond Garden, Behind the House Garden and so on.
Before he retired, John was a vertebrate zoologist. As newlyweds, he and Ann spent several months living in a tent in Kodiak, Alaska, so that he could study Kodiak bears. They also lived in Wisconsin for many years, when John taught at Beloit College. Some mementos and plant species from their former homes are incorporated into their garden design.
And John proudly pointed out two Franklinia trees, named after Benjamin Franklin by John Bartram, one of the co-founders of the American Philosophical Society and one of the most influential botanists in history. “It blooms late in the summer,” he explained.
“All the trees and shrubs have to look good and smell good,” he noted, showing us a sassafras tree which has leaves that are fragrant when crushed.
Also noteworthy are six Lutz spruce trees that John’s father discovered in Alaska and many types of maples, including “sugar maples that turn a marvelous orange in the fall,” according to Ann.
“Our son got married here two years ago,” she commented, but aside from that wedding, the tranquil setting hasn’t been enjoyed by anyone but their own family and friends from her quilting and bridge groups.
A fruit and vegetable garden off their driveway features grapes, raspberries and several other crops, along with figurines that Ann called, “our Tammy Faye owls — look at their eyes and you’ll know why.”