Oak Lodge Public Library Garden Tour set to run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 9

Take people who are passionate about libraries and mix them with those who are passionate about gardening, and the result is the second annual Friends of the Oak Lodge Public Library Garden Tour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 9.

PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Sandy Puckett holds her granddaughter as she and Stephanie Kurzenhauser chat about the upcoming garden tour on June 9.Tickets to the tour are $10 and include a map to five private gardens and two community gardens in the Oak Grove area. Tickets are on sale at the Oak Lodge Library, 16201 S.E. McLoughlin Blvd. and online at, and will be available on the day of the tour at the Seeds For Sharing Garden, 4670 S.E. Jennings Ave.

FOLPL will hold a raffle that same day with various prizes, including a framed still-life photo by Deb Stoner, an artist and Oak Grove resident, and a handmade garden quilt by Jill Miller. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5; the drawing will take place at 3 p.m. on tour day and there is no need to be present to win.

Last year was the first year of the garden tour, which FOLPL President Stephanie Kurzenhauser described as a wonderful community event.

"Last year was joyous; it was a beautiful event, and every person left happy and emboldened to make changes," she said.

She noted that every penny earned from the tour benefits programs at the Oak Lodge Library.

The money "augments all services and programs not funded by the county, including gardening classes and cultural passes," she said.

To Kurzenhauser, the tour is a metaphor for the library's mission, in that during the event "you connect with people, learn and meet your neighbors."

New library

The Oak Lodge Library is the "cornerstone of our community. It's small, but the future is so bright as we get ready to build a new one," Kurzenhauser said.

The county is assembling a task force and "a robust community process" will take place soon, as plans for a new library begin taking shape.

Because of that, it is critical for residents to band together and support one of the most valuable resources in the community, Kurzenhauser said.

She added that libraries are "level ground," a place where even the most vulnerable can visit and take home free books and everyone has access to computers.

Interest in gardening

The success of last year's garden tour and the continuing roster of gardening classes at the Oak Lodge Library have demonstrated a need in the community, Kurzenhauser said.

In addition, the seed library inside the library has been popular.

"In less than one year, 12,000 packets of seeds were taken home. We have 1,000 varieties of heirloom seeds — it's mind boggling," she said.

This year's tour will be a bit bigger than last year's, with the addition of the two community gardens: Seeds For Sharing Garden, at Jennings Lodge Community Church, and Good Roots Community Garden, at Good Roots Community Church.

The Seeds for Sharing Garden grows seeds for the seed library, providing locally adapted, vibrant seeds free to the community.

The 3,000-square-foot Good Roots Community Garden provides organic vegetables and fruits to the community year-round. It will be open to the public from noon to 3 p.m. on tour day.

Private gardens

The privately owned gardens on the tour are River Bluff, Kyllingstad, River Run, Over The Water and the Puckett Love Shack.

River Bluff is described as an artist's garden with upper and lower paths that wind through a collection of plants and garden art.

Chickens rule the roost at Kyllingstad — Norwegian for chicken house. This site also features garden rooms and a "Moonlight Garden."

Visitors to River Run will share in the peace and beauty of this collector's garden of delights, set along a high bank of the Willamette River.

The Over The Water site showcases a sprawling terraced property, which includes perennial gardens, raised beds, a water feature and a natural creek.

Meanwhile, the Puckett Love Shack features paths that lead to an eclectic collection of perennials, shrubs, hardscape and objects of charm and whimsy. The day of the tour, this garden will be reached via a secret path on Fairoaks and Dana. Ticket takers will be set up on Fairoaks at the beginning of the path to help guide visitors to the garden.

All gardens will have "garden angels" to help with parking, Kurzenhauser said.

The 'Love Shack'

James and Sandy Puckett nicknamed their garden Puckett's Love Shack, partly because the garden has been a labor of love, and partly because the on-site barn has hosted five weddings and any number of wedding receptions.

With summer coming, "we are party ready," Sandy Puckett said.

She and her husband are all about recycling and doing everything themselves.

"Getting dirty is where we like to be, so we have done 100 percent of the landscaping ourselves," she said.

The Pucketts were born and raised in the area and started building their home in 2000, using recycled materials where possible. Their dining room table, for example, is made from an old bowling alley lane rescued from a building where she and her husband once bowled.

Puckett does not have a favorite spot in the garden. Instead she points out how there are little special nooks that overlook River Forest Lake and other scenic vantage points.

She added, "We have an outdoor living room in front and an outdoor dining room that is magical; each place is awesome."

Smell the roses

What: The Friends of Oak Lodge Public Library will hold its second annual Garden Tour

When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 9. The Good Roots Community Garden will be open from noon-3 p.m.

Where: Various sites in the Oak Grove area; tickets have maps to the gardens.

Cost: Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online ahead of time at Buy tickets at the Oak Lodge Library, 16201 S.E. McLoughlin Blvd., Oak Grove. On the day of the tour, purchase tickets at Jennings Lodge Community Church, 4670 S.E. Jennings Ave. Online tickets may be picked up there as well.

More: To take a sneak peek of images from the upcoming garden tour locations, as well as raffle prizes, visit

Public restrooms will be available all day at Stringfield Family Park, 3614 S.E. Naef Road, Oak Grove.

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