Garden tours around Washington County in bloom
June is around the corner, and so are a heap of garden tours around Washington County and surrounding areas. Whether you're a green thumb or not, there are plenty of ways to get outside and be inspired by ways to transform an outdoor space, big or small.
Gardens and games in Forest Grove
Plans for the Friends of Historic Forest Grove's 24th Garden Tour are in full bloom.
On Sunday, June 2, from noon to 4 p.m., six gardens ranging from Old Town Forest Grove to Forest Gale Heights will be open to ticketholders to self-guide through spaces owned by local residents.
The homeowners will be in their gardens to answer questions and share about why they chose the format, greenery and flowers.
Kathy Juvet, chairwoman of the tour, said this year's theme is "Games of Years Gone By," with all of the gardens featuring displays of vintage board games such as Monopoly, Clue and Parcheesi and lawn games like croquet and badminton, with a brief history and rules for each.
The tour of different gardens is meant to help inspire attendees to get involved with their own gardens, working with the limited space they may have in their back yard.
"Everyone is an artist," said Melody Haveluck, a member of the Friends of Historic Forest Grove. "(Juvet) does something completely different than I do. We want people to come out not to enhance their artistic ability, but to enhance their ability as a garden artist and get new ideas."
When the tour first started, Juvet said, it was little more than a walking-tour look at front yards in Forest Grove.
Today, the event features a new theme and new back yard gardens never before seen on the tour. Many historical homes are featured, showcasing roses, perennials and annuals.
The tour starts at the Old Train Station, on the corner of 19th and Main in Forest Grove. Advance tickets for the Garden Tour are $12 through Saturday, June 1. Purchase online at fhfg.org or visit the following locations in Forest Grove: Corner Antiques and Collectibles, the Forest Grove/Cornelius Chamber of Commerce, Daniela's Gifts on Main, and A Framer's Touch. Tickets may be purchased at The Old Train Station on the day of the tour from 11:45 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Prices are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $7 for FHFG members and students with ID. Children under 12 are free.
To learn more and find information about the tour, visit fhfg.org.
Suburban, green spaces in West Slope
Hosted by the Fir Grove Garden Club, a group that's been going strong since 1942, the Raleigh Park Garden Tour kicks off on Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the West Slope area, off 91st Avenue between Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and Canyon Road.
Resident Mary Sherman joined after her mother was a member while she was growing up, and is currently a volunteer.
"This started at the end of the war, as a victory garden club," Sherman said. "It has changed and evolved since."
Eight locations in the area are featured on the tour, all but one new compared to past years. The walkable experience begins at the Raleigh Park Elementary School Garden, 3670 S.W. 78th Ave., Portland, with all the proceeds from the 2019 Raleigh Park Garden Tour benefitting the school and the Raleigh Park Neighborhood. Tour participants will receive a guide booklet with history, garden descriptions and a map.
"The beauty of this garden tour is the diversity of its gardens," Sherman said. "It is seven private gardens and one public garden. We really wanted to support the school garden, and it was an amazing plan for an amazing garden. We started the tour as a way to support it because we didn't have any money to offer."
Attendees can experience gardens created as havens for bees; spaces with edibles like blueberries bushes, citrus trees, strawberries and raspberries; a yard with rhododendrons, camellias and Southern magnolias; and more.
The event is 100 percent volunteer run, and up to 350 people a year take the tour, Sherman said.
Not only are the gardens a must-see, but refreshments and special guests, including master gardeners, watercolor artist Janet Mullane and a neighborhood author will be there to meet, show off their work and answer questions. Vern Nelson, author, Oregonian columnist and Pacific Northwest garden and edible landscape expert, will be on hand to share garden tips.
All ages are encouraged to experience the day. Tickets can be purchased at raleighparkgardentour.com/buy-tickets for $20, or at the door for $25.
Support local parks with garden tour in Vernonia
On the way to the coast, Vernonia is a pit stop that's not to be missed. The Vernonia Improvement Project is hosting a garden tour to benefit the Vernonia City Parks.
On Saturday, June 29, eight to 10 local gardens will be on display from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with educators on site to answer questions. The tour kicks off at Spencer Park at 199 Bridge St., near the picnic pavilion.
Resident Rachael Organ began a garden club with her children to start planting around town and as a way to interact with others.
"We wanted to help raising money for the park system," she said, after a play structure in another park was taken down, limiting choices for families to spend time outside. "We had some go through the flood, and the structure became rickety."
Free classes will be provided throughout the day on pruning, pollinators, eco-lawns and more. Several small nurseries with display gardens will be included on the tour map, as well as the local farmers market and garden shops.
The group selected a variety of gardens, each with unique and interesting features, including urban chickens, raised beds, edibles, perennials, hardscaping, water features, deer tolerant, drought tolerant, potting sheds, she-sheds, outbuildings, cottage style, modern style, small farm, historic properties, shade, full sun, eco-lawns and more.
Online ticketing is available at ticketleap.com. Day-of ticket sales and map pick-up will take place at Spencer Park. To learn more, visit vernoniagardentour.com.
By Janae Easlon
Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune971-762-1166
Follow Janae at @Janae_Easlon
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