It's not every day that gardening enthusiasts get to peer into some of the most impressive private gardens in the Lake Oswego area.
But during the 12th annual Inviting Vines Garden Tour May 25, that's exactly what people will do. And all the while, they'll learn about the distinguished Rogerson Clematis Garden and the tools of the horticultural trade.
That day, attendees will tour four private gardens in the Lake Oswego area as well as the Rogerson Clematis Garden and hear talks from Joy Creek Nursery Co-owner Maurice Horn and Garden Time TV commentators Judy Alleruzzo and Bill McClenathan. The occasion begins with breakfast at
9 a.m., includes tea at 2 p.m. and the gardens are open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The event is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection, which helps preserve the garden located at Luscher Farms. For more information, visit www.rogersonclematiscollection.org.
"It helps us pay for compost, (build) these barriers, the gravel, materials basically. We don't have any employees. This is 100% volunteer," Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Garden President Phyllis McCanna said.
The Rogerson Clematis Garden is the only accredited clematis collection in North America, includes 1,800 clematis plants and 800 clematis varieties and is open to the public from dusk until dawn every day.
The collection was the life's work of Brooster Rogerson, a retired professor who collected an eclectic array of clematis plants from across the world.
Horn, who spent many years in Japan as a horticulturist, developed a friendship and working relationship with Rogerson in the trade.
"Brooster was really an academic and taught himself about clematis whereas Morris really grew up with it and so they respected each other immensely," McCanna said.
And Horn became a conduit between Japanese horticulturalists and Brooster to create hybrids of American plants and Japanese plants, some of which reside in the Rogerson Clematis Garden. Horn now hybridizes his own plants at the Joy Creek Nursery.
"He's got a beautiful nursery in Scappoose. He hybridizes his own plants or finds unusual plants and grows them and then markets them," McCanna said.
At 9 a.m. in the milking parlor of the Luscher Farms barn, Horn will discuss his hybridization efforts and the history of Brooster's collection. Then at 2 p.m. in the same location, Alleruzzo and McClenathan will lead a more off-the-cuffs conversation about the dos and don'ts of gardening.
"They're really delightful," Friends of Rogerson Clematis Garden Curator Linda Beutler said about Alleruzzo and McClenathan. "They are very enthusiastic and both of them are as affable in person as they seem on TV. They are really looking forward to this."
McCanna added: "The morning is more academic and emotional and the afternoon is much more light-hearted and entertaining."
But the garden tours are the main event of the day.
First, attendees can stroll through the Giampa Garden, which is located at First Edition. McCanna said the garden is designed for an active family, includes water features and has some intriguing plants. Next, the Frankel Garden is located along the lake and features a combination of impressive sculptures and well-placed vegetation. Rogerson Clematis Garden volunteer Dayle Wedeking's garden features flowering trees, deciduous and evergreen shrubs, conifers, perennials, grasses and clematis. Finally, the Cassidy Garden, which is located in Wilsonville and eight minutes away from Luscher Farms, boasts a view of the valley and several patios to go along with the garden.
McCanna emphasized the tour's variety of scenery.
"Gardeners just love seeing unusual gardens or just anybody's garden. All of a sudden you see a new plant you haven't seen before or a new combination of plants and how they're artistically arranged," McCanna said. "They are all so different."
Attendees of the event will also be able to observe the the Rogerson Clematis Garden's new Antipode Garden, which includes plants from New Zealand, Australia and Tasmania.
"It's (antipode) considered the exact opposite point of the globe from where you are standing," McCanna said. "There's nobody else in North America that has this particular type of garden and the plants do well in an environment like New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia."
Overall, Wedeking and McCanna recommend anyone with an interest in gardening to attend the Inviting Vines event.
"I like the speakers. I love the gardens. I like the way our volunteers step up to participate. It gets you out; we have wonderful food," Wedeking said.