Thursday, May 03, 2007

Garden Conservancy Tour

What is it about spring that makes Oregonians so happy? A few hours of sunshine and we're like hippies after eating a few magic brownies, all smiley and dopey and talking to strangers like best friends we haven't seen in ages. Is it the parting of the clouds, or could it be all the energy that's bursting out of the soggy ground and filling the air with perfumes of green and earth and blossoms?

Whatever the reason, it's a time when gardeners are opening their own plots for visitors to tour and ooh and ahh over their heucheras and aquilegia. A great one is coming up on Saturday, May 12, when the Garden Conservancy is sponsoring their Portland Open Day tour of five of the best private gardens in the area. Among those featured are Terra Nova Nurseries founder Dan Heims' home garden, a chance to tour a mature planting of shade perennials and Japanese maples; garden writer and author Barbara Blossom Ashmun's home garden spanning 20 years of experiments with borders and bird habitats; and a rare opportunity to see the internationally acclaimed Jane Kerr Platt Garden, a collector's garden that is 60 years old and covers 2 1/2 acres surrounding the Platt's home designed by Pietro Belluschi.

So get out there and start collecting ideas for your home garden. As adman David Ogilvy advised in his autobiography, Confessions of an Advertising Man, "Search the world and steal the best." This event sounds like a don't-miss day for those not averse to heeding his words of wisdom!

Details: Portland Open Day tour of local gardens benefiting the Garden Conservancy and the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon. Sat., May 12. Admission $5 per garden at each location or book of six tickets for $25 available online or by phone. Phone 888-842-2442.

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