On a beautiful, clear day at the end of June, the Garden Conservancy, in partnership with the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon, organized 5 open private gardens. We made it to 4 of them, and they were really wonderful.
First, we visited the garden of Bill & Charlene Tuttle in Lake Oswego. It was pretty sizable at 1.34 acres, and stretched from the street to the Tualatin river. The thing I remember most from visiting this garden were the numerous beautiful hydrangeas, the great outbuildings, and the outrageous number of red trellises and arbors. The garden owners must either be part-owners of the company that produces them, or maybe they bid on one of those unopened storage units that had dozens and dozens of them inside. Either way, it made for a lovely garden.
Next, we visited the Sherry Sheng garden and we really loved this one. It also backed up to a river, the Willamette. At 1/3 of an acre, it packed a whole bunch of exquisite & unique spaces right around the house, including right next to the driveway. There was some beautiful metal sculpture, a lovely tetrapanax grove in the side garden, and some great spots to sit and enjoy the vista.
After that went to the Mike & Linda Darcy garden. I loved this garden, and I can tell they do too. It was filled with sculpture, lots of different garden rooms and spaces, and some fairly low-maintenance plantings.
And finally, we went to the Bates garden. It was actually the grounds of the consulate of the Republic of Korea in Portland. It was the most traditional of the bunch that we visited, in a sort-of public park way, but filled with beautiful, mature plantings, including a more naturalistic area at the back of the property on a steep slope.
If you’d like to see all my photos from this garden tour, they’re all here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/outbox/sets/72157635770398234/with/9215983637/