Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Season of the Nosy Parkers

Nosy parker: a person of an overly inquisitive or prying nature.

Home tours, garden tours, tours of chicken coops, wood-burning ovens, beehives…it seems we can't get enough of peeking and prying, of oohing and aahing and pointing. And brave are the souls who open their gates and doors, not to mention their hutches, to the public. I am way too timid to undergo the scrutiny of anyone other than my dearest friends, who are apt to forgive (or at least not mention) my messy house, unswept cobwebs and half-finished projects.

But luckily there are those who willingly go where I cannot, with many worthy causes benefiting from their largesse. Like the West Slope Community Library, an important community hub in its neighborhood, which is seeking to renovate its aging perennial garden into a more structured garden with year-round interest.

My friend Kathryn's garden club is leading the charge to raise funds for the project, and has convinced seven neighborhood residents, including two of the city's most renowned gardeners, to open their personal gardens for the cause. Internationally recognized author Barbara Ashmun,known for her books on garden design, will be participating, as will the Oregonian's Hungry Gardener, Vern Nelson.

So grab a friend and your best binoculars and be prepared to satisfy your nosiest needs. You might even get some ideas to take home to your own garden.

Details: Raleigh Park Garden Tour. Sat., June 4, 10 am-3 pm; $15 advance, $17 day of tour; tickets available online. Pick up tickets and map the day of the tour at Raleigh Park Elementary School, 3678 SW 78th Ave.

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