Thursday, June 02, 2011

Going In Through the Garden

I've already confessed to being a nosy parker. Using the excuse that I have to walk the dog, I'm always peeking and peering over fences and through shrubbery in daylight and gazing in brightly lit, uncovered windows at night. I'm not out for lascivious thrills or gathering dirt on the neighbors, just boring stuff like how they paint their houses or landscape their yards. Really.

Which is yet another reason I love this time of year, when neighborhood homes, gardens and even chicken coops are thrown open to the prying eyes of the public. So I want to remind you about one garden tour in particular that's coming up this weekend that, appropriately enough, benefits a new landscape being done by dedicated volunteers at the West Slope Community Library.

It features seven gardens, including the almost completely edible garden of the Oregonian's Vern Nelson and his partner, Mary Sherman. A friend described it as having "one of the largest raised beds I’ve ever seen, side yards with strawberries, onions and garlic, a greenhouse, a trio of black ducks quacking, chickens laying, espaliered fruit trees and a new doorway Vern is installing to ornament the entry to their good friends and neighbors directly behind them. Plus a recently expanded covered back porch/living room with a roof extension with skylights and the beginnings of a new earth oven in progress."

With warm, sunny weather predicted, this is a can't-miss opportunity for garden lovers and snoops alike. You can bet I'm going!

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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