Monday, August 24, 2015

Garden Conservancy Open Day Pre-Tour

I was fortunate last Saturday to be invited to a pre-tour of three of the five Beaverton gardens in the 2015 Garden Conservancy Open Day Tour (see link for more info) to be held Saturday, August 29, 2015 from 10am to 4pm.

Proceeds from this tour benefit the HPSO Elaine Joines Grants Program and the HPSO horticultural scholarship fund. Pre-sale of tickets is over, but tickets can be directly purchased on the day of the tour.

I'm sure in addition to the pressure of having scads of regular garden crazed people come visit your garden, having a gaggle of local garden bloggers visit a week ahead of time could be even more stressful. I know how crazy I get when I have visitors.

I was honored to be invited on the pre-tour and to tour with my fellow blogger peers. We had a great time!

Unlike my little neighborhood in Lents, where most of the lots are 50x100', parts of Beaverton have crazy big lots. These gardens are all little treasures tucked in areas of Beaverton that I would never know were even there. As a resident of outer SE Portland, traveling to Beaverton can almost be like going to Mars, but it was so worth it!

The first garden we visited was the Prewitt Garden (SW Far Vista St.). We met Gordon in the backyard and had a personal tour of the property. They have been working this garden for nearly 40 years. The garden is broken into several areas.

View of the front garden.
The flower area.

Nearest the house is a covered porch perfect for their fushias, then a lawn area surrounded by perennials, potted plants and several small water features are tucked in here and there. There is a greenhouse for overwintering plants and a potting table.

The area out back is devoted to the veggie garden and several fruit trees along with Gordon's workshop.

I love growing tomatoes, but I bow down to their tomato growing expertise. I believe Gordon said they were growing at least 15 varieties and they were all covered in fruit.

The hoop house.

Amazing tomatoes!

The second stop was the Mitchell Garden (SW Lynnridge Ave.). Christine and James saw us lurking across the street and came out to greet us.

A wonderful assortment of colors and conifers.

The home had a great expanse of lawn surrounding this corner lot. Perennials and annual flowers graced beds with an amazing mix of conifers. The dark green and chartreuse of many of the conifers mixed with silver perennials moved the eye around the flower beds.

The Cleome have been tenaciously reseeding themselves. Christine edits them out here and there as needed. They are a riot of intriguing height and color.

From the entrance to the backyard, I could tell it was going to be an amazing garden. The backyard was a mix of several sitting areas, woodland-like paths, and even a little agave garden in a sunny hot spot.

The prefect fire pit.
Watch out Danger Garden!
A group of Douglas firs dominating the back corner.
I need one of these!

The final garden on our tour was the Winchester Place Garden (SW Winchester Place). Zachary and Leon's garden was a little taste of the south. The front yard was dominated by a large maple and the most unique ground-hugging Japanese maple I had ever seen.

The view across the back garden.

A relaxed sitting area.

Loved the bunnies.

The back yard was a more formal affair with several seating areas, a central fountain and a formal grass "dance floor" with an obelisk as the central focus and Chinese lanterns a festive touch. 

They have two cavalier King Charles spaniels that must enjoy this open grass area surrounded by gorgeous pots.

The central fountain.

This was just a little snippet of what you will see in these wonderful gardens.

If you have an opportunity to attend the Garden Conservancy Open Day Tour, please do! 


  1. These are such magnificent gardens, and each one is so very different from formal to fun. You are really lucky to be able to garden in an area where so many are passionate plants-folk...

  2. Beautiful photos! Thank you so much for sharing, and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

  3. hey, hi, The Lents Farmer. Nicely done.