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Tour gardens on the riverfront

By NICOLE DECOSTA

Staff Reporter

In all their summer spender, private gardens on River Street in West Linn are alive with color. Come experience the rainbow of flora this weekend at the first Friends of McLean House and Park Garden Tour.

Tour private gardens on Saturday, July 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

'We're just limiting it to six (gardens). It's efficient and within close proximity,' said Mike Watters, president of Friends of the McLean House. 'People can walk (River Street) and end up at Maddax Woods and then walk back.'

The McLean House will act as a home base for the tour, featuring refreshments and a place for friends to gather. At 1 p.m. visitors will be serenaded by Zephyr, a Celtic harp group playing from the newly completed gazeebo within the grounds of the McLean House.

Artist Michael Agee's stained glass artwork will be showcased along with local artisan's garden art.

Tickets are currently available for purchase at $15 each at Ameriprise Financial at 1595 Holly Street and Dragonfly Greetings and Gifts at 21150 Salamo Road in West Linn. All purchases are tax deductible with proceeds benefiting the 1927 McLean House and park restoration and upkeep.

Benefitting McLean plans

The colonial McLean house was once home to Dr. Edward McLean and his wife Anne. Located at 5350 River Street, the three-story home features 17 rooms, complete with handcrafted woodwork, fireplaces and a conservatory all overlooking the Willamette River.

Now, the home is used for special events, presentations, political speeches, business meetings and weddings.

Owned by the city, non-profit volunteers with the Friends of the McLean House take care of the home and 2.5 acre-grounds. All proceeds from rental of the house are used to restore, maintain and enhance the property for public use. And they have many plans for the future of the estate - including more garden tours to come.

Down the street, four additional waterfront homes and one on Burns have yards blooming with summer brilliance in preparation for the Saturday showcase.

'I think it'll be a tour of marvelous memories and great ideas for gardening - just kind of a fantasy of what could be done with possibilities (in your own garden),' said Watters. '(Visitors) can meet a lot of people who enjoy gardens. And this could also create an interest (in gardening).'

The McLean House is located at 5350 River Street in West Linn. Information about the other gardens on tour are available on the tickets. Tickets are also available the day of the tour at the McLean House.

For more information about the Friends of McLean House and Park Garden Tour call 503-655-4268.

For more information on the McLean House, visit the Web site at http://www.mcleanhouse.org/index.html.

McLean activities on tap:

Local artisans:

-Lis Dymond of Dymond Graphics: garden signs from recycled material, glass windows with acrylic paints with women verses.

-Marta Farris: weavings of recycled metals into flowers, garden art, dresses, dance outfits.

-Dave and Dianne Froode of the Frody O Dough Garden Art Inc.: Tables, benches, hutches from recycled and found items. Observers will be challenged to figure out the origin use of the pieces.

-Debbie Thomas: whimsical copper/glass, garden art.

Food:

-Farmer's Tea: fresh squeezed lemonade, iced tea, home made pastries for sale.

-Thriftway: boxed lunches.