2012 'Seeding our Future' garden tour is another winner
Seven luscious gardens were on annual tour this year
Every year the Foundation for Tigard Tualatin Schools throws a garden party, and this is an invitation you don't want to turn down.
Gardens within the Tigard-Tualatin School District boundary area can be nominated for each year's event; a committee of volunteers visits the nominees in July and selects seven or eight for the following year's tour.
This year was the seventh annual Seeding Our Future Garden Tour and Art Show + Garden Market, and if you missed it, please plan to attend next year's.
The 2012 event took place June 16, with six luscious gardens and one student-generated vegetable garden on the agenda. Organizers also led a media tour June 6 whose participants included most of the garden owners.
The first stop was the Danforth Garden, owned by Allen and Barbara Danforth and for the tour was dubbed "Lanterns, Gargoyles and Skulls, Oh, My!"
The home and garden, located on Mistletoe Drive atop Bull Mountain, look unique even from the street. A gargoyle keeps watch atop a chimney, and animated stone lanterns light the way among a contorted filbert and weeping giant sequoia.
In the back yard, miniature stone and sedum vignettes plus marble-filled basins lie behind foxgloves and fuchsias. Among the variegated dogwood and Hinoki cypress are masks and other objects high on poles, and there are a waterfall and stream that rush past dwarf conifers, grasses and irises into a lily-filled pond.
A garden owned by Paul and Nancy Phillips, also on Bull Mountain, was aptly called "A Garden of Rooms."
The soothing sound of splashing water, pots bursting with coleus, begonias and coral bells, and golden Japanese forest grass greet guests at the entrance to one of the outdoor "rooms."
Guests can meander under the pergola and across the lawn bordered by beautifully crafted rock walls framing cherry trees, daylilies, hydrangeas, ligularia, strawberries and grapes.
The Zeider Garden, also on Bull Mountain, is owned by Richard and Janet Zeider and was named "A Manor of Whimsy."
An unusual collection of trees include katsura, paper bark maple and clerodendrum. Much of the garden features shade-loving plants such as hostas, maidenhair and autumn ferns, plus there are other perennials interspersed with hydrangea, gunnera and variegated lilac.
Besides all the plants and trees, various vignettes are set up to surprise guests at every turn. For example, herds of miniature "sheep" graze on the lawn, while teddy bears read books and enjoy a picnic at a set of miniature chairs and table.
Supa' Fresh Youth Farm
Unique among the gardens on the tour was the Supa' Fresh Youth Farm behind Durham Elementary School off Hall Boulevard.
Katrin Daugherty and Mia Bartlett, career specialists with the Oregon Human Development Corporation, which provides students with jobs and internships, work with 35 students 16 to 21 years old at this urban farm to help them earn money and high school credits, plus learn skills.
The students work at the farm, raising crops and selling the produce at the Tualatin Farmers Market.
A garden owned by Steve and Debbie Mangold south of Hall Boulevard was named "The Accidental Garden," or another good name would be "A Garden Started from Scratch."
Decades ago when a garbage company operated next door to their property, many pollutants were dumped into the soil, causing major environmental problems. Years of Department of Environmental Quality-mandated cleanup efforts resulted in both properties finally pollution free, allowing the Mangolds to plant a gorgeous garden on 1 Â½ acres around the log cabin that they meticulously restored.
Dominating the front yard is a gigantic fir tree that somehow survived the pollution, although Debbie Mangold said that sad "faces" appeared on its multiple trunks when the pollution was discovered.
Highlights in the back yard include a pond and waterfall next to a restored pump house, plus a bread-and-pizza oven made from reclaimed materials, arbors, raised beds, an old barn and several very happy angora goats that have their own grazing area.
Koch and Hart Garden
The Hart Garden, owned by Dave Koch and Juliann Hart, is located in the Metzger area, and being bird lovers, the couple's garden is gold-certified by the Audubon Society and Columbia Land Trust as an outstanding backyard habitat for birds.
Plants for birds include serviceberry, currants, Oregon grape, mountain ash, holly, cascara and crabapples. Custom-made bird feeders are located in different layers of trees and shrub canopies.
A tiny "casita" in the backyard is a dollhouse for adults complete with a fireplace, and another focal point is a Scandinavian-style covered bench, both built by Koch. A circulating pond next to an elevated sitting area, two rock bubblers and unusual plants, including caryopteris and variegated abelia, make this a truly inspiring garden.
Finally, the last stop on the tour was Julia Eggert's "A Gardener's Delight" east of Pacific Highway.
Many ferns and hostas mingle under a big leaf maple tree, while a swimming pool with a nearby brick fireplace is the centerpiece of the back yard.
Collections of pots artfully filled with exotic sedums and eucomis mark "intersections" in the garden and fill in corners. The borders, designated by low-retaining walls, contain a selection of dwarf conifers plus dozens of Japanese maples nestled among rhododendrons, clematis, hydrangea and various evergreens.
The Foundation for Tigard Tualatin Schools is a nonprofit organization working to expand the possibilities for learning for all students in the district, and the annual garden tour and art show is one of its biggest fundraisers.