Citizen gardeners open their properties to the public during the 18th annual event

Favorable weather and six of Forest Grove's loveliest gardens created a perfect scenario for the 2012 Spring Garden Tour, dubbed 'Behind the Garden Gate.'

For the 18th year, Friends of Historic Forest Grove sponsored the tour, during which a half-dozen citizens welcomed 200 tour-goers at their homes. Gardens belonging to Linda Lewis, Corinne Gosnell, E.J. and Alma Albrecht, Mark and Jill Crowell, Jerry and Beverly Frawley and Scott and Lindsay Crowell were open this year.

In addition to the residential gardens, visitors also perused the Forest Grove Community School Garden at the corner of 19th Avenue and Main Street, known as 'The Backyard.'

Committee chair Melody Haveluck said net earnings weren't finalized by Monday, but noted attendance was up from 2011 and the 2010 event, which was marred by rain. Donations will support the operating expenses of two historic properties maintained by FHFG - the Alvin T. Smith house and the Old Train Station.

An added attraction this year were a raffle and garden-related items for sale, said Mary Jo Morelli, president of FHFG. The names of raffle winners will be drawn Thursday when the committee meets to recap the tour, she added.

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