Arts & Entertainment

Take stroll through Hermiston gardens

HERMISTON -- If you're looking for inspiration to spruce up your landscaping or just want to enjoy someone else's hard work, don't miss the annual Hermiston Garden Tour on June 26. Each of the eight featured gardens has its own character ranging from a lush English cottage-style to low-maintenance, low-water xeriscaping.

One overlooks the Umatilla River. Another is compact but the owners have used every inch for flowers and veggies, even adding a waterfall.

"If you like plants at all, this tour is a chance to see what other people have done and to get ideas," said Becky Hunt of Hermiston. "It's just a great way to spend the day."

Tour co-chairwoman Joy Martin of Hermiston said what impressed her most about the gardens on the tour is "in a sea of sand, these gardeners have created an oasis for themselves. They're all a pleasure of color and green and plants I never knew could grow here."

"They all have the creativity to put plants together and make them beautiful to the eye," she said. "It's amazing how some people have such a gift."

All the gardens are in Hermiston, and you can tour them in any order.

"They're numbered in the booklet but that's just for reference," Hunt said.

"However, this year we've added a seven-piece orchestra to one garden, the Linds," Martin said. "They'll be playing, mainly instrumental classics, from 10 to 11 a.m. so people might want to start there."

Complimentary water, lemonade and cookies will be served at two of the gardens.

The tour is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is sponsored by the Hermiston P.E.O. Chapter DR.

Cost of the tour is $10 per person and includes a map showing the locations of each of the eight gardens.

Tickets are available at Cottage Flowers, 1725 N. First St., and the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce, 415 S. Highway 395, both in Hermiston. Tickets will be available at Cottage Flowers on the day of the tour.

Proceeds from ticket sales will be used to help support P.E.O. scholarship and educational projects for women.

Here's a peek at some of the gardens:

-- Colleen and Ray Bridge have created an English-style garden around their country home. Enter through a wooden archway, amble along the wooden and grassy pathways and see if you can spot the garden art tucked among the blooms, shrubs and waterfall.

-- Susan and Tad Karschnia have created a backyard sanctuary for themselves plus a grassy area and small garden just for their grandchildren. They have an abundance of trees, a pergola draped with wisteria vines and a waterfall splashing into a fish pond below. Red is their accent color which they've added with Japanese maples.

-- Julie and Kim Puzey's garden is compact but well laid out with a rock wall garden and a natural looking waterfall hugging the back fence. They have lots of flowers and trees but also left room for a vegetable garden.

-- Alleen and Gary Lind chose their shrubs, trees and other plants with an eye to having something of interest in the garden every season of the year. They've included a greenhouse and potting bench in the back along with a shaded porch for relaxing.

-- Sylvia Smith's low maintenance front yard features native plants and others well suited for our dry, hot climate.

-- Carleen and Doug Flaize have a two-tiered yard overlooking the Umatilla River. The grassy area above is great for relaxing and yard games while a path made of recycled materials leads down a steep incline to a knoll that's perfect for fishing.

*Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513;