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P.E.O. garden tours coming soon in Hermiston

HERMISTON -- Sweeping views of the Columbia River, masses of rainbow-colored blooms, garden art and found objects are just some of what you'll enjoy on the P.E.O. Chapter DR garden tour June 14 in Hermiston.

The tour, the group's sixth annual, runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets are $10. Tickets are available at Cottage Flowers, 1725 N. First St., Hermiston, and the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce office, 415 S. Highway 395. Or call Judi Mason, 541-564-9789.

A limited number of tickets will be available for sale the day of the tour.

The majority of the proceeds will be used to help support P.E.O. scholarships and educational awards for women. P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization focusing on the advancement of women in society.

The gardens can be viewed in any order. Here's a glimpse of what you'll see in the seven distinctive gardens:

Lina and Ivar Christensen -- Over the past seven years the couple have added two large, curving terraces above a broad lawn that leads to a half gazebo overlooking the river. On either side are large rocky berms filled with trees, shrubs, grasses and perennials.

Cheri Correa -- Honeysuckle and climbing roses spill over the fences and more roses, shrubs and perennials fill the flower borders. A golden rain tree shelters a small birdbath.

Ron Abel and Cheri Correa -- A cement walk leads around the side of the house and through a gated arbor to the backyard where neatly edged borders are filled with shrubs, perennials and annuals.

Mark and Diane Frick -- A low split rail fence lined with roses edges the property. The main planting areas are stone-edged raised beds planted with shrubs, perennials and annuals accented with garden art. Admire a collection of bird houses.

John and Rhonda Powell -- Borders and islands are filled with color and texture from a wide variety of shrubs, perennials and annuals. Along the back fence, Rhonda's created an Oregon Trail garden with old farm implements tucked among the plantings.

Doug and Kris Bennett -- Doug is using their property as a test garden, especially for conifers, to see how different plants react to the region. He's planted 475 conifers, 145 deciduous trees, 115 grasses and 425 perennials.

The Bennetts relax in a gazebo, enjoy the soothing sounds of three water features and gaze at a 20-foot naturalized koi pond.

Mike and Diane Hawman -- This couple have taken the minimalist approach to gardening, depending on two windbreaks to define their three-acre landscape. A back terrace area offers a sweeping view across the valley to the Horse Heaven Hills.

* Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; lhulse@tricityherald.com.

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