HERMISTON -- A rippling stream complete with a bronze fisherman, the scent of more than 100 roses and a riot of colorful perennials, annuals and shrubs are all included in the ninth annual P.E.O. Chapter DR Hermiston Garden Tour this Saturday.
"It's surprising how people can take bare dirt and turn it into a lush oasis," said Joy Martin, co-chairwoman for the tour.
There are seven gardens on the tour and all but one, owned by Gary and Alleen Lind, are new. The Lind's home, a meticulously maintained landscape full of color at any season, is a repeat from two years ago.
"It's back by popular demand," Martin said.
Highlights of the other gardens include:
-- A row of whimsical bird houses, a sparkling fountain and vine-covered arbors offering a cool place to relax in the garden planned and maintained by Audney Cosand and Dave Hutchinson.
-- Natalie and Greg Lytton also enjoy fanciful garden art such as wagon wheels and rustic picket fences and use them to create nooks among their plants. Don't forget to look under and around corners, you might miss something -- like their two free-ranging, mop-headed chickens.
-- The garden tended by Dave Herrera and Artice Foser is perfumed by more than 100 sweetly scented roses.
w Kelly and Crystal Peterson have gone Western using logs and rock walls in creative ways.
w Phil and Linda Hamm have extraordinary green thumbs and many of their annuals and perennials were started from seed. You'll find their lush oasis at the end of a tree-lined, winding lane.
The final garden on the tour was laid out for entertaining and features a barbecue area, three water features and a gazebo for relaxing.
The owners of each garden will be on site and ready to answer any plant or gardening questions.
"They've all worked and worked on their yards, and if you ask them about anything they've done, it will really make their day," Martin said. "They'll pop their buttons with pride."
Proceeds from the garden tour go to P.E.O. International Projects, which pays for various scholarships for women.