Image: ANLD

Around solstice each year, the Association of Northwest Landscape Designers (ANLD) organizes a garden tour to showcase some of their members' best designs of the past year. For 2013, there are seven gardens, all on Portland's west side. As always, the tour is self-guided (you receive a map and directions upon registering) and you toodle from one garden to another, admiring the layout, materials and plants and gathering ideas of your own to take home.

These tours also provide a superb opportunity to talk with the designers and homeowners about the gardens, plant choices and conditions, as well as hardscape materials and art work. Learn about the decision-making process designers go through and the solutions they adopt for problems both common and unusual. Poke around the ANLD website a bit for answers to such common questions as why hire a landscape designer and to access a list of ANLD member designers.

This year’s gardens range from modern to naturalistic, with a nod to Mediterranean and tropical plant aesthetics. Low-maintenance gardens are increasingly popular, and there are also some creative outdoor entertaining spaces. Needless to say, there are edible gardens and gardens that integrate chickens. This is Portland, after all!

If you're considering hiring a designer for your own garden, seek out some of the designers and homeowners and talk with them about how the process works.

WHAT: 9th Annual Designers Garden Tour
WHEN: Saturday June 22, 2013 from 10 am to 4 pm
WHERE: A self-guided tour of seven of Portland's west side gardens
COST:  $20 per person for seven gardens. Purchase tickets. Proceeds from the sale of the tickets help fund scholarships for landscape design students at PCC and CCC.

Designers featured this year:

Vern Nelson, The Hungry Gardener; Laura Crockett, Garden Diva Designs; Lori Scott, Lori Scott Landscape Design; John Gawlista and Izzy Baptista, Lapiz Lazuli Tile and Garden Design; Debbie Brooks, Creative Garden Spaces; Adriana Berry, Plant Passion Design; and Alyse Lansing, Joy Creek Nursery.

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