BACKYARD BEAUTIES

A double horseshoe boxwood hedge is just one of the many interesting spots to choose from in the Ego garden, the first stop on the PEO Garden Tour.

From roses, roses, roses to water features, from containers to eclectic stone sculptures, this year's PEO Garden Tour has something for everyone.

The PEO Garden Tour, which takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., takes its visitors to eight very distinctive gardens in Hermiston, Echo and Stanfield. The tour admission is $9 and are available at the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce, Cottage Flowers in Hermiston and Seasons Gift and Garden House in Pendleton. The tour may be taken in any order, with tea and cookies served at garden number four in Stanfield. A tour book takes visitors on their magical garden tour.

? Rose Extravaganza — Gloria and Dave Ego

From the espalied Oriental pear growing over the front of the house to the Virginia creeper which flows over two arbors, to the water features and abundance of flowers, the Ego garden is a delight for all the senses.

The garden has evolved over the past 18 years, filled with over 700 roses, nearly 1,000 annuals, 11 water features, archways and over 20 separate seating areas. Meandering paths take visitors to hidden garden spots. Every view of the garden is a wonder.

? Dreamscape — Thelma and Bill Reynolds

The Reynolds garden is centered around a beautiful waterfall with koi and goldfish swimming in the base pool. Water lilies and other water plants fill the pool while the three Reynolds' dogs take a drink on hot summer days.

Designed by McLaughlin Landscaping of Pendleton, the backyard is divided into two parts by large, offset, curving peninsulas planted with juniper, shrubs and a tri-color beech. A black and white pig statue sits near the edge of the patio, while a trio of verdigris geese appears to be waddling out of the shrubs.

The front yard is a jumble of bulbs, perennials, annuals and wildflowers — a riot of color throughout the season.

? Hidden Delight — Steve and Joni Anderson

Behind this little house in Hermiston lies a delightful garden filled with perennial borders, a raised bed vegetable garden, and a pergola and sand are for the kids. A small fountain greets visitors as they wind their way into the backyard. A koi pond at the base of a small waterfall creates the perfect relaxing atmosphere in this garden.

? Antique Sampler — David Stephens, The Elephant's Trunk

A garden filled with wildflowers, perennials and roses, The Elephant's Trunk garden highlights use and antique garden treasures. Surprises await visitors are they take the grand tour around this sweet garden spot. Tea and cookies will be served, so pull up a chair and enjoy the sights and smells of this unique garden spot.

? Family Affair — Carol and Gary Marcum

When Gary and Carol Marcum bought their house in Echo, there wasn't much there. Over the past eight years, the family has designed a wonderful spot for family gatherings and just plain hanging out in their yard overlooking the Echo hills. Terraced with annuals, perennials and shrubs, a cascading waterfall meets at the bottom, creating a lovely pool for kids to splash their feet in.

A horseshoe alley and fire pit are just right for those family gatherings the Marcums enjoy. The shop and utility area are masked by shrubs and a butterfly/bird garden, filled with plants and flowers guaranteed to bring out even the shyest of butterflies and birds.

? Artist's Creation — Weeb and Colleen Williams

Inspired by Colleen's artist talent, the Williams garden is filled with purple, blues, blue-toned pinks and reds. No yellow or orange allowed in this garden!

Animal sculptures made from rocks are dotted amongst the landscape. A Scotty dog made of stones greets visitors to one end of the garden, while a large stone cat sits at the other end. An archway filled with pink climbing roses beckons visitors to sit a spell in the bench set underneath it. From there, visitors can see into the backyard, which slopes down into a garden filled with poppies and red hot poker plants. A dry creek bed appears to flow from the water fountain in the front yard, taking visitors down to the vegetable garden.

? Charming Vignettes - Jeff and Cindy Spike

Cindy Spike has planted a garden which incorporates her love of creating scenes in her garden. Nearly every section of the three quarter of an acre lot has a water feature of some kind; whether it is a bubbler with a rainbow of colored glass bubbling up from the pool below or a bird bath, it is sure to delight anyone who loves the water.

A large rose garden dominates the back, just hiding the swimming pool behind it. Using materials from the mundane to the whimsical, Cindy has created a unique spot in which people can relax and take in the view. A Master Gardener presentation can be found at this garden.

? Echo B&B — Debbie Learman

When Debbie Learman turned her 1910 house into a B & B three years ago, she redid the yard surrounding the house, creating water gardens complete with fish. The water features almost completely surround her property, with a hummingbird and hosta garden, heritage roses and a variety of flowering bulbs. A gravel path takes visitors to each little garden; which also includes a cacti garden with a bubbler fountain. Each stop in her garden is a little piece of paradise.

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