On the south slope of Astoria, gardener Martin Buel has been procuring the last details of his botanical masterpiece in preparation for the locally famed Lower Columbia Preservation Society’s 12th Annual Garden Tour.
Buel, a retired landscape architect, who designed other people’s gardens for a living in Florida, upon moving to Astoria, procured a small family home with a hilly back lot. This for Buel, an opportunity to create a long-desired collector’s garden. While one could describe Buel’s work as a breathtaking masterpiece, because upon first descent it does take the breath away, it is a breath of discovery.
The 2/3 sloped acre is a literal maze of winding pathways, leading the stroller passed a fecund greenhouse of tropical’s, through a deep grove of mystic cedar trees, tucked-away sitting benches, yarded clearings, and montage after montage after montage of tubers, bulbs, perennials, and edibles (a large amount hardy orchids). Buel has planted and nurtured over 200 plant varieties. It seems you could probably spend hours tripping along and enjoying each wild clumped surprise.
Buel describes his work as “a natural cottage garden with a Japanese flair, built for contemplation rather than ‘Butchart’ pizzazz. “ Different from a Japanese garden though, Buel has taken care to emphasize the luscious floral pathways, foregoing Japanese accoutrement, such as lanterns and furniture, opting for the beauty and artistry of pure botanical.
“It’s a collection blended into artistic sense based on texture, form, fragrance and color,” says Buel, and he adds, “And no garden should be without edibles.”
Broccolli, Brussels sprouts, squash and the like are planted amongst the decoratives, in places Buel thinks (knows) they will grow. Almost exclusively organic, Buel’s goal is to have something blooming 12 months of the year. He notes that his garden is based on influences rather than any specific style, and credits the English responsible for the decorative hybrid, of which he finds the Astoria climate to be of parallel success.
Buel, who is partially-sighted, is an instinctive gardener, who also puts an incredible amount of labor to his creation, then producing something magnificent, magical, and yet intentionally peaceful.
There are many gardens to see on this wonderful annual tour. And gardeners are known too, to have a competitive spirit. Count on having lots of surprises.
Lower Columbia Preservation Society’s 12th Annual Garden Tour
Lower Columbia Preservation Society (LCPS) has scheduled its 12th Annual Garden Tour for Saturday, July 14th, from 10am until 3pm. On the day of the tour, the tickets may be purchased at 17th Street and Grand Avenue in Astoria from 9:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Admission is $1 per person or $10 for LCPS members.
Tour-goers will delight in six residential gardens, all bursting with color, unique design, unusual plantings, and interesting hardscape. The owners will share their challenges, successes, favorites, even their failures and disasters. The tour will be held rain or shine.
Raffle prizes for garden-themed items, dinners at local restaurants, and season tickets to next year’s Music Festival will be sold for $1.00 each or 15 for $10.00. Following the garden tour a reception of beverages and refreshments will be served at the last garden on the tour where the winners of the raffle prizes will be announced. Winners are not required to be in attendance.
Proceeds from the garden tour will be used to promote the organization’s mission and its educational programs. For more information about the garden tour, call 503-325-3245.
Individuals who join the Lower Columbia Preservation Society on the day of the tour will receive the LCPS membership tour rate of $10. Membership in the organization is $15 per year per person or $25 per household, and includes free or discounted lectures and workshops, the newsletter “Restoria”, emails notices of preservation related news and events.
Music in The Gardens • 6th Annual Long Beach Peninsula Garden Tour
The 6th annual GARDEN TOUR on the Long Beach Peninsula, titled “Music in the Gardens” will feature 7 private gardens this year, and a wonderful variety of live music, delectable food, and beverages. Included for the first time is the Leadbetter Farm, known for its lighthouse structure at the northern most end of the Peninsula. These combined offerings will encourage you to linger, experience and enjoy the Peninsula’s beautiful outdoor rooms. And in addition, meet the gardeners who have mastered the art of successful gardening on the coast.
Saturday July 21st, from 10am to 4pm Tickets, at $15 will be available for purchase starting one week before the tour at The English Garden in Seaview, The Basket Case Greenhouse in Long Beach and Adelaide’s Books & Coffee in Ocean Park. Proceeds benefit the Water Music Festival Society, supporting its music events throughout the year.
“The Water Music Festival Society, a non-profit organization, provides high-quality, affordable music programs for residents and visitors in southwest Washington State. WMF expands cultural opportunities, increases awareness of diverse types of music, and promotes educational outreach.” www.watermusicfestival.com. Garden Tour Chair-Nancy Allen 360 642-2507.
6th Annual Spade and Wade Garden Tour
The Tillamook County Master Gardener Association will hold its sixth annual Spade and Wade Garden Tour on Saturday, July 21, from Noon to 5:00. The six gardens, located mainly in Tillamook, will include such features as unique garden design, wide plant variety, topiary, vegetables, use of native plants, original combinations of color and texture, and beautiful garden settings. Visitors will have the opportunity to see which plants grow and thrive in our various microclimates and how gardeners deal with the challenges of deer, elk, salt and wind. The tour is self-guided, and gardens may be visited in any order. Also included in the tour is TCMGA’s own Learning Garden where refreshments will be served.
Proceeds from the garden tour will support college scholarships for deserving county residents, the Learning Garden at the county fairgrounds, and gardening education throughout Tillamook County.
Passports for entry into the gardens will cost $15 and may be purchased at the OSU Extension office in Tillamook, or the Pioneer Museum. Passports will contain garden descriptions and complete driving directions. TCMGA is a non-profit making organization. For more information, call 503-842-3433 or 503-355-2655.