Over hill and dale: Tour offers personal touch, chance to meet the gardeners

May 2018 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community, Garden
Silverton Garden Tour - Kathy Hunter and Steve Kuhn (4)

Steve Kuhn and Kathy Hunter enjoy the serenity of Kuhn’s creekside garden, part of this year’s Silverton Garden Tour. The self-guided tour admits visitors into eight private gardens in the Silverton area. Brenna Wiegand

By Brenna Wiegand

Silverton Together partners with Silverton Garden Club in hosting the fourth annual Silverton Garden Tour, a self-guided journey through eight diverse gardens scattered throughout the Silverton area. Several businesses and other organizations are providing help through donations, door prizes and volunteering.

“We’re very excited with the quality and variety of the gardens,” Silverton Together board member Steve Kuhn said. “You’ll see everything from a 45-acre vineyard overlooking the Abiqua Basin to a standard city lot in a new subdivision. We have a lot of garden artwork; creek frontage; different styles and casual to very formal gardens.”

Kuhn said a distinction of Silverton’s event versus those in the Portland area is having all the garden owners on site and available to discuss plants, gardening and the obstacles they’ve overcome in the formation of their own landscape.

“It provides the opportunity to interact with people who are in love with gardening and have fulfilled their own vision in the garden they have,” Kuhn said.

“It’s got a wonderful community feeling and is very inspiring,” Silverton Garden Club President Kathy Hunter said. “The tour helps people get ideas for certain plants; ideas on design and even shows you some parts of Silverton with lovely homes and gardens that you may not yet know about.”

Hunter’s garden is part of the tour and the site of a light lunch put on by Silverton Senior Center. Living near the hospital, she and husband Ray get to share their garden with passersby on a regular basis.

“We like to sit on the front porch later in the day and people will come by and comment on our garden,” she said. “It’s been rewarding living where we do and being able to share what we’ve done with our yard.”

Among the gardens visitors will see many rare specimens including a 100-year-old Japanese maple, lesser known perennials and ways of incorporating art and individuality into a garden.

“Most of our gardens have been owned by these folks for many years and I think their personality becomes reflected in the style and layout of the garden,” Kuhn said.Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 2.02.41 PM

Prior to retirement Kuhn found gardening a good way to relax after a stressful day of serving kids with high mental health needs.

“Usually people leave service and don’t really know how things turn out but with your garden you can see the result of your work immediately,” he said.

Kuhn helped found Silverton Together 25 years ago. Its primary aim is to strengthen and support families through providing them the tools, skills and support to successfully raise their kids.

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