Garden Lovers Rejoice!

The popular Through the Garden Gate Annual Tour will be held in Albany this year for the first time since 2019, when Covid-19 restrictions shut down the popular event.

This year’s edition, again sponsored by the OSU Linn County Master Gardener Association, will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 18, and will feature six unique gardens around Albany.

Cost is $15 and tickets may be purchased in advance through the Linn Master Gardner website, Linn Master Gardeners or in person with cash or check, at the Albany Visitors Association (AVA). Tickets will also be available on the day of the tour at the AVA, 110 3rd Ave SE, Albany, Oregon.

“We are so excited to be able to have the tour this year after a 2-year absence,” said Karin Magnuson, a certified Master Gardner. “The gardeners we are working with seem equally excited to be part of our 20th garden tour. They are all diligently preparing their gardens to be in top shape for the tour. They will all be available to greet our guests and answer their questions.”

 Magnuson said there will be six gardens on tour this year, with a nice variety of sizes and styles to explore, including: a large award-winning rose garden with landscape surprises; a developing Asian garden with koi ponds; some very inviting side and backyard gardens; beautifully planted garden rooms; collections of whimsical garden art, and much more.

Proceeds from the tour go toward community outreach and researched-based education and support to local gardeners, including education about pollinators.

Our goal is to give people a variety of gardens to visit. Some gardens are small, others are sprawling, some feature backyard vegetable and fruit production, while still others focus on ornamental garden beds. We look for gardens that are a pleasure to visit and that are inspirational for the home gardener. We will have gardening information at some of the stops, and Master Gardener volunteers are available at each garden to answer questions, including manning a Master Gardener Help Desk where they receive and answer hundreds of questions about sustainable gardening, pest and disease management and plant ID. Part of the education process includes the Demonstration Garden at the Linn County Expo Center, and manning an information booth and holding clinics at the Albany Famers’ Market.

The Master Gardeners ask that visitors adhere to social distancing practices when not with family groups. Masks, while not required, are always welcome.

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