15th Annual ANLD Designers Garden Tour

Self-Tour Seven Glorious Gardens on Portland’s East Side

Plan-it Earth Design is pleased to be a featured designer at one of Portland’s premier garden events.  Our garden is located in the Concordia neighborhood near Fernhill Park in NE Portland.

Modern Entry Garden

Christian and Sara asked for a landscape to match their vision for a colorful, modern garden suited to their home and family centric lifestyle.  The contemporary mid-century house design influenced the choice of rectangular, angled and straight lines for the landscape’s layout.  The homeowners had already designed and installed a fabulous new entry featuring steel planters and wide, welcoming steps that flow effortlessly from the driveway.  Large, staggered concrete slabs were then poured in place through the lawn as an alternate route to the entry from the sidewalk.

colorful parkway plants

The corner lot provided a large public area for play. Existing lawn was traded out for lower water RTF sod, suitable for heavy kid use.  We wanted to allow neighborhood friends to come and go easily, so angled beds were created in the oversized parking strip to keep kids away from the street and the trees, directing them instead to the open play areas while providing a continuity of color with the foundation plantings of the home.  The mature Birch Tree was surrounded by medium sized shrubs to provide color, texture and visual separation from the busy corner while fine gravel provides a clean pathway to the back gate.

Family Garden under Walnut Tree

The contemporary fence and 2 backyard decks were already in place, so the design challenge was to create circulation and plantings around the mature Walnut Tree and the stylish modern playhouse/sandbox under construction.  Plants were chosen based upon their ability to thrive in the presence of walnut toxicity in the soil. Arborscape Tree Care was tasked with treating the Walnut to produce fewer nuts and therefore reduce head injuries in the late summer as they ripen over the dining area, so we could keep the tree in place. Privacy was a big consideration and strategic plant placement was required to block views directly into the home.

Contemporary Playhouse

The kids and their friends love the zip line that runs from the playhouse along the fence line on the narrow side of the property to the work area behind the garage. Wood chips provide the surface for all backyard play areas.  Most downspouts are disconnected and directed into new rain gardens around the property to control and purify stormwater.  A broad crowned and thornless golden honey locust was planted to eventually soften the view of the tall neighboring building beyond.

Usable Garden Spaces


The enviable finished garage space and shop has a second overhead door which opens onto the backyard gravel work area, providing nice air flow and circulation through the home.

The design of Christian & Sara’s garden was a collaboration between Amy Whitworth of Plan-it Earth Design  and Lora Price of Design with Nature 

The installation and execution of this fine garden is attributed to Michael LaCasa of Apogee Landscapes

Tickets are available ONLINE or at these fine garden centers: Portland Nursery, Al’s Garden Center (Sherwood), Dennis’ 7 Dees, Garden Fever and Cornell Farm

For last minute or day of tour tickets and for photos and stories about this and the other gardens, click here

Colorful Plantings

Self-Tour; Start at any of the seven gardens.

Map and directions included with ticket.  The tour is also offered by Bike with special directions.

Tickets are $25 each

Proceeds benefit ANLD scholarships for landscape design students at local community colleges.



The Association of Northwest Landscape Designers is a non-profit organization for designers and allied professionals in Oregon and SW Washington since 1985.



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Date(s) - Jun 20, 2020
10:00 am - 4:00 pm