Urban Oases

A group of Portland gardeners open the gates to their Munjoy Hill retreats.

By Rebecca Martin Evarts
Photograph by Ted Axelrod

A stroll around Portland’s Munjoy Hill in summer may give the avid gardener an attack of bad manners. You know peeking is rude, especially where there are fences and hedges expressly designed for privacy, but the urge to see more is almost irresistible. A scarlet tendril of trumpet vine escaping over a fence; violet clematis twined with a pink climbing rose; the cheerful yellow of a blooming heliopsis: If this is what you can see from the sidewalk, what other delights bloom in the backyard gardens of the city’s most densely populated neighborhood? Here is your chance to find out. Come with us as we venture inside four hidden gardens to see the blossoms and meet the Portlanders who nurture them.

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