The Whiteaker is full of green thumbs.
The neighborhood is one of the most eccentric districts in Eugene with its colorfully painted houses, public gardens, and distinctive murals seeping through the walls of local businesses and restaurants. KLCC Public Radio chose this historic neighborhood to host their annual KLCC in Bloom Garden Tour. The all day event entitled “Walkin’ the Whit,” showcased some of the most beautiful gardens in the city. The longstanding fundraiser, now in it’s seventeenth year, helps to raise money for the local public radio station.
Last Sunday, June 26th from 9am-5pm, Oregonians strolled through ten different residential gardens, five city gardens, a preschool garden, and a food and beer garden. Each homeowner had the chance to show off their unique garden and personal aesthetic. Barb Barnard, owner of garden stop number one on the tour had this to say about the event, “We got a lot of compliments and it was nice to have everyone see what we have been working on for the last twelve years. It was fun because we got to talk to a lot of people and everyone had different perspectives.” Musicians Laura Kemp, Jeremy Wegner, and the band The Stagger & Sway provided background music on the deck, one of Barnard’s favorite backyard spots.
Over at stop number three, Mayor Kitty Piercy was busy introducing residents to her enormous English Beech. The tree, shading practically her entire backyard acted as a natural air conditioner, cooling down visitors passing through. Having the Mayor’s house as part of the stop helped bring steady traffic to this year’s event.
The fundraiser also helped promote local businesses including Eugene Wellness Center and Ninkasi Brewery Company. Ninkasi was happy to give $1 off a pint of beer to those who attended the tour. Food carts also lined the neighborhood blocks where people could try a “Saturday Morning” ice cream cone from Red Wagon Creamery and jalapeno hush puppies from Delacata.
The event allowed Whiteaker residents to open up their doors while supporting public radio and local businesses. With everything from Weeping Katsura’s and rosebushes to yurts and hammocks, the KLCC in Bloom Garden Tour had something for everyone to enjoy. Eugenians will have to wait until next year to find out which neighborhood will host the KLCC in Bloom Garden Tour.