Garden of the Month: September 2012

As we approach autumn, it is such an unexpected pleasure to see the gorgeous display of blooming plants in Ronald Doyle’s garden at 945 Hillview Drive. In addition to more than 150 roses, currently in bloom are coreopsis, petunias, anemones, Jupiter’s beard, gaura, honeysuckle, ice plant, zonal geraniums, and a stunning display of giant phlox. A well-established crepe myrtle tree is just beginning its annual show. Other trees in the front yard include flowering crabapple, tulip tree, Japanese maple, and a giant cedar that anchors the corner at Ross Lane.

Ron has been gardening here since 1985. Much of the property was just gravel when he moved in. Some of the garden design is by his late wife, Eva-Maria vonChamier. He uses TID water for irrigation. Two dump-truck loads of soil and amendments have been brought in. The garden paths are of hazelnut shells, which he first saw at the Oregon Garden in Silverton. Presumably the sharp edges of the shells discourage snails and slugs, but Ron has good reason to believe otherwise. Well, it looks really good! There is a very large and graceful metal arbor in the back yard that Ron designed, based on something he had seen in France. The magnificent display is contained in the relatively small lot of 90’ x 130’.

The fragrant roses are an amazing array of varieties and colors, including a very large Cecile Bruner that has finished blooming. Other plants that are past the bloom stage now but provide color at other times of year are rhododendron, azaleas, lilac, mock orange, oriental poppy, lilac, iris, daphne, bellflower, clematis, and lilies. Ron has tomato plants in a raised bed, grapes, and a recently installed raspberry patch. Both a Granny Smith apple tree and cherry tree grafted to supply five varieties of the fruit are in the back yard. An especially lovely oregano fills in among flowering plants in the front.

If Ashland Garden Club members would like a guided tour during the first half of September, just ring the Westminster chime doorbell and, if Ron is home, he has graciously offered to show you around.

— Ruth Sloan