Garden of the Month: Sept. 2017

There is a gem of a garden at the Bloomsbury Coffee House, above the Bloomsbury Book Store at 290 E. Main St., or directly off Enders alley between First and Second streets. Bloomsbury’s hidden garden in downtown Ashland is the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for September.01

The surprising tree-shaded terraced garden is designed, planted, and tended by the Coffee House’s owner David Light. The garden has evolved over the 15 years that Dave has owned the café with many shifts and changes to layout and boundaries of the garden.

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There is a watering system in place around the perimeter, but the many containers are watered by hand. Except for an extended two- or three-day cleanup in early Spring and special projects, Dave devotes from four to six hours a month for routine maintenance. Because it is part of the business and therefore carefully monitored, Dave knows he spends an average of $400 per year on the health and improvements to the garden.

 

 

Customer Jacquie Burr enjoys the patio that she calls a _sanctuary._

 

Four years ago, Dave and new co-owner Terry Masters put a plan together to remake the garden terrace. They, along with strong customer support, rebuilt the patio into two terraces with a handsome tiled wall and the tiled medallioned drains. Among the stone and timber retaining walls are architectural concrete blocks with a Wright-like design. Dave and Terry created them by repurposing as a mold the plastic containers in which spinach is delivered to the café.

 

The bamboo border at the south end of the garden is contained by a two foot deep concrete barrier wall on three sides.  The owners are on constant patrol for fugitive shoots on the one remaining side. When Light started the garden in 2002, the decorative water fountain on the west side was one of the first things installed. “Every garden needs its own water feature,” says Dave. The second water feature, in a giant urn, was added this year.

Customers Terri Toben and Mary Sanel conduct some business on the terrace.

The large almond tree near the southwest corner is one of three almond trees plus the sycamore that were originally here. The other two almonds failed and were removed, opening the garden to a little more light, and replaced by a purple locust. The entire garden area is shady much of the year, so they seek out shade-loving plants. Dave enjoys landscaping as a hobby and his flair is evident. Although there is often lots of color in this garden throughout the seasons, Dave says texture is his most important consideration in choosing plants. Among his many admired plants are weigela, hostas, buddleia, Japanese anemone, and many more. The oak-leaf hydrangea, purchased as a gift from customers, is especially treasured. “Being a shadier garden, one can’t choose their favorite plants but learn to the enjoy and work with the shade lovers.”

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Submitted by: Ruth Sloan

With thanks to Louise Shawkat for the suggestion

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Garden of the Month: June 2017

946 B Street

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Lisa and Marc Blackburn purchased the charming house at 946 B Street almost three years ago.  Two years ago, they started re-landscaping with help from Jane Hardgrove and Juan Meraz of Bearclaw Landscape Services.  Now their garden is the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for June 2017.

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Lisa Blackburn’s instructions to designer Hardgrove were that she wanted a whimsical, fairy-tale garden that did not feature the usual deer-resistant plants such as rosemary, heather, and lavender.  The result is a charming, inviting space with lots of texture and color.  A water feature provides pleasant sound.  Marc does almost all the maintenance, averaging ten hours a week in the garden and has started getting creative on his own, adding or replacing plants as necessary.  He uses a deer-repellant on some plants.

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This is a relatively small space shaded in front by ash trees and on the side by a giant cedar.  Hardgrove added Japanese maples for color and texture.  Among the many plants are hellebore, Japanese anemone, brunnera, choisya, bleeding heart, digiplexis, columbine, hostas, peonies, pieris, black-eyed Susan, salvia, Japanese fuchsia, and goldmound spirea.   Golden creeping jenny and stands of ornamental grass (called orange sedge but bronze in color) fill in and provide balance.  Private spaces on the side and in back feature azaleas as well as daphne for fragrance, among many other choices.

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Stroll by 946 B Street for a treat for sight, sound, and aroma. If you come in the morning, you may find Marc at work in the garden.

Article by: Ruth Sloan

Garden of the Month: October 2016

The gardens at 170 Logan Drive are the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for October. Chris Eberhardt and Gene Miller bought the property in 2008, and the gardens then were nice enough. But in 2013, they decided to re-landscape to update and unify the property, and to make it deer resistant. They refer to certain sections of the garden, and the adjacent v-shaped plot at the corner of Logan and Scenic, held by the property owners’ association, as the “deer highway.”  They hired Solid Ground Landscape Inc. to develop a comprehensive plan and provide regular maintenance. Solid Ground included a pathway for the deer to encourage a certain route.

The back is on a steep grade, dotted with tall oaks, from a lovely balustrade terrace, with rhododendrons and daisies providing seasonal color. A charming and private outdoor “room” featuring Japanese maples, was created just outside the hexagonal dining room that was previously exposed to the street. A yew hedge provides much of the privacy. This room has a more formal look than the rest of the garden, with its manicured boxwood border. In addition to specimen plants, the front features drought-tolerant grasses and large boulders, some of which are indigenous to the property. Enormous pots, filled with gorgeous plants, flank the front door.

Photos by Larry Rosengren

Garden of the Month: June 2016

 Geneva Park Townhomes  –  961-999 B Street, Ashland Oregon

Open Garden (for all of Ashland!) 11:00-1:00, Saturday, June 25, 2016

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The Ashland Garden Club’s June 2016 Garden of the Month is the common areas of the Geneva Park Townhomes at 961-999 B Street. Built in stages, with the first sections completed in 2003, the complex encompasses 16 units, including a completely rebuilt farmhouse in front, at 961, and two one-story units immediately behind it that were originally outbuildings for the apple orchard that once stood on the land. Three apple trees that were part of the orchard remain as part of the landscape. This is a flag lot that opens up toward the back to allow a concentration of two-story units around the waterfall and pond.

PIC  (2)The original landscape design was by Karen Marshall of Naturescape Designs in Medford. All of the hardscape, including a lap pool and recirculating waterfall and pond, the mature trees, and long-established plants were part of Marshall’s plan. Among the most eye-catching examples is a beautiful combination of four conifers, near the pond, that emphasizes differences of color and texture.

PIC  (1)Since the original plan, a number of changes have been made, most recently a small project that takes advantage of the City of Ashland’s lawn replacement program. All of the recent changes have resulted in considerable savings in both water usage and labor to replace seasonal plantings. All of this has been accomplished through the guidance of Sherry Zalabak who chairs the homeowners’ association landscape committee and is the volunteer caretaker. A dedicated gardener, Zalabak now devotes an average of ten hours a week to the grounds. She plans carefully, to provide color year-round with perennials rather than annuals, and to enhance the variety of textures. Zalabak transformed one area with the beautiful combination of barberry and blue oat grass. Smoke tree, dogwood, and other dramatic plants have been added for contrast.  As the gardens had been neglected for some years, Zalabak devoted over 1000 hours to their improvement over her first two years in residence, starting in 2012. Promak Landscape provides routine maintenance twice a month.PIC  4

The Geneva Park Homeowners’ Association cordially invites Ashland residents and guests to come see the grounds on Saturday, June 25, from 11:00 to 1:00. The Blades of Grass trio will provide music. Limited parking is available on site.PIC  5