What a team!!!!!——- Jeanne Arago
Photos by: Carlotta Lucas
870 Cambridge Street: If you read the letters to the editor carefully, or are involved with Climate Energy Action Plan Ad Hoc Committee or Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, you know that Ashland resident Louise Shawkat is very concerned with environmental matters and very careful about how she lives on the earth to minimize impact. Her garden, at 870 Cambridge St. in the Quiet Village neighborhood, reflects her concerns. With a wonderful mixture of food crops and ornamentals, it is a practical yet pleasing setting. She is a Master Recycler as well as a Master Gardener. Louise’s garden has also been designated an official Pollinator Garden by Bee City USA of Ashland.
Ken Cairn Landscape Architecture developed the original plans six years ago, and the hardscape and many of the front plantings are still the same, but Louise has taken pleasure in adding or replacing plants as she wishes in the intervening years. She averages about an hour a day maintaining and improving the garden. The airy wood and metal screens in the front yard are based on the design of stained glass windows in her previous home.
The quarter-acre property, which Louise purchased in 2010, backs up to a bioswale that serves the Billings Ranch subdivision, with agricultural land beyond that. So her view out the back is pastoral. The front is a rain garden. The back yard has a mixture of curving planting areas and geometric raised beds.
There are no lawns that require excessive water here. The tall grasses (Shenandoah switch grass and tufted hair grass) in the front turn a beautiful golden color in the Fall. Creeping bramble adds an interesting low texture. Trees on the property include a large cedar in front and a long-established liquidambar in back. Red-twig and yellow-twig dogwoods were added more recently. Among the vegetables are tomatoes and cucumbers, with asparagus finally flourishing this year, as well as hyacinth beans, with their pretty purple blossoms. Among the many flowers are hellebore, asters, iris, and giant allium. A passionflower vine is thriving. Sunflowers abound.
This garden cannot be Garden of the Month because Louise is an active member of the Ashland Garden Club, which sponsors that honor. The Club selects Gardens of the Month, usually from April through September. Nominations are gratefully received at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Ruth Sloan
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: 448 Clinton Street
Carolyn and Donald Hunsaker purchased their house at 448 Clinton Street five years ago and immediately set about reworking the small garden spaces. Two years ago, they were among the first to take advantage of the City of Ashland’s lawn replacement program. Throughout the process of developing the wonderful garden that they have today, they have had assistance from Regenesis Ecological Design of Ashland.
Most recently theirs was designated an official Pollinator Garden by Bee City USA of Ashland, and they have a pretty, new sign to prove it. The Hunsakers commissioned Nick David of Jefferson Woodwright to make a very nice frame for the sign, to coordinate with the craftsman architecture of their home. They have colorful Monarch caterpillars in residence, happily munching on various kinds of milkweed that they introduced to a side yard. Carolyn and Don, together, spend about five hours a week maintaining this beautiful garden.
This is a modest-size garden, with a front of 800 square feet, side yards of about 250 square feet each, and natural areas off the alley adding about 200 square feet more, but they have capitalized on the efficient use of space, with plants on trellises for height that also provide privacy. On one side, the garden opens out to reveal an inviting patio, just off the kitchen, complete with a refreshing water feature. On the other side, outdoor rooms were created with arbors and a variety of vines, including star jasmine and honeysuckle. On this side, a garden shed has a living roof, comprised of sedum, small primroses, bitterroot, and other small plants. A tiny solar panel provides power for the light inside the shed.
In front, the sword ferns, azaleas, and rhododendrons close to the front porch plus a pink dogwood on the left are pretty much all that remains of the landscape as it existed when they bought the place. They have added a paperbark maple as well as heathers, yarrow, blue fescue, and other low-growing plants to replace the front lawn. Creeping thyme fills in the between the stepping-stones. Kinnikinnick fills the parking strip, since parking is not permitted on their side of the street. All the low plants in front are deer resistant.
Near the patio in back, there is a concrete raised bed that has primarily edible plants such as cucumber, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers, with mint, basil, rosemary, and marigolds to discourage unwelcome creatures. Larger, non-edible plants in this area include a Japanese maple, buddleja, anemone, Sochi Tea camellia, and euphorbia.
Throughout the garden, there are many roses, mostly climbers, including Portlandia, Westerland, Polka, Gold Badge, Night Light, Golden Gate, Abraham Darby, Joseph’s Coat, and Royal Pageant (Carolyn’s favorite).
This is a delightful garden full of pleasant surprises.