Filling in the Spaces

The small spaces between rocks, and stone pathways are tough area to grow anything except weeds, but here are a few plants that thrive between the cracks and crevices.

Thymus serpyllumCreeping Thyme  (Thymus serpyllum):  Excellent for pathways,  grows flat and tolerates foot traffic.  Likes well-drained soil.  Soft fuzzy Appearance. Herbaceous Perennial, Fragrant, Pink flower, Sun/Part Shade, Deer Proof, Attracts Bees. USDA Hardiness Zones  4 to 9.


Wooly thymeWooly Thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus): Durable plant perfect for filling in between stepping stones, or rock gardens. Soft foliage creates a low, lush mat with pink flowers.  Herbaceous Perennial, Attracts Butterflies & Bees,  Sun/Part Shade,  Drought Tolerant/ Water Wise Groundcover, Deer Proof.  USDA Hardiness Zones  5 to 8.

Blue Star Creeper.jpgBlue Star Creeper (Isotoma fluviatilis):  A wonderful creeping perennial for filling in. Use between stepping stones, under shrubs, in rockery, around ponds.  Tiny green leaves form a dense, low mat ½ inches high.  Produces tiny light blue star-shaped flowers which cover the plant late spring into fall.  Perennial, Evergreen, Full Sun/Part Shade,  Tolerates Foot Traffic, Like Moisture, Deer Proof.  USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 9.


Horticulture Report:Tiarella cordifolia

Plant Name: Tiarella cordifoliatiarella-cordifolia_-foamflower
Common Name:  Foamflower
Plant type: Herbaceous perennial
Height: 1 foot
Spread: 1-2 feet
Bloom Time: May
Flower Color: White or Pink
Exposure: Part Shade to Full shade
Soil Requirements: Rich well-drained soil
Water Needs: Medium, keep moist
Attributes: Showy Flowers, Bronze Fall Foliage, Semi-glossy Heart-shaped Leavesfoam_flower_tiarella_cordifolia, Deer Tolerant
Note: Spreads rapidly by runners
Uses: Naturalizing, mass planting for ground cover, woodland garden,   
Native to: USA: Southeast to the Midwest & Canada: Nova Scotia
USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-9


Local source: Forestfarms – Williams Oregon

Horticulture Report: Wall Germander

Plant Name: Teucrium chamaedryswall-germander
Common Name: Wall Germander

Plant type: Broadleaf Evergreen
Height:   1 foot

Spread: 1-2 feet
Bloom Time:
Flower Color: Rosy lavender to pinkish purple
Exposure: Full Sun
Soil Requirements: Well drained soilwall-germander2

Water Needs:  Dry to Medium
Attributes: Showy Fragrant Flower, Winter Interest, Drought Tolerate, Deer Resistant
Note: Shrubby, woody-base, clump forming, attractive dark shiny leaves.
Uses:  Edging, Mass plantings for groundcover, Old world knots and herbal gardens.
USDA Zone: 5-9

Horticulture Report: Clerodendrum Trichotomum

Plant Name: Clerodendrum TrichotomumClerodendronTrichotomum
Common Name: Harlequin Glorybower
Plant type:  Deciduous Shrub or Small Tree
Height:   10 ft – 20 ft
Bloom Time:  July to September
Flower Color: White, Jasmine-like Tubular Flowers
Exposure:  Full Sun to Part Shade
(hardy but needs some protection)
Soil Requirements: Rich Well-Drained Soil
Water Needs:  Average, do not over water
Attributes:  Unique Leaf Aroma smells like Peanut Butter, Fragrant Tubular Flowers, Showy Iridescent Blue Fruit Surrounded by a Fleshy Red Calyxclerodendrum_trichotomum
Note: Seeds & parts of plant are poisonous if ingested, Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction.
Uses: Hedges, Showy Ornamental,  Late Summer Flowers, Summer Interest
USDA Zone: 7a-9b

Garden of the Month: April 2015

Spring has arrived (though, it feels like it began in January) and gardens all over Ashland are making us take notice. One such garden is found at the home of Beverly and Dick Gergen who moved into their Ashland home August 2003. The Gergens previously lived on six acres above Talent where they created large flower and vegetable gardens. After deciding a home closer to town with a smaller yard made more sense, they moved and set about creating the lovely garden you see.

Originally, the front held a flat, grass covered area struggling with large tree roots, all competing for water and nourishment. This also meant that people walking by looked past the yard and into the large living room windows. Beverly and Dick decided to create something more interesting for the passersby and to enhance their pleasant and friendly neighborhood.

Beginning in 2006 Ian Wessler, a friend, fellow Siskiyou Singers member, and garden designer, was asked to help convert the front into something more beautiful. As you will see, he definitely did! Working with Beverly and her vision, this Asian inspired planting is on its way to being a standout even beyond their immediate neighborhood.

Before planting, a berm of fertile soil, supported by huge granite boulders, was created and became the foundation for the plantings: Japanese maples, rhododendrons, several varieties of daphne (including a lavender color, currently in bloom), weeping hemlock, scarlet oak, fern-leaf false cyprus, dwarf Norway spruce, shore juniper, dogwood, skimmia, viburnum, Japanese snowbelle, enkianthus, helleborus, lamium and others.

Many Asian touches lie within the garden – a slightly tipsy crane greets visitors coming down the path, glass floats live near the water feature, bells hang in the trees, and beautiful pottery and lanterns nest among the shrubs. One clever feature I particularly liked is a “lawn” pathway, much easier to walk on than gravel, and small enough to maintain. Even an old family bear stands back among the trees, keeping watch.
Like so many other gardens in Ashland, this one was planted with deer in mind. Nearly all the plants are considered deer resistant, and except for a few nibbled azaleas, the choices appear to be working.  While the deer can take a lot of fun out of gardening, Beverly says, “the planting, pruning and general garden maintenance are therapeutic. When my garden is happy, I am happy.”

I know I’m happy, just looking at it.
by Kaaren Anderson