Garden of the Month: May 2018

186 Ohio Street –  It’s such a pleasant surprise to discover the beautiful garden at 186 Ohio Street.  Although the house is on a flag lot, much of the garden is visible from the street or sidewalk.  Stacy and Eric Poole own the property and have lived here with their two daughters Allie and Aimee, a dog, cat, and three chickens since 2001.  It’s easy to find the property because of two large basalt pillars installed near the sidewalk by their friend, the stone sculptor Jesse Biesanz.IMG_1

In fact, the Pooles have many talented friends who have added to the charming ambience of the property.  Metal sculptor Cheryl Garcia is a friend who helped Stacy with the original garden design and installation.  There are numerous Garcia sculptural pieces throughout.  Landscape designer and friend Jane Hardgrove has helped transform areas of the garden with her vision.IMG_2

Stacy averages two to five hours per week working in the garden but wishes she could spend more time.  Vidal Cervantes has been helping with weeding and cleanup.  Allie and Aimee enjoy spending time in the garden and help their mother realize changes.IMG_3

The garden has evolved as the children are growing up.  The current trampoline replaced a swing set, and is likely to be replaced before long with a fire pit and seating area.  Other areas of the landscape have been reworked in phases.IMG_4

Among Stacy’s favorite plants are the sunflowers of summer and Japanese maples.  There are raised beds for vegetables, including lettuces, tomatoes, and basil, and various kinds of berries abound.  Tiny (less than two inches high) cyclamen catch the eye in March.  Pleasant surprises are everywhere at all times of year.IMG_5

Article by Ruth Sloan
Photos by Larry Rosengren

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Local Garden Tour: May 19, 2018

soroptimist logoSave the Date!
Saturday, May 19, 2018
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
16th Annual Garden Tour
View six beautiful, unique gardens in the
Jacksonville/Central Point area – become inspired!

Tickets $20.00

Purchase tickets at the following locations from

April 16th – May 18th

Judy’s Central Point Florist
337 East Pine, Central Point

Southern Oregon Nursery
2922 S. Pacific Highway, Medford

Blue Door Garden Store
130 W. California Street, Jacksonville

Penny & Lulu Studio Florist
18 Stewart Avenue, Medford

Eufloria Flowers
449 E Main St, Ashland

On the day of the tour, tickets may be purchased only at:

The Schoolhaus Brewhaus
525 Bigham Knoll Dr, Jacksonville

All proceeds support community service projects of SI North Valley

Questions: email: gardentoursinv@gmail.com

April Gardening Tasks

April 14th is National Garden Day!

  • Use a soil thermometer to help you know when to plant vegetables. Some cool Pansy_Redseason crops (onions, kale, lettuce, and spinach) can be planted when the soil is consistently at or above 40°F.
  • Spread compost over garden and landscape areas.
  • Prune gooseberries and currants; fertilize with manure or a complete fertilizer.
  • Fertilize evergreen shrubs and trees, only if needed. If established and healthy, their nutrient needs should be minimal.
  • If needed, fertilize rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas with acid-type fertilizer. If established and healthy, their nutrient needs should be minimal.
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs after blossoms fade. Early-spring bloomers, such as lilac, forsythia, and rhododendron, bear flowers on wood formed the previous year. The best time to prune them is late spring — immediately after they finish blooming. If pruned later in the growing season or during winter, the flower buds will be removed and spring bloom will be decreased.
  • Fertilize cane berries (broadcast or band a complete fertilizer or manure).
  • Remove spent flowers of large-flowered bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, as soon as they fade. This  channels the plants’ energy into forming large bulbs and offsets rather than into setting seeds. Allow foliage of spring-flowering bulbs to brown and die down before removing.  Do not remove bulb foliage while it is green; the green leaves nourish the bulb and next year’s flower buds, which form during summer. Cut or pull off leaves only after they yellow. Do not braid leaves to get them out of the way. Braiding reduces the amount of sunlight the leaves get and hinders growth.  Allow smaller bulbs (like: muscari and puschkinia) to set seed, so they self-sow and form ever-larger drifts.
  • Cut back ornamental grasses to a few inches above the ground, in early spring.
  • Prune and shape or thin spring-blooming shrubs and trees after blossoms fade.
  • Plant gladiolus and hardy transplants of alyssum, phlox, and marigolds, if weather and soil conditions permit.
  • Fertilize Lawns. Apply 1-pound nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Reduce risks of run-off into local waterways by not fertilizing just prior to rain. Also do not over-irrigate and cause water runs off of lawn and onto sidewalk or street.
  • April is a good time to dethatch and renovate lawns. If moss was a problem, scratch surface prior to seeding with perennial ryegrass.
  • If necessary, spray apples and pears when buds appear for scab. And spray stone fruits, such as cherries, plums, peaches, and apricots for brown rot blossom blight.
  • Plant balled-and-burlapped, container, and bare-root fruit trees.
  • Plant container and bare-root roses.
  • Prepare garden soil for spring planting. Incorporate generous amounts of organic materials and other amendments.
  • Divide and replant spring-blooming perennials after bloom.
  • Plant fall-blooming bulbs.

Article by:
Terra Gardens Nursery & Bark
Salem, OR

Garden of the Month: May 2017

Tika Squires says that “the garden is my child,” meaning that she had to persuade her husband to have professionals design and maintain it. The beautiful garden she shares with husband Chuck at 195 Van Ness St. is the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for May. Tika says she is “a gardener in my imagination.” She clearly has a flair and style that is reflected in the house and garden.Front_1

The Squires purchased the property in 1999. The previous owner had developed a lovely garden, too, but it was labor-intensive. As part of the award-winning process of rebuilding the garage (with living-space over it) five years ago, they had Kerry KenCairn redesign the surrounding hardscape and garden to the left of the driveway. Installation, including the spectacular stone walls, was done by Solid Ground Landscape. Later, Solid Ground replanted the parking strip with drought-tolerant vegetation, adding to the double-blooming non-bearing cherry trees planted by the previous owner; rebuilt the front stairs and terrace; and changed the plantings in front of those stairs and terrace. Ultimately, Solid Ground also installed a graceful patio in back, edged by yews on one side and English laurel on the other to create a private retreat. The Squires always specified low-maintenance gardens and Tika says that the “only fussing we do in the garden is the fussing we choose to do.”

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In front on the left, an almond tree was spared and a fig tree has been allowed to sprout. On the south side of the garage, an espaliered apple tree thrives. A heritage butterfly bush graces the south side of the house.

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Among other notable plants on the property include Japanese maple, magnolia, red oak, euphorbia, camellia, flowering plum, barberry, iris, rosemary, lilac, lily of the valley, tulips, clematis, and honeysuckle. The overall effect is very inviting.

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Pollinator Garden

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.p1_870-cambridge-street

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.p2_870-cambridge-street

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.p3_870-cambridge-street

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.p4_870-cambridge-street

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 aogardenclub@gmail.comp5_870-cambridge-street

By: Ruth Sloan