Garden of the Month: August 2017

The garden that Jacob Gougé has created around the home he shares with his wife and LR 5-17daughter at 240 N. First St. reflects both his creativity and his respect for living things.  It is the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for August.  Over the 17 years they have lived there, Gougé has salvaged and bartered the materials to create terracing in the back, define garden beds, build a fire pit, display interesting artifacts, and more on this small lot.   It was bare dirt when they moved in.  He is very resourceful.

But Jacob has a generous spirit as well that prompts him to offer lilacs to passersby, share cuttings of his many succulents with those who ask, and invite admiring strangers inside the gate to see the whole garden.

IMG_2993Along with two smaller lilacs elsewhere in front, there is a huge lilac bush in the northwest corner of the fenced area.  Many of the branches of this lilac are five or more inches in diameter and have an unusual shredded bark.  This lilac bush is strong enough to support one end of two hammocks!

There are extraordinary ceramic pieces throughout the property, most of them created by Gougé.  He also pursues all manner of artistic expression via painting, sewing, beading,and other media. In addition, Jacob makes interesting planters for succulents out of stones or gnarled wood in which he drills holes to plant materials and for drainage.

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Food crops are concentrated in the back yard, that Jacob calls his “in town farm.”  This garden is 100% organic.  He grows lettuce all year, protecting the yield from the blazing sun at this time of year with a colorful umbrella.  He also grows asparagus, squash, carrots, snap peas, herbs of many varieties, and much more, often in recycled containers. He starts most plants from seeds in a hot box.  The family has three healthy chickens that provide eggs as well as droppings for compost.IMG_3001FullSizeRender 3

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Home Remedy

Aphid Control

Pour 2 tablespoons liquid dish soap into 1 gallon water. Stir the dish soap into the water and transfer the contents into a plastic spray bottle.

Spray the affected plant’s leaves on both sides with the soapy mixture. Pay attention to coat the underside of the leaves with the mixture, as this is where you’ll find the highest concentration of aphids.

Spray the soapy mixture directly onto any aphids you notice falling from the leaves. The aphids are small, and it’s necessary to shoot them with the soapy water to kill the unwanted pests.

Rinse away the soapy residue after one to two hours. Allowing the soap to remain on the leaves for longer than a few hours can cause damage and burning. Use a garden hose or spray bottle filled with plain water to remove the residue.

Reapply the mixture every few days, or as necessary, to keep the aphid infestation under control.

Tip:  Add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil to the mixture to increase the mixture’s density and make it stickier, helping it attach to and kill the aphids more effectively.

Warning: Test the soapy mixture on a small leaf before a larger application. If the plant shows sign of wilting or damage, don’t use this mixture.

Reprinted from SFgate online:   http://www.sfgate.com/homeandgarden

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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USDA Planting Zones

To success in gardening, it’s important to know YOUR garden’s  USDA planting zone.
Every region has micro-climates, so they have different zones, for example:

Medford, Oregon is USDA Zone 8a, 10°F to 15°F
Ashland, Oregon is USDA Zone 7b, 5°F to 10°F

You can check your area with this interactive map, click on your city and the zone pops up.

http://www.plantmaps.com/interactive-oregon-usda-plant-zone-hardiness-map.php

Always check USDA Zone on plants at the nursery, before you buy.