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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Garden of the Month: April 2018

842 Faith Avenue –  There are always colorful displays in both front and back gardens of Faye Garland’s home at 842 Faith Avenue. Often plants are flowering, but even on those rare occasions when nothing is in bloom, cheerful objects dot the landscape. The garden was designed and installed three-and-a-half years ago by landscape designer Kelly Eaton of Ashland.  Kelly started with a blank slate to create this intriguing garden.IMG_3435

The front is primarily a xeriscape, requiring very little irrigation. The entire property is watered by a drip irrigation system. Faye has proclaimed a narrow side yard, protected by a fence and the south side of the house, a “micro-climate” where moisture- and heat-loving plants such as coral bells and hellebores thrive. A delightful lawn-like area near the gazebo in back is primarily comprised of English daisies, yarrow, and white clover. It requires little mowing and very little water and looks perfectly charming. It’s easy for people and pets to walk on too.IMG_3402

After a few initial plantings failed to thrive in the back, revealing an underground stream running through, they were replaced by arctic blue willows that flourish with the extra moisture. A star magnolia dominates the landscape at this time of year. Also in back are red Twigg dogwoods and a shore pine that grows very fast.IMG_3406

A witch hazel anchors the right side of the front yard. Other favorite plants include manzanita that is blooming this month, gaura and a non-invasive butterfly bush to bloom in the coming months. Bees love this garden.IMG_3417

Faye spends about three hours a week maintaining her garden and enjoys every minute of it. She says she likes to “putter,” moving the colorful objets around to constantly change the view. Her late husband, after observing the stress relief gardening brings her, declared that working in the yard was the “cheapest therapy ever!”IMG_3417

Submitted by:
Ruth Sloan
AGC Garden-of-the-Month Chairperson

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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Garden of the Month: July 2017

59 N. Wightman
Looking at the garden at 59 N. Wightman, you would think a person who loves color and possibly an artist lives there. You would be correct on both fronts. Patti Browning has been living and gardening here since July of 2008. Hers is the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for July 2017. She has changed more than 75% of the garden in those nine years. The biggest trees, obviously, and the wisteria are in their original locations. Browning removed lawns front and back to achieve more planting area for blooming plants. Patti loves to design gardens or “co-create with nature” as she puts it. She likes to be intuitive, with paths and borders that meander. She says that “magic happens when you look beneath the way things appear to be.”IMG_2754

Browning has taken no horticulture classes but has been gardening since her early 20s. Color is most important to her, and very specific shades of color are critical to her aesthetic. She likes the garden to be harmonious, but with bright accents. She gets regular help with maintenance from Mariano Chavez who, by chance, left his business card for her to discover on the day she moved in. She calls him her “garden angel.” She adheres to principals of feng shui, plus does all she can to encourage birds.IMG_1702

Violas and pansies, along with lobelia, dominate the front garden for much of the year. Azaleas and rhododendrons provide bright seasonal color. Japanese maples, cherry and plum trees in the back, roses, nandina, rock roses, chrysanthemum, ferns camellias, lilac, gaura, peonies, shasta daisies, daylillies, and euphorbia are among the many blooming plants. Climbers, in addition to the wisteria, include clematis and a Cecile Bruner roseLR 4-17

A pond graces the side yard. In addition to the gorgeous plants, there are many sculptures, including Buddha, Quan Yin, a Madonna, a cherub, and a fabulous lizard. Colorful pennants add to the beauty.IMG_5992

Article by Ruth Sloan

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