Garden of the Month: September 2016

Garden of the Month: 448 Clinton Street

Carolyn and Donald Hunsaker purchased their house at 448 Clinton Strelr-6-16-1et 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.

dh 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.

lr-8_16-12This 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.

lr-8-16-9Near 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).fullsizerender-2

This is a delightful garden full of pleasant surprises.

Submitted by:
Ruth Sloan

Garden of the Month: August 2016

1156 Oak Street

When Ben Gault purchased the cottage at 1156 Oak Street in 1971, the gorgeous willow tree that now graces the front of the property was a volunteer sapling. But it wasn’t until 1979, when wife Leslie joined the household, that the garden began to take shape. She took Master Gardener training in 1981 and that’s when things really took off. Landscape Designer John Stadelman advised in the earliest stage of the garden’s development. Gardening the property is a labor of love for Leslie, and she spends a lot of time working on it.Oak Street 1

The Gaults use only organic products. Ben mows the grass, and waters — very deeply — only once a week. Leslie does almost all of the rest of the work, with occasional help from Ricardo Sabino. The property, of slightly more than an acre, stretches to Bear Creek. There is a barn, small pool, and tiny lily pond in back. Much of the back is open field.

Oak Street 2

Right now, asters and rudbeckia dominate the landscape. In the Spring, it was daffodils. Leslie has planted 82 roses throughout the property over the years, including Cecile Bruner and Sally Holmes — two among many favorites. Other than the willow, the largest trees are a wonderful spreading fruitless mulberry, and a couple of firs. Leslie more recently added a white Kousa dogwood to the center of the rose circle. In addition to rose circle she has named other planting areas throughout the yard, including fence border and long border.Oak Street 5

St. Johns Wort lines the street side of the property. A fabulous stand of purple poppies is just past the bloom stage near the house. Other plants in abundance include gaura, buddleja, clematis, daylilies, iris, verbena, daisies, and forsythia.

Oak Street 3With seating and shade, there are several places to relax and enjoy the garden. The Adirondack chairs remind Leslie of her youth on the East coast. The overall ambience is of a slower, quieter time.Oak Street 4


Submitted by: Ruth Sloan

Nan Quick’s Diaries for Armchair Travelers

My newest travel article,
has just been published. Here’s the link:
Nan Quick 
Nan Quick’s Diaries for Armchair Travelers

Garden of the Month: Sept. 2015

The home of Barbara and Len Eaton at 841 Beswick Way was purchased in 2011. The house was remodeled extensively, and a year later they had their daughter-in-law Kelly Eaton design the landscape plans.IMG_0809

Barbara requested that Kelly use native plants and grasses to provide habitat for bees, butterflies and birds. They had two oaks and a small madrone in front, and the few tall pines in the back that were the backbone of the garden. Some grading was done, the paths and structures put in and the drip irrigation and dry cree841 Beswick Wayk bed Installed.

The front was done first with many native tall and short grasses, manzanita, echinacea and an orange witch hazel next to the dry creek bed. In addition, a royal purple smoke tree and a crepe myrtle grow on the right side of the walkway. The wood arbor at the entrance has an Akebia vine which will shade the lovely swing from which you can sit and view Grizzly Peak. Star Jasmine climb the screens on the right.  The large pots, overflowing with bright orange lantana and red geraniums, give a happy welcome to visitors.

IMG_0832Walking down the driveway you can look up and see the bee hive in the oak. Kelly put in a few plants that have drip only to preserve the oaks. When you enter the back gate you will be met with a lovely cascade of hardy geraniums, alyssum, yellow lantana, a family fuchsia and a pink crepe myrtle. Lizzy the family dog sits on the stairs to greet you and lead you into a path that takes you to the center three-tiered fountain.

When you look to the back garden there is a very large wood-beamed arbor with a wisteria that will shade the right side. In the center is a fireplace. Again Barbara has filled some large pots with blue black salvia and more lantana which the bees are feasting on. To the right and down behind the garage are raised vegetable beds that produce a variety of tomatoes, string beans and pumpkins.

IMG_0830The garage wall has a large espaliered Star Magnolia and two pot stands filled with cascading Creeping Charlie and Creeping Jenny. Under the towering pines is a Cherokee Chief dogwood and a flagstone pathway which has Blue Star Creeper and flowering thyme covered with many happy bees. Another lime- leaf smoke tree and a yellow witch hazel complete the path. The city of Ashland did audits for water use and fire safety which passed, with the City even putting photos of the garden on their website. This garden was on the garden toFullSizeRenderur of the AAUW in 2014.

Len has a shop where he will be building the gate to their own piece of paradise. He also mows the lawns and helps with the fall cleanup while Barbara maintains the gardens. They have achieved their desire for a habitat that keeps the bees, birds and butterflies happy and “at the end of the day” they both enjoy sitting in the swing and looking up at Grizzly Peak.



Garden of the Month: August 2015

The garden at 973 C Street, owned by John Price and Erin Keller, was a blank site following the home’s construction in 2009.  The next year, retaining walls and fences were built, with plantings beginning shortly thereafter – all designed and built by the owners.

Passing through a beautiful front gate leading into the garden, past dahlias and zinnias, one can see vine covered arbors. These add interest and dimension to an ordinary lot. Two of the arbors are covered in two species of Kiwi. In addition to peach, pear, plum, fig, and apple trees, the garden also features Rudbeckia laciniata, hazelnut, honeysuckle, and Cornelian Cherry.

Succulents and drought tolerant plants grow as a green roof on the back shed at the end of the driveway. As the owners stated, “The green roofed woodshed just seemed like a fun thing to do. Actually most of it was fun!”

A blueberry hedge growing along the east fence was successfully planted over a buried wood swale. This has proven beneficial in helping the soil retain much needed moisture. In fact, permaculture principals dominated much of the design, with beauty, food production, and privacy playing a key role. I think you’ll agree John and Erin have succeeded and have provided the community with a lovely example of what can be done with a simple, empty space.