Garden of the Month: August 2018

622 Drager Street:

Earlier this year, Alison Lerch, the Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator with the Ashland Fire Department, gave a presentation to the Ashland Garden Club about firewise landscaping. She mentioned a garden that was not only firewise but waterwise, calling it the perfect Ashland Garden. Since then we have discovered that the garden at 622 Drager Street, is also pollinator-friendly and deer resistant. The perfect Ashland garden indeed!01_622 Drager

Nancy Garriott is responsible for this wonderful garden. She and her husband Ted had the craftsman house built on the corner lot five years ago and took on the landscaping project themselves, relying on knowledge accumulated over the years.02 summer garden

Nancy has been creating gardens all of her adult life. Each of the eight gardens in her past taught her something about the secrets to gardening success. Early on she immersed herself in gardening publications and classes. Later, she found each plant was teaching her what it liked and what it needed. She says, “It turns out that getting your hands dirty does have a ‘grounding’ affect and is a great way to learn how to care for your plants.”03 summer garden

Nancy and Ted started with the hardscape of small rock retaining walls and garden borders, flagstone and gravel paths, and drip lines. They found a stone mulch that looks like wood but is obviously not fire-prone. Nancy propagated many of the perennials, including favorites that are drought tolerant, deer resistant, and non-invasive with colorful, long-lasting blooms. Among them are echinacea, gaillardia, helenium, coreopsis, rudbeckia, crocosmia Emily McKenzie, sedum autumn joy, and yarrow. She discovered that a bonus is that these plants are great pollinator plants too. She also propagated several varieties of sedum which she likes because they are evergreen, drought tolerant, come in many colors which adds interest to the winter garden, and spread easily without being invasive. Then Nancy developed a list of shrubbery that would enhance the small space but would add an evergreen element to the winter garden when the perennials die back. She focused on dwarf varieties of native, drought tolerant, deer resistant plants, looking for a variety of textures and colors which she thinks helps the plants contrast with each other and stand out visually. The plants she settled on were low growing manzanita, arbutus, nandina, evergreen candytuft, myrtle, hebe, and choisya (Mexican orange). She also found that some evergreen herbs such as sage and basil make good aromatic border plants.

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In designing the new garden, she applied the knowledge that she needed to leave enough room around each plant to accommodate its growth, put taller plants in the back, and create a color and texture balance. She also leaves room for her favorite annuals which are gazanias and many varieties of zinnias. These also happen to be drought tolerant and deer resistant and add joyful color to the garden.05 summer garden

Nancy says that “The favorite thing about my garden is that we live in an accessible part of Ashland where I can share my garden with the many people that walk by.”

Submitted by: Ruth Sloan

Photos by Nancy and Ted Garriott.

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Garden of the Month: June 2018

128 S. Laurel Street:
Luna Bitzer has been gardening at 128 S. Laurel Street for 22 years and it shows. She lives in the historic home there with her husband Joe. He built the charming garden shed and occasionally helps with heavy lifting, but mostly Luna does all the work herself, including some extraordinary tasks such as installing the paver walkway to the front door—using just a shovel—and forming stairs between levels in the terraced yard.

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While she has had some help over the years with specific improvements, such as the all-female group of friends who helped build an arbor, or the Bitzers’ children who helped maintain a pond, she devotes a very large amount of time to keeping the property healthy and beautiful. In summer and fall, she averages 20 hours per week working in the garden. In the winter she takes some time off and in the hottest months of summer she works fewer hours outside. This is the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for June.

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Among the biggest trees that dot the third-of-an-acre city lot at the corner of Almond Street are an ancient black oak (Ashland’s 11995 tree of the year), Douglas fir, silver maple, and blue spruce. When this garden was on the AAUW tour ten years ago, Luna created a list of plants with nearly 150 names. Luna’s current favorites include Howard McMinn manzanita, microbiota decussata (a low-growing evergreen cypress), agastache, hesperaloe and several varieties of viburnum, ornamental grasses, and hardy geraniums. Cotoneaster franchetii forms a hedge along the alleyway.

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Luna says that the installation of a deer fence in 2013 changed her life as she no longer has to worry about what she plants or where. The garden is constantly evolving. What was once a pond that she created is now a shady raised bed, and most of the lawn has been converted to a berm that is rarely watered. The hot tub was removed and the deck rebuilt with a roof for outdoor dining. In all, it is a totally enchanting garden.

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Article by: Ruth Sloan

Horticulture Report:Rock Rose

Plant Name: Helianthemum   heliamthemum
Common name: Rock Rose
Plant type: Evergreen, or Semi-evergreen, Shrubby Perennial
Height:   6-12 inches
Spread: 1-3 feet

Bloom Time: May – June
Flower Color: Various – White, Yellow, Red, Pink, Scarlet, Orange.
Exposure: Full Sun
Soil Requirements: Well Drained Rocky to Sandy Soil.

Water Needs: Low
Attributes:  Good in Alpine & Rock Gardens, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Evergreen Good accent plant with texture & form, Gray Foliage & Dark Green Foliage.
Uses: Attracts Butterflies,  Rock gardens, Container, Ground Cover, Xeriscape Gardens.
USDA Zone: 5-8  (check cultivar)

Horticulture Report: Firepower Nandina

Plant Name: Nandina domesticanadina-firepower
Common Name:  Dwarf Heavenly bamboo
Cultivar: Firepower
Plant type: Evergreen Shrub
Height:   24 inches
Spread:  24  inches
Bloom Time: NonePrized for lime green leaves &  brilliant red fall color.
Exposure:  Full sun
Soil Requirements: rich, humus, well drained, acid soil.
Water Needs: 1st growing season water weekly until established, more in extreme heat.  Once established water deeply, but less frequent.
Attributes: Vibrant Fall Color,  Firewise Plant, Waterwise Plant, disease resistant,  hardy.
Uses: Urban Garden, Woodland Garden, Asian/Zen Garden, Borders, Containers, Mass plantings, Groundcover.
Note:  Firepower Nandina does not produce berries.
USDA Zone: 6-11

Water-Wise Gardening

Russian sageThe City of Ashland has created an informational  website to help reduce water usage in yards & gardens.

Click here to visit the site:
Water Wise Landscaping in Ashland

Once you’re at the website click the tabs located at the top of the page to view the following features.

Start with Garden Resources which is the gateway to the site. There you will find the table of contents: Getting Started, Irrigation, Design and Maintenance.

Garden Tours & Garden Gallery showcase local properties and supplies the viewer with visual examples of water-wise plantings.  Within each photo there is a white box; click the box to obtain detailed information regarding the plant.

The Plants is organized by Firewise,  Lawn Alternatives, Drought Tolerant Plants, Ornamental Grass, Deer Resistant Plants, Screens & Hedges. Each category presentsa list of plant suggestions. You can also search for plants based on: plant type, size, color, sun requirements, soil type and blooming season.

The Watering Guide provides watering guidelines, watering tips and common irrigation challenges.

This well designed site contains vast amounts of plant information, check it out and be inspired!

by:Carlotta Lucas