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Garden Photo of the Day

Oregon Beauty

back path looking north

Nancy Sarpola has it going on!

"Here are some more photos of our 1/4 acre hillside garden in Corvallis, Oregon taken in the last few months. They include (in random order) the path through the trees at the top of our lot, clematis 'Crystal Fountain' flowers spilling onto Hosta 'Great Expectations', Dalmation bellflower coming through the rock wall by the path to the swing. There are also Erythroniums which are native to the Northwest and Allium 'Globemaster' and Peony 'Sword Dance' which is short and single so less prone to flopping into the mud than most peonies we grow here in the Northwest Spring rains. I also included some foliage from two of my pots, and a variegated hydrangea called Hydrangea scadens 'Fragrant Splash',  a Japanese painted fern, persicaria 'Purple Fantasy' and a heuchera. You'll also find Mary Rose and Clematis 'Niobe'  as well as Hosta 'Chinese Sunrise',  Impatiens omeiana, a rodgeresia and a male fern in a damp, shady area of the garden.  Note the Euphorbia 'Ascot and Heucherella 'Sweet Tea' which survived our mild winter in a pot.  Finally, along our driveway, two vigorous spreaders that tolerate dry soil battle it out. They are verbena rigida and Oenethera 'Siskiyou Pink'."

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campanula rock crevice

Clematis and Great Expectation

Erythronium revoltum

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' and Heucherella 'Sweet Tea'

front alliums, peony achillea

heuchera hydrangea foliage

Mary Rose and Niobe Clematis

Rodgeresia ompholodes hosta

swing path

verbena rigida evening primrose

View Comments


  1. frankgreenhalgh 05/26/2016

    What a lush and colourful garden Nancy. It's an absolute credit to you. The swing path is a wonderful feature.

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Thanks Frank.

  2. user-7007960 05/26/2016

    This is amazing for hillside and 1/4. Acre! Stunning combinations! Do you trim back, clean up in the Fall or Spring? Do you wear cleats on hillside? Thx for all the names of plants and your sharing. Gorgeous!!

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Hi Carol, I clean up all year but most heavily in about November. Cleats are a good idea!

  3. wGardens 05/26/2016

    Lovely combinations and photos! Your rose/clematis combo is a stunner! In the "heuchera hydrangea foliage" photo, what is the plant with the triangular leaves? Thank you for sharing!

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Hi Margaret, That is Persicaria 'Purple Fountain'. It spreads fairly rapidly so I have kept it in a pot since it's first year.

  4. diane_lasauce 05/26/2016


    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Thank you Diane.

  5. NCYarden 05/26/2016

    Talk about packing them in, Nancy! Beautiful plant combos with smashing color. This is a wonderful garden. Would like to take a moment in the swing...but just a moment, that's about all I'm good for before I would be off elsewhere in the garden. Thank you for sharing.

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Thank you!

  6. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 05/26/2016

    What positively super yummy pictures, Nancy. After scrolling up and down (and yes, up and down several times), I feel like I've been feasting at a decadently luxurious buffet dessert bar. All your photo captures are sublimely delicious. I love the all foliage shot with the rodgeresia and the tip of fern tickling my fancy. And, wow, doesn't verbena rigida pack some wonderful oomph with that vibrant purple color?! Your swing path is sublime. You have a truly beautiful, beautiful garden. Thanks so much for giving us a view.

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Thanks meander1. You are always so gracious with your comments!

  7. user-4691082 05/26/2016

    What a treat this morning! I too want to know the name of the plant with the triangular leaves. Everything is just beautiful. Great job!

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Hi Rhonda, That is Persicaria 'Purple Fantasy'. I grow it in a pot as it spreads pretty fast in the garden.

  8. frankgreenhalgh 05/26/2016

    Hi everybody - not sure if Nancy is going to join the conversation, but I'm wondering about the bluish blocks of rock used for retaining walls and borders of flower beds in Nancy's photos. Over here similar looking rocks are igneous in nature and derived from surface flows of lava (i.e. small granules), and they are called bluestone pitchers. In the past they were commonly used for gutters along roadsides and for paving etc. Would appreciate any comments. Thanks

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Hi Frank, I know more about plants than rocks but I think most of the rocks are basalt from volcanoes that make up the Cascade Mountains here.

      1. frankgreenhalgh 05/26/2016

        Thanks Nancy - The bluestone pitchers that are used often in landscaping in Australia are also basalt. You have a marvellous garden indeed, and you should be very proud of it.

  9. Jay_Sifford 05/26/2016

    Lovely and well thought-out combinations. You've created a peaceful retreat for yourself. Thanks for sharing!

  10. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/26/2016

    Stunning; photos and plants! Love it. That new-to-me Persicaria 'Purple Fantasy' is certainly grabbing attention here, and with good reason, I think. That foliage is killer. Does is self-sow prolifically like Persicaria virginiana cultivars?
    Your Impatiens-Rodgersia-hosta combo is a killer; Crystal Fountain Clematis is so unusual and I adore Heucherella 'Sweet Tea'. Everything is combined beautifully. Thanks for the inspiration and new plant introductions!
    PS: I did a quick search and found this post about the Persicaria, where the author went from love it to hate it because it was aggressive in his garden. That being said, it might be perfectly well behaved in your climate. Love those leaves, and as you can tell, I'm dying to know how it behaves for you.

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Hi Tim, It doesn't self sow for me but spreads quite rapidly with runners which is why it now lives in a pot!

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/26/2016

        Not only are you talented, but wise, too! :)

  11. VikkiVA 05/26/2016

    You Northwest gardeners can grow paradise. I want some of that Euphorbia! Your plant combos are stunning. The path to the garden swing is a knockout! Thanks for sharing. Vikki in VA

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Thanks Vikki.

  12. Cheryl A 05/26/2016

    Nancy, what an inspiration it was to open your pictures this morning. I join VikkiB and others in applauding the amazing plant combinations you have put together, and Tim in my appreciation for your Sweet tea - whooda thunk to put it with the euphorbia, yet there they are happily playing off each other. Stunning! You have a real gift for plant combinations. Thanks for sharing.

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Thanks Cheryl.

  13. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

    Thanks Diane.

  14. GrannyMay 05/26/2016

    Echoing everyone else - gorgeous plant combinations and terrific photos! Love it all! I too have various Persicarias in the garden, some are well-behaved, but watch out for Persicaria thunbergii 'Langthorn's Variety'. Its leaves look similar to your 'Purple Fantasy' in colour but are less triangular in shape. In only one season it showed its intention to take over the neighbourhood.

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      I have been told Persicaria 'Purple Fantasy' is popular in Europe. I would love to see how they use it there because I think it would take over whole beds in a couple of years here. Thanks for your kind comments.

  15. Dvngardener 05/26/2016

    Lovely and striking plant combos! You have got an amazing eye for color, texture and form!

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Thanks Lily!

  16. marlenemullet 05/26/2016

    Your gardens are beautiful!

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Thank you Marlene.

  17. Schatzi 05/26/2016

    Oh my! Where to start! Love all the blues, the Erythronium, the Heucheras, the texture and color combinations...it is all gorgeous. Love it all.

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Thank you Shirley!

  18. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 05/26/2016

    Nancy, like Michaela said, I've been so busy going up and down through your photos and looking up plants that are new to me, that it's taken almost the whole pot of coffee before comment time. What an amazing garden in such a small space with such variety, texture and color. Your path up to your swing drew me in with all of the beautiful blues. You certainly have an eye for garden design. Love that verbena rigida, and all of the great foliage and, well, just everything.

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Thank you Linda. I love blues too.

  19. Cenepk10 05/26/2016

    Nancy !!!! So pretty.... Must be a great vantage point from the swing... Loved that clematis / hosta combo... gave me some ideas..And of course the rose campion and the evening primroses with verbena so pretty. Beautiful job ! It was a pleasure to visit your garden.

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Thanks for visiting!

  20. Cenepk10 05/26/2016

    Really beautiful artistry.....

  21. user-3365226 05/26/2016

    Nancy, I also have several Mary Rose shrubs. I love your Niobe clematis with the rose and yew. Is the Niobe planted in front of the Rose or Yew? Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden with us today. 👩🏼

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      The clematis is in front of the yew a little to the side and back from the rose. They have been there nearly 20 years. I hope I can keep them pruned so it continues to work but it is a little precarious as they are on top a retaining wall.

  22. greengenes 05/26/2016

    This is very beautiful Nancy! I enjoyed every picture! Great pairings and colors! Wow! Thanks for sharing with us all!

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Thanks Jeanne!

  23. Sheila_Schultz 05/26/2016

    Oregon Beauty is the perfect title for your post today, Nancy. Your gardens could not be more beautiful, and your combinations are amazing... the colors, the leaf shapes, the textures and just everything is perfect! The heuchera, Japanese painted fern and persicaria combo is particularly delightful. Wow!

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      Thanks for your kind comments!

  24. eddireid 05/26/2016

    Nancy, I am way behind in viewing GPOD so decided to open this latest one before scrolling back. Oh! What a treat! Your photographs are beautiful and every one is worth browsing and I had the additional treat of reading Sheila's comment. I was about to ask the name of the plant with triangular leaves and find Sheila already supplied it. Of all your pictures that one showing the juxtaposition of unusual colors and shapes appeals strongly to me.... I am also in love with the erythronium. Can't grow that in Ohio. And the campanula reminds me of my garden in England. Wonderful garden.

    1. OregonGardenGal 05/26/2016

      I am glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting.

  25. eddireid 05/27/2016

    I just went right through your garden again. This time I paid attention to the design - masterly. Congratulations and many thanks for sharing.

  26. Green Thumb Joe 05/27/2016

    Beautiful garden

  27. user-6536305 12/05/2017

    Beautiful garden and structure such as swing etc.

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