By Kim Charles

Hummingbird and salvia



John and Nancy Sarpola have expanded on a beautiful Oregon garden over the past 20 years.


“John and I have lived on a 1/4 acre lot in Corvallis, Oregon for 32 years.  The first 12 years we mostly raised kids but for the last 20, we have been gardening.  Actually, I garden and he humors me by hauling rocks and compost and digging up large plants that must be moved...again.  The rain has started and so I have had time to look back at photos and found a few to share.  I hope you enjoy them.  The first two are plants that are still blooming because we haven't had a hard freeze yet. The hummingbirds love the tender late, red salvia.  I take cuttings every fall so there will be some for next year.   Seen from above, Clematis 'Freckles' flowers are kind of a non-descript off white but if you look up into them, the burgundy speckles are lovely.  We built a bench last fall from a piece of Pacific Yew given to us by a neighbor, who harvested it from a dead Yew, which is native to our Oregon woods.  These trees gave up their lives to save cancer patients when it was discovered that Taxol could be made from their bark. Eventually, the pharmaceutical companies figured out how to synthesize the drug and the bark is no longer needed.  John found some blue bottles at the Goodwill and gave them to me for Christmas.  They now decorate a path with alstroemeria, triteleia and a Hedgerow's Gold shrubby dogwood.  The next photo shows white astilbe and 'Blackout' lilies.  I love the blue flowers of willow gentian and it is a lot easier to grow than most gentians.  Next is our ever-diminishing lawn in late summer.  The final shot is a little, round patio at the top of our lot.  My current project is adding a few conifers and trying to cut back on some of the rowdier perennials, hoping to have more time to travel and see other people's gardens!”  Nancy Sarpola

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Astilbes and Blackout Lilies

A treasure of blue bottles among Alstroemeria

Clematis 'Freckles'

Late summer lawn

The round patio in June

Yew bench seating area

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