Garden Photo of the Day

A Look Back at the Garden

Nancy reflects on the past couple years in her garden

Today we’re visiting Nancy Sarpola’s garden.

I have sent several batches of photos in for the GPOD in the past, but it has been a few years since then. I thought I would send some from the last couple of years, as I am looking through them now that winter is moving in. I garden on a sloped quarter-acre in Corvallis, Oregon. We have a small lawn and a good-size paver patio. There are bands of shrubs and perennials in between the lawn and patio, several trees to keep us cool in the summer, and a small garden for vegetables and cut flowers to one side. 

Camellia ‘Donation’ (Camellia × williamsii ‘Donation’, Zones 7–10) after a March snowfall. 

A dwarf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zones 6–9) at the top of a path with blue tritelia (Tritelia laxa, Zones 5–9) growing through golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’, Zones 4–8). Tritelia is native to the West Coast and is a supereasy bulb for us to grow here in western Oregon.

A late summer picture featuring Aster × frikartti ‘Monch’ (Frikart’s aster, Zones 5–10), Sedum ‘Mr. Goodbud’ (Zones 3–9) and Salvia ‘Amistad’ (Zones 8–11). 

Looking north on the path at the top of our lot toward a trellis with Rosa ‘Eden’ on it and a limelight hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ Zones 4–8) and Galega ‘Lady Wilson’ (Galega × hartlandii ‘Lady Wilson’, Zones 4–8) in bloom on the right. This photo was taken in late July.

A little seating area in September made out of some leftover pavers. It features asters and ‘Fireworks’ goldenrod (Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’ Zones 5–9) at this time of year.

This photo is from late April and shows Allium christophii (stars of Persia, Zones 5–8) in the foreground.

Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra, Zones 5–9) backed by ‘Visions’ astilbe (Astilbe chinensis ‘Visions’, Zones 4–8).

Yellow Dicentra scandens (Zones 7–10) vine mixing with ‘Polish Spirit’ clematis (Zones 5–9) and Lysimachia ephemerum (milky loosestrife, Zones 6–9). This lysimachia is not an aggressive spreader like so many of its kin.

These are chairs I got at a rummage sale for $10 each! I repainted them in my favorite color and put them in this little nook with a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–10), Acanthus mollis (Bear’s breeches, Zones 7–11) and Japanese forest grass.

An early April photo of a patch of Erythronium (trout lily) in bloom.  


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/13/2018

    Hi, Nancy, yours is what I fondly call an alphabet's got all the letters covered...Alluring, Beguiling, Captivating, Delightful, Enchanting...I could go on but I might need a thesaurus at some point! I love the tidal wave of Japanese Forest grass and oh, those deep purple blooms of 'Polish Spirit' ...just gorgeous. Great color choice and paint job on your bargain metal chairs...and they are beautifully accessorized by the urn in the middle. And I'm enthralled by the Symphony in Blue in the headline picture.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 12/13/2018

    I just love all the shades of blue but I especially love the tritelia. I had it at one time but it slowly went away.

  3. mjensen 12/13/2018


  4. paiya 12/13/2018

    On this dreary early Winter day in the East, I can’t “feel blue” looking at the photos of your garden - your choices of texture, color, shapes in the beautiful plants and accessories is stimulating. You must feel joy whenever you are in your garden

  5. Musette1 12/13/2018

    omgosh! your garden is gorgeous - but that Japanese Forest Grass, shimmering in the dappled light? Sublime!!! Thank you so much for sharing all this beauty!

  6. Cenepk10 12/13/2018

    Magnificent! Love that the photos show the entire perspective...That first pic took my breath away !

  7. btucker9675 12/13/2018

    You definitely have the good blues! What a stunning paradise you have created. I have a bottle tree with all cobalt blue and clear glass bottles and really love the path in your garden with the cobalt bottles.

  8. OregonGardenGal 12/13/2018

    Thanks for taking the time to leave such encouraging comments!

  9. perenniallycrazy 12/13/2018

    Absolutely beautiful Nancy! Your garden is truly a reflection of your beautiful soul. So lucky to have met you.

  10. [email protected] 12/15/2018

    Just got to emails- Love your garden! I am always especially interested in Northwest gardens (I live outside of Seattle), because I know I can often try the nifty plants and ideas posted. Wondering what the exposure is for that beautiful camellia, and also what zone you are in to get snow at that time of year.

    1. OregonGardenGal 12/16/2018

      Hi, Thanks for your comments. The camellia is against a fence that faces southeast with some high overhead shade from a pine in my yard and a cherry in the neighbor's. We are zone 8a I believe although we had 0 degrees about 5 years ago that knocked the strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo) and phormiums down or way back. That was unusual though. We rarely get snow in March when the photo was taken and it doesn't last long.

  11. User avater
    HalArmstrong 01/18/2019

    I really like your garden....Thank you sooo much for sharing your gardening!!

  12. User avater
    simplesue 01/23/2020

    Oh! I just found a link to this on Pinterest- I really love your garden!

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