Garden Photo of the Day

Dangling to Garden at Age 70

Gardening in the extreme!

Vickie gardening on the hillside

Hello, this is Peggy Rupert from Brookings, Oregon, on the coast. You have twice published my garden (Giant Snapdragons!, and Gardening on the Oregon Coast). I am sending you photos of a friend’s garden because I believe you and your readers will be as amazed as I am how my friend, Vickie Jewell, 70 years old, gardens!

Vickie and her husband, Steve, chose a beautiful building site high up a pine-covered road facing the beautiful blue Pacific! The only problem it posed, after the five years to build, was where to plant the garden. There really wasn’t any place for a conventional garden; the only space available was—you guessed it—straight down the slippery hill between their home and the road. So Vickie, not one to give up, had Steve put heavy-duty steel hooks along the top of the hill. Now comes the amazing part! Vickie ties a heavy rope around her waist, hooks onto the implanted ground hooks, and over the side she goes; battery-powered chain saw in one hand and a small pick in the other. And she’s not settling for ground covers! She’s been planting all kinds of interesting things. Steve also built her a greenhouse halfway down the hill, and a romantic swing/glider sits perched at the top, perfect for drinking a lemonade, admiring the day’s work, and soaking in the glorious view of the Pacific.

graden on the edge of a cliffThis house really is perched on the edge of a cliff.

incredible view from cliff siteThat cliff-side site gives incredible views.

gardening on a side of a cliffAnd there goes Vickie, dangling from a rope, gardening away!

red passion vine bloomingA red passion vine (Passiflora sp.) blooms abundantly on the hillside.

Yellow California poppies growing on the hillsideYellow California poppies (Eschscholzia californica, annual) bloom next to a stump on the slope.

Angels trumpet haning nicely on the hillsideAngel’s trumpet (Brugmansia, Zones 8–10 or as an annual) show off its huge, yellow, fragrant flowers.

Wheelbarrow turned planterOn a level bit of ground, an old wheelbarrow-turned-planter overflows with annuals, including variegated nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus, annual).

beautiful hillside waterfall of impatiensVickie planted this beautiful hillside waterfall of impatiens (Impatiens walleriana, Zones 10–11 or as an annual) by cutting nursery pots in half and burying them halfway into the hill. She filled the pots with soil and then planted her impatiens in each pot. Genius, right?

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View Comments


  1. garden1953 10/04/2021

    Amazing gardener, amazing garden! Thanks for sharing.

  2. gardendevas 10/04/2021

    Wow! That’s dedication!!

  3. User avater
    simplesue 10/04/2021

    OMG! Your friends are amazing!
    My younger gardening self might have had the nerve to dangle from a rope but my 64 yr self sure doesn't!
    I'm so impressed with the garden and the gardeners.
    What a challenge to deal with a steep slope like that.
    It sure turned out nice, and such a great house and view too.
    Nice of you to share her garden and story with us.
    I love hearing about stuff like this!

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 10/04/2021

    Wow!!!!! I wish I had her courage to do that.

  5. btucker9675 10/04/2021

    This is terrific!!!

  6. [email protected] 10/04/2021

    Thank you so much for giving us a look at this amazing solution to a gardening challenge!

  7. mrrey214 10/13/2021

    Thank for sharing this wonderful garden. keep on sharing. more power.

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