Garden Photo of the Day

Garden at the Foot of the Mountains

A garden with a view

My name is Judy Houchin and I live in northeast Oregon, in Zone 7, at the foot of the Blue Mountains. When we moved into this house in 1985, it was set up for goats, with only valerian (Valerian rubra, Zones 5–8) in patches. We terraced the front yard, and I started adding some plants. The first, from my mom’s house, was called a plumed poppy (Macleaya cordata, Zones 3–8), but we called these French trees because the seeds were sent from my grandmother’s pen pal in France. They can be very invasive but easy to control. I finally retired in 2009, and that’s when my love of gardening began. I love Japanese gardens and Feng Shui, so my garden art has Asian inspiration, and I choose plants that make me happy. Most the plants in my yard are perennials, but there are pots of annuals placed for spots of color (I love red). The garden goes all the way around the house, and I put in a small Zen garden and a dry riverbed on a slope.

valerianGorgeous views, looking out over a big patch of the red flowers of valerian.

Garden art brings Asian inspiration to the garden.

A vigorous golden hops vine (Humulus lupulus ‘Aureus’, Zones 5–8) produces masses of bright foliage throughout summer.

The sun shines through the golden hops leaves like stained glass.

Lavender plants (Lavendula sp., Zones 5–8) in the foreground getting ready to bloom, with incredible views stretching out behind.

Hostas tucked in at the base of the hops vine.

Hens-and-chicksHens-and-chicks (Sempervivum, Zones 4–8) with green leaves tipped with reddish brown. More shade and water tend to promote more green colors in sempervivum, while sunnier, drier conditions encourage more red tones.

A perennial bed with the distinctive leaves of the plume poppy along the back side.

hostaA very happy hosta.

Valerian in bloomValerian blooming around a birdbath.


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View Comments


  1. coastalgardener 06/22/2020

    A spectacular garden with a spectacular view! You've done a wonderful job.

  2. lynnedale 06/22/2020

    What a wonderful job you’ve done. I love seeing your gardens.The views are very different from my central Massachusetts yard which is on a gentle slope and surrounded by trees. Wish I could see it in person!

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/22/2020

    Hi, Judy, I love your Asian themed touches of garden ornamentation...the design pattern in your trellis and other upright structures is very appealing and eye catching...definitely communicates an Asian garden feel. There is something so satisfying about having a circle frame a view. And, speaking of views, the off in the distance vistas that you get to look out on are stunning. You have a beautiful property.

  4. Patchworkgardener 06/22/2020

    Beautiful garden and fantastic views. I love the Asian touches. What a great job! Thanks for sharing 🌺

  5. User avater
    simplesue 06/22/2020

    You created a beautiful zen garden in a beautiful area!
    I've heard of Valerian but never saw it before! Such a peaceful garden, thanks for sharing.

  6. btucker9675 06/22/2020

    Wow... just wow! What a way to start the week!

  7. cheryl_c 06/22/2020

    Judy, you have incorporated your wonderful sense of beauty into a majestic backdrop of landscaping, so that the garden seems a part of the natural beauty of your land. What an outstanding job you have done. Please share more pictures in the future.

  8. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/22/2020

    Oh, my, Judy - flowers , garden art, and scenery. You have it all!

  9. darylsavage 06/22/2020

    I love the Asian, black trellis framing the view, it really sets it off to its advantage. Lovely design.

  10. User avater
    bdowen 06/23/2020

    What a setting for your garden! Would love to see photos as the garden changes through the seasons.

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