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.
Gorgeous 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-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.
A very happy hosta.
Valerian blooming around a birdbath.
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