Garden Photo of the Day

Home of the Oregon Garden

By: Kim Charles

Brenda and her husband, Douglas Ballinger, enjoy their unique garden combinations created with passion and artistry.

"My husband and I live in Silverton, Oregon which is the home of the "Oregon Garden". He has been an ironworker by trade for the last 24 years, but his real passion is plants and gardens, this is where he spends all of his extra time. He is truly an artist. We live on the creek, that is comprised of a dry desert garden in the front and a tropical garden in the back."

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View Comments


  1. frankgreenhalgh 10/12/2017

    Hello Brenda and Douglas - Congratulations on the creation of your unique and interesting combination of gardens. Douglas' spare time has certainly been very well spent! Thanks also for the mention of the Oregon Garden. It certainly looks to have wonderful gardens according to the internet pics., and you are very lucky indeed to have such a treasure near you. Cheers from Oz

    1. user-7008950 10/12/2017


  2. jeffgoodearth 10/12/2017

    I love it all. Rocks, cool plants, desert areas, rusty things all are my favorite things. It's my kinda place!

    1. user-7008950 10/12/2017

      thank you

  3. user-7007498 10/12/2017

    Good morning, Brenda and Doug. Wonderful pictures to start the day. I love the containers, especially the rusted vertical accents of the pipes. The last pic with the podophyllum/heuchera combination is beautiful. The pic with the agave and cactus is stunning with the lighting. Since you are west of the mountains, are those hardy for you in the ground? Thanks for sharing.

    1. user-7008950 10/12/2017

      Thank you,everything pictured stays outside year round.I do cover the agave 'ovatifolia' with a window in late nov. to keep it looking it's best

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/12/2017

    You certainly get to practice the ying and yang of gardening with a dry desert bed on one side and a tropical oasis on the other. I'm quite intrigued and mystified by the ghostly almost white plant in picture #2...a conifer? a cactus? I haven't a clue. Your grouping of the 5 "pipe pots" is what looks to be the au natural rust patina on them. And your hypertufa is delightful...lots of little treasures to notice tucked in with the plants. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. user-7008950 10/12/2017

      thanks, I think the plant your referring to is a cylindropuntia ' snow leopard'

  5. user-4691082 10/12/2017

    I have grass envy, Brenda and Doug. And that is my favorite agave...I’m with Michaele on the white plant. We need to know what it is! Just to look at that hosta- no slug damage, no weather extremes, no dying back to the ground...sigh.

    1. user-7008950 10/12/2017

      thank you,The Hostas do die back in winter the pictures were taken in spring.

  6. NCYarden 10/12/2017

    Sweet garden mix...a little lush, a little dry, a little industrial. Very cool juxtaposition. Well done.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. user-7008950 10/12/2017

      thanks for the kind words.

  7. tennisluv 10/12/2017

    Two interesting and very different garden areas and to be able to have both in a single home lot. How delightful.

    1. user-7008950 10/12/2017


  8. User avater
    DawnMT 10/12/2017

    Beautiful. Would love to see a night time picture with the lights you have on your trees.

  9. User avater
    user-7007816 10/12/2017

    I enjoyed both areas very much. Thank-you for sharing.

    1. user-7008950 10/12/2017

      thank you

  10. Chris_N 10/12/2017

    I want to see more photos. You have such cool stuff. Love the trough with not only the usual rocks and little plants, but also rusty little objects, glass, shells and bones. What critter donated the skull? Also like your back lit cactus that everyone keeps commenting on.

    1. user-7008950 10/12/2017

      Thanks,I found the skull in a load of compost

  11. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/12/2017

    Love everything about it. Your desert garden is gorgeous. That's a beautiful Cylindropuntia and a great Agave. What's the ferny thing in front of the Cholla: Cheilanthes? The planted, rusty pipes are great. What were they originally? Love the purple Heuchera with the Podophyllum (perhaps 'Spotty Dotty?). Please share more.

    1. user-7008950 10/12/2017

      the plant in front of the Cholla is an Acanthus syriacus. The podophyllum is kaleidoscope.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/12/2017

        Thanks for the info. That's the densest Acanthus mound I've ever seen. Nice combos.

    2. user-7008950 10/12/2017

      I got the pipes from work,they were used as supports for the new Sellwood bridge as we built it.

  12. Sunshine111 10/12/2017

    I am loving your artistry in the garden! Especially photo number five. Very inspirational thanks for sharing

    1. user-7008950 10/12/2017


  13. sheila_schultz 10/12/2017

    Be still my heart... Douglas you are definitely an artist, and I love your vision of beauty! Your tropical gardens have a delicate look and thoughtful balance between height and texture, they are beautiful. But, it is the desert garden I completely adore. You have found a way to showcase each and every spike and spine to perfection, add to that the rusted steel and my heart has been stolen!

    1. user-7008950 10/12/2017

      thank you,glad you enjoyed the pics

  14. user-7007140 10/12/2017

    I have just scrolled thru for the fifth time. Going thru your garden feels like an archaeological journey - Pieces of iron, bones, interesting rocks and stones. And did I mention the stunningly perfect lawn edging? And the fascinating plants? And, and, and........Oh! My!
    Just beautiful.

    1. user-7008950 10/12/2017

      thanks so much

  15. user-7008951 10/12/2017

    Very nice Brenda and Doug, your own slice of paradise.

    1. user-7008950 10/12/2017

      thank you

  16. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 10/12/2017

    Good morning, Brenda and Douglas and thanks for sharing your interesting garden. Love your hypertufa pot with its mountain landscape and the metal cylinders with all of the great sea glass. How lucky are you to live on a creek. It looks from the lights on your trees that you are taking full advantage of it.

    1. user-7008950 10/12/2017

      thank you

  17. user-7008952 10/12/2017

    Lovely garden! is that a podophyllum or gunnera in Photo 1? I also really like your succulents planter.

    1. user-7008950 10/12/2017

      thanks,It's astilboides tabularis

  18. btucker9675 10/12/2017

    Wonderful garden - the shapes, textures and spectrum of shade of green are just beautiful.

    1. user-7008950 10/13/2017

      thank you

  19. user-6536305 10/12/2017

    This is a very beautiful PNW garden. Thanks for sharing!

    1. user-7008950 10/13/2017

      thank you

  20. VikkiVA 10/12/2017

    Great plant compositions and unique container plantings. It is easy to see your husbands artistry at work. Vikki in VA

    1. user-7008950 10/13/2017


  21. Maggieat11 10/12/2017

    Love what you have done with your gardens and accompanying décor! Great ideas and nice presentation. Love the mossy rock in the last photo also. Do send in more photos! We'd love to see more. Thanks for sharing.

    1. user-7008950 10/13/2017


  22. user-7008950 10/12/2017

    Here are some more pics garde

  23. [email protected] 10/13/2017

    I especially love the multi-trunk (stem?) tree in added photo #6, behind the large stone. What is it, please? Love all the photos!

    1. user-7008950 10/13/2017

      arctostaphyos 'louis edmonds'

      1. [email protected] 10/13/2017

        Thanks for the info. I love that look, and it sounds like it would thrive here in Maple Valley (east of Seattle, south of Issaquah, ). Now, to find a source!!

  24. grannieannie1 10/14/2017

    Just tuning in late, but loving what I'm seeing! Such wonderful garden plants as all have said. I am especially taken with gardens that look good from a distance of course, but then, as one approaches, there is still interesting detail to be seen and touched. Your collection of dry bones, glass, metal plus other flotsam and jetsam sucked me right in!

    1. user-7008950 10/14/2017


  25. user-7008735 10/14/2017

    What fun to have a creek in the background and a desert in the front! You've made the most of both. I love the rusty pipe planters contrasted with the delicate glass floats.

    1. user-7008950 10/14/2017

      thank you

  26. user-6536305 12/29/2017

    It amaze me to see what you could grow in your Oregon garden and all these lovely cactus plants. Your garden is so lush and so well take care of. Thanks for sharing and happy new year Brenda!

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