Garden Photo of the Day

Nancy’s garden in Oregon, revisited

Helenium 'Mardi Gras' and Aster frikkarti 'Monch'. Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of Nancy Sarpola

Happy Monday, everyone! Let’s start the week off with a bang. We’ve visited Nancy Sarpola’s garden in Corvallis, Oregon, a couple of times (HERE & HERE), but I think she was holding out on us and only showing us the details, judging by the photos she sent me last week. Now we get to see a broader view.

Rhodies blooming by the lawn.

Nancy says, “I find individual plants easier to photograph but here are a few photos I found of different garden areas. We have a 1/4 acre hillside garden. It’s divided up into patio, lawn, and path areas by densely planted beds.”

Gorgeous, Nancy!! I think we need MANY more photos…..

Rhodies blooming by the lawn.

**** The push is still on–get outside and take some last minute shots, or compile a few you took earlier in the season. I’ll be eternally grateful…. Email them to [email protected]. Thanks! ****

I couldn’t resist throwing in another plant combination. The Iris ‘Avalon Sunset’ in front of the Baptista ‘Purple Smoke’ is smashing in May!
The big leaves of Darmera peltata are some of my favorites. It is native to southern Oregon and California. I have it growing in a big pot as I have heard it can be invasive.
The purple plant flowering along the paths is Dalmatian bellflower.
The tulips, primroses, grasses, and ferns are photographed in April growing in the bed seen in the seating area later in the year.

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  1. gloriaj 10/28/2013

    Nancy your garden is beautiful. I love the the way you have the different areas so that you have to stop along tthe way to admire the many plants. My favorite is the door with the basket at the end of the path . The moss growing between the bricks gives the feeling that everything has always been there naturally and not planned. Wonderful job.

  2. wGardens 10/28/2013

    Love it all! So very inviting. Great plant combinations... Love the path up the hillside with its' blue and chartreuse pairing. Forth photo down on the right.... what is the plant on the right with the white blossoms? Thanks.

  3. annek 10/28/2013

    The seating areas are fabulous! I wanted to stop by that picnic table with the pitcher of pink lemonade and soak up the ambience. And the Rhodies are outstanding. You've pulled together a flower design masterpiece

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/28/2013

    Sigh, Nancy, your total garden is sublime and each intimate seating area is a delightful treasure. It all communicates such warmth and welcoming ambiance. You have made such wonderful use of hardscape elements and yet they are all softened by bountiful plant material. It's really just perfection. I love that luscious iris 'Avalon Sunset' and how it is so beautifully complimented by the baptista.
    Hey, I'm old enough to get away with repeating myself so I will, "It's all just perfection!"

  5. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/28/2013

    Great garden with great plants. Love the bell flower and the nice clump of impatiens omeiana. I love the flowers of the saxifrage/strawberry begonia, about which wgardens inquires. They look like adorable buck teeth to me"

  6. cwheat000 10/28/2013

    The first photo with the helenium and aster, looks like it could be a magazine cover. All your garden is so pretty. The bellflower along the path is a stunner. Delightful!

  7. mainer59 10/28/2013

    I re-looked at your prior posts first and loved the plant combinations. This post shows how your plants fit in an overall landscape and it is awesome. My favorite photo is second from bottom in the left column.

  8. wittyone 10/28/2013

    I love all the nooks and crannies you have created as well as the paths winding toward them with flowers crowding in on both sides! Very inviting.

  9. tractor1 10/28/2013

    Very nice seating areas, I especially like that tiered patio.

  10. OregonGardenGal 10/28/2013

    Thanks for your kind remarks! Parts of the garden are 20 years old. As the kids grew up, I took back their play areas. For instance, the shape of the patio seating area is defined by where we built retaining walls to make a flat area for an above ground pool. Vojt is right about the white flowers. They are Saxifraga stolonifera 'Maroon Beauty'. The round, maroon marked leaves are just as nice as the flowers.

  11. Doxnmom 10/28/2013

    This is simply one of the most warm and inviting gardens. It's elegant and cottage-like at the same time. Truly a favorite.

  12. GrannyMay 10/28/2013

    Such a perfect hillside garden, Nancy! Wonderful plants and wonderful design, with both vistas and private nooks. I love your use of stone and wood to terrace the separate areas and create flow from room to room. Your plants are beautifully arranged and the seating areas provide lots of opportunity to admire them up close. Hillsides are always a challenge - carrying tools and materials from one level to the next means you never have to join a club to keep up your fitness!

  13. wwross 10/28/2013

    Fabulous, Fabulous! -- What I like most is the flow and the mystery of the various "rooms" and paths. I love the naturalness of the paths, which blend in with the plants. Too many gardens have path materials and structures that distract the visitor's eye from the plants.

    The only (really the only) thing I would consider is to "freshen" up the table by cleaning it up (bleaching) and then given it a subtle and natural stain that announces the table and that patio as your formal visiting space.

  14. wildthyme 10/28/2013

    Your garden is just beautiful, and it shows how you can create a sense of space in a smaller yard. The pathways are so inviting, as are the numerous seating areas. I almost forgot to look at the plants!

  15. user-577170 10/28/2013

    It is a fabulous garden, it is very nice to see someone
    else's creativity. I have a huge yard and I just don't know where to start.
    I was visiting in Oregon a few weeks agoo and all over the city (Portland) are vines growing up the walls, they were beautiful, some were turning a bright red while others were just starting to turn. Can anyone tell me what these plants are calla nd if they are some thing we can grow in Canada?

  16. sheila_schultz 10/28/2013

    Nancy, your gardens are so lush and welcoming... I can just imagine relaxing in your swing after a few hours pruning and deadheading. More photos please!

  17. Meelianthus 10/28/2013

    Your gardens are so charming and certainly exhibits your passion for gardening. I love the raised patio/eating area. What an innovative idea. Your brick work is woven into your gardens in a very peaceful manner and the flowers and shrubbery compliment everything beautifully. The pansies are adorable. Thank you for the bright spot this morn ^_^

  18. User avater
    HelloFromMD 10/28/2013

    Hi Nancy, Lovely. I envy you your hillside, my yard is flat. The height could come in handy for a water feature. I am admiring the blue hosta in picture 3. Could you tell us its name. Thanks.

  19. OregonGardenGal 10/28/2013

    Hi HellofromMD and user 577170, I think you are right about the hillside needing a waterfall. So far the garden is all a "do it yourself" project and I'm not sure we could handle the rocks and electrical work required for a waterfall ourselves. It is on my wish list though. The blue hosta is the old faithful Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans'. If I had to guess what vines are bright red in Portland right now it would be one of the Parthenocissus species.

  20. NevadaSue 10/28/2013

    Nancy, your Garden is awesomely beautiful! I love the rock work and paths, the rooms are so inviting. It is easy to see you love gardening and your creativity spills out everywhere. Thank you so much for sharing with us. I know I will come back to enjoy them more. Thanks for more inspiration.

  21. NevadaSue 10/28/2013

    user-577170, The vine you saw in Oregon could be Virginia Creeper. Look it up on google and see if the images look like the ones you saw. Happy Gardening.

  22. PamWittenberg 10/28/2013

    Love it all, but OMG, that iris is amazing!

  23. janeeliz 10/28/2013

    Love your wonderful garden, Nancy! One of my favorite sections is the path with the blue bellflower edging it w. chartreuse…moneywort, perhaps? Also what is that stunning plant w. dark green leaf growing right below the bellflower-across from the grass?

  24. OregonGardenGal 10/29/2013

    Hi JaneEliz, I'm glad you like the photos. You are right about the moneywort. It's the golden variety. The plant below the bellflowers on the left of the path is Impatiens omeiana. It's a perennial impatiens in our climate. (zone 8a) The flowers are real late and orange. I mostly grow it for the pretty foliage.

  25. OregonGardenGal 10/29/2013

    Part of the reason I took these pictures is that my garden club asked me to do a talk on creating small ornamental garden spaces next Spring. I am not much of a public speaker but I figured pictures will help make up for my weakness! At least I always enjoy garden talks if the pictures are good. I have before pictures from the 1990's too. Any suggestions on how to get started with the talk or what to cover from you expert readers of Fine Gardening?

  26. user-1020932 10/29/2013

    well, i'm a day late and a dollar short,,,,,,again. i remember your garden from previous posts but i revisited. you have created some great refuges within your sanctuary, i think it's much more than a garden . i love the rooms and hidden areas. i gotta try Impatiens omeiana next year. i was also glad to see the saxifrage, it's sort of a forgotten plant here but i use it quite a bit. good luck with the garden talk, i do that quite a bit and photos always help move things along and get people asking questions. sometimes though, the garden club members are more interested in what's for lunch than anything i could ever day :) have fun!

  27. GardenersWK 10/29/2013

    I love your garden! I can't decide which picture is my favorite! I like the stairs with the bellflowers so much! What a challenging site you had and what a heavenly garden you created! I probably like the Rohodos picture because that is my favorite time of the year with the large blue hosta specimen and the Japanese Candelabra primulas blooming on the right bottom! Great job!

  28. user-6536305 12/05/2017

    Wow, every square inch is cultivated. Love that yellow Iris and all. Love your lawn and edge!

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