Garden Photo of the Day

Nancy’s Hillside Garden in Oregon

A birdhouse amidst hydrangeas, Fuchsia magellanica, and variegated 'Nora Leigh' phlox.

Today we’re revisiting Nancy Sarpola’s beautiful garden in Corvallis, Oregon. We’ve visited with Nancy four times in the past (HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE), and it just keeps getting better!

Clematis ‘Yuki Komachi’, one of my favorites. The name is an allusion to a Japanese poet in the snow.

Today she says, “We have a quarter-acre hillside garden in Corvallis, Oregon, which is usually Zone 8 but it got down to nearly 0°F this winter and some things were damaged. Most of them are gradually coming back.”

Our front hillside in June with a jumble of color from Asiatic lilies, catmint, alstroemeria, Spiraea ‘Magic Carpet’, a smoke bush, and a chamaecyparis.

Best batch of photos yet, Nancy. You garden is simply stunning. More, more!!

Keep sending in photos of your gardens, everyone!

A ‘Graham Thomas’ rose and some delphineums.
Hydrangea ‘Kiyosumi’ and the white variegated foliage of a fallopia. This highly variegated form doesn’t seem to take over like the greener ones can. 
A Pacific Coast hybrid iris called ‘Canyon Snow’.
A dwarf bearded iris called ‘Starbaby’.
A shot along the front of our lot when the peonies were in bloom.  They are singles ‘Red Sword’ and ‘Seashell’.  They flop less than the double forms in our spring rains, which makes it easier for me to take care of them.  
A picture out our bedroom door through the wisteria as it was blooming in April.

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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/31/2014

    So nice to have a another visit to your garden, Nancy and enjoy intimate close ups of some of your very photogenic beauties as well as some big picture shots..a real nice mix. I love how those wisteria blossoms look like glorious purple hued water from the heavens.So glad those cold temps didn't deprive you of those blooms. Your white clematis is the very definition of pure loveliness.

  2. perenniallycrazy 07/31/2014

    Those are beautiful plant combinations Nancy! I gasped when I saw the photo of the hydrangea and the variegated fallopia foliage. How can you not fall in love with that? Everything is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I hope there is a part 2 tomorrow. (PS I couldn't help myself - I had to look through all your previous photos again.)

  3. OregonGardenGal 07/31/2014

    Thanks meander1 and Perennially Crazy. I keep coming back with batches of pictures largely because the regular commentators like the two of you are kind and generous with the praise. You make it fun and unintimidating! Wish I could stay home from work in the morning and chat!

    1. User avater
      meander_michaele 07/31/2014

      Like Perennially Crazy, I love additional opportunities to have new peeks into someone's, it it fun to revisit the previously submitted pictures. So glad that you go to the trouble to snap and share!

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/31/2014

    Nancy, I'm wild about your garden. I went through the previous posts as well and there are so many memorable images. Keep sending more!

  5. VikkiVA 07/31/2014

    Nancy...your garden is magic! As a new follower of Fine Gardening e-mails your most current pictures were the only glimpse I've had of your garden. I looked at all of your previous posts and you have created a beautiful retreat. You have masterfully selected plants that work so well together in every season. You and I have many of the same plants, however, I'm in SE Virginia which is a very different zone 8 than yours. Thank you for sharing the beauty you have created. Vikki in VA.

    1. OregonGardenGal 08/01/2014

      Thanks VikkiB, I would love to visit Virginia some day and see the gardens there!

  6. NCYarden 07/31/2014

    Nancy, you have a wonderful looking garden, bright and fun. So much beauty on such a condensed area. I believe this past winter was a Zonal challenge for most of us. Great to hear and see you sustained mainly damage and not loss. Praise for the resilience of plants, and thus ourselves as we regrow with them. I was happy to see the variegated Fallopia - I find it to not be so invasive either, and it is such a striking feature in the garden, especially up against other plants. Thank you for sharing.

  7. greengenes 07/31/2014

    Good morning! What a wakeup! I so love your gardens! The variegated fallopia is to die for! You have great bright shade which makes it a wonderful spot for shade plants to really show their stuff! Thanks for the names on some of the plants, like the clematis...beautiful!
    What a way to wake up in the morning by looking out at the wisteria! I as well looked at the past shots you had sent and it is all so stunning. Thanks for all the inspiration this morning, Nancy! Enjoy your summer!

  8. jeannetrimble 07/31/2014

    I too am a new follower and enjoyed your garden so much! Never saw a Fallopia before and the beautiful variegation is just what I have been looking for in my Pennsylvania garden. The Clematis and the Wisteria are also beautiful! I keep looking at your pictures again and again!. I had to give up a beautiful Wisteria because it became too heavy for a small city urban garden that I have. I had trained it into a tree and loved it but the weight was not good for the neighbors fences. I am happy to see you have the space and yours is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your amazing garden!

    1. greengenes 07/31/2014

      Hi Jeanne, so you trained a wisteria into a tree! I just bought a 5ft "tree" at a nursery and thought I would try to keep it like that. Can you share any tips or tricks with keeping it a tree? Or any help at all would be appreciated. Should I keep it in a big pot or does it spread a lot in the ground? Etc.. thanks...

      1. jeannetrimble 07/31/2014

        Hi Greengenes! I kept trimming off any new shoots and clipping the tips of the new growth. Mine was planted in the ground in a big planter box in front of a fence. The removal of all the shoots and longer branches seemed to make it bloom all summer in its 4th year.It was so pretty and I had to keep trimming it all the time. The seeds shot all over the yard and sprouted and I had to keep pulling out new Wisteria starters.My small city courtyard is not suited to a strong Wisteria and I had to get rid of it. I now have 7 Clematis vines and they are big enough. If I was a younger woman I would LOVE a bigger yard. I just bought a hobby greenhouse and experiment with every seed I can get my hands on!

        1. greengenes 07/31/2014

          Okay! Wow, I didn't know that the seeds sprouted so easily. I have a vine but I have never found any sprouts, just shoots from the base. That's great that you like to experiment with seeds! I sort of do that too, if I have time. I found this seed on line called, "cukeamelon" and they grew and are the best little snack in the garden! They look like tiny little watermelons and they have a wonderful little crunch with a limey, cucumber flavor. Its a vine too so you can go vertical to save space. Yummy in the garden! I recently went to a garden tour and there was a wonderful plant of which I knew not so I gathered some of the seed and iam excited to see what happens next spring! You have fun this summer!

          1. jeannetrimble 07/31/2014

            Wow! That sounds like a nice new treat. Don't have space to grow much more than I have now. I remember years ago a friend was starting a garden and she grew watermelons, pumpkins and cucumbers in the same area. Not a great idea! The watermelons tasted like pumpkin and the cucumbers were fat and round. You have a great summer also, and keep me informed as to any new or odd seeds you find. I try anything!

  9. sheila_schultz 07/31/2014

    Nancy, your beautiful gardens never fail to mesmerize me. (Like everyone else, I was compelled to go back to see the previous posts... wow!) I love the way your combos play so well together, you definitely have the eye of an artist.
    Having gardens on a slope brings so many possibilities for visual interest, but they must be very challenging to tend, although you would never know that from the end results. You are an amazing gardener!

  10. annek 07/31/2014

    So vibrantly lush, Nancy. I truly enjoyed the tour through your gardens and marveled at what a zone 8 will grow. The wisteria made me sigh and I'm already looking up internet nurseries that might carry the clematis. Thanks for sharing!

  11. OregonGardenGal 07/31/2014

    Thanks for your kind comments everyone. Annek, I don't know how far you are from Oregon but Joy Creek Nursery in Scapoose, Oregon ships a huge variety of clematis.

  12. GrannyMay 07/31/2014

    Reviewing all your garden photos is a wonderful way to start the day! Thank you Nancy! Love your clematis and iris closeups and the fallopia with the hydrangea is simply gorgeous! Though I think all peonies are beautiful, for the same reason as yours, my favourite is a stunning single white named 'Angel Wings'.

    1. OregonGardenGal 08/01/2014

      I will have to look for Angel Wings!

      1. GrannyMay 08/01/2014

        It is worth looking for. Here is a photo from June this year.

        1. OregonGardenGal 08/01/2014

          Wow! That is gorgeous!

  13. GrannyCC 07/31/2014

    What a delight to see more of your garden. Love the Clematis and the fallopia. All your close ups are stunning.

  14. schatzi 07/31/2014

    Exquisite! I will have to find that white clematis. And where do you find your Pacific Coast iris? I just love the color striations in them. Is that available at Joy Creek? Your gardens are amazingly lush and beautiful. I live in western WA. Don't you love the climate here? Both the good thing and the bad thing is that everything grows here! I am amazed that you can keep up with all that lush growth and work full time too. Just gorgeous! Enjoy.

    1. OregonGardenGal 08/01/2014

      Hi Shirleygraves, That Pacific Coast iris came from Siskiyou rare plant nursery near Ashland in Southern Oregon. The climate is great here. We've been near 90 for several weeks now with a few days in the 70's. I didn't send the pictures of the places in my garden that need more attention than I have time to give them!! I tried to attach a picture to this comment showing the upside down delphineums from last year when I didn't get around to staking them, so you could see the other side of the coin but it didn't work. Picture must be too large. I try to enjoy what's looking good and not worry that it's not perfect!

  15. schatzi 07/31/2014

    I went back and reviewed the earlier pictures you sent. Your garden is exquisite in any season. I love it.

  16. janeeliz 07/31/2014

    Nancy, your garden is exquisite in all seasons! I especially love your front hill...with blue hydrangea and birdhouse and with all your wild hot shades. The white clematis is so elegant as it the combo of hydrangea and variegated fallopia. All very inspiring!

  17. user-6536305 12/05/2017

    Wow, awesome cool plant combinations Nancy!

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