August anticipation


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August is a month of activity at Gaiety Hollow. A month of welcoming visitors and a month of preparations and anticipation for major projects.

On the 5th, we welcomed our neighbors in Gaiety Hill to an evening in the garden. A highlight of the event was Chinese lanterns collected by by volunteer Valerie McIntosh hung throughout the garden. We hope to do more evening events in the future.

August 11th was the first Englewood Forest Festival. Englewood Park has strong ties to Lord & Schryver. Elizabeth Lord served on the first parks commission in 1936. She was instrumental in the design of the park and advocated for the preservation of the Oregon white oak stand which remains today. Ruth Roberts, a long-time volunteer with the Lord & Schryver Conservancy and perhaps our resident L&S historian, was interviewed on Willamette Wakeup on KMUZ. You can listen to the interview by following this link. Click on the “play” button for August 10th 8am show. Unfortunately, you have to listen to news before the interview comes up, but Ruth is well worth the wait! Many thanks to Ruth for giving such an articulate and insightful interview.

This past weekend was an Open Garden and this coming Saturday, to capitalize on eclipse viewers, we are open to the public again from 10:30-1:30pm.

We are also deep into the planning stages of major projects that will begin to take place next month. In late September, after the gardens have closed to the public for the season, work will begin on the repair of the brick walks through the parterre Flower Garden. The bricks will be taken up, sorted and cleaned, the path edges re-aligned and the grade raised, and then the bricks will be re-installed. Today, Joy Sears from the State Historic Preservation Office stopped by to help us choose replacement bricks. This is a very exciting project and will vastly enhance the look and feel of the Flower Garden.

Also later this season, we are improving the drainage in the West Allee. You might remember seeing the West Allee blocked off to visitors last winter and into this spring. If you stepped into the Allee, you were met by standing water and mud. We hope that putting in a drain and wells will solve this problem and improve the visitor experience.

If you haven’t been to Gaiety Hollow yet this season, don’t delay! We are open August 19, September 10 and 23rd. Check the website for more information.

Summer in blazing glory


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I don’t think I’ve ever experienced temperatures over 102 degrees. It’s not something I had on my “bucket list”. The Gaiety Hollow gardens seem to be taking it well, thanks to drip irrigation and some early morning sprinklers in the Flower Garden. Although we humans are wilting in the mid-day heat, the annual displays keep growing and filling the borders with color.


Elizabeth and Edith’s grape vine is loaded with clusters of fruit this season. The hanging bunches of grapes give a distinctly southern European feel to the Pergola seating area. One has to wonder if they chose the grape after being inspired by gardens in France and Spain.


The late summer flowers are beginning to show off. Elizabeth and Edith loved phlox for their old fashioned charm and lovely scent. A few stems cut and brought inside perfume and entire room.


Dahlias, Verbena, jasmine tobacco, snapdragons, petunias, zinnias, and a rogue Queen Anne’s lace that I didn’t have the heart to pull, are filling up the garden with buckets of flowers. The honey scent of alyssum wafts through the Drying Garden.

We are planning to have the Gaiety Hollow gardens open for visitors the Saturday before the Eclipse. We hope to introduce Lord & Schryver’s garden and legacy to new guests while they are whiling away time in Salem before the Big Event. If you have friends or family in town, please bring them to the garden!

Eclipse Open Garden


Evening in the Garden


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We took a twilight tour of the gardens at Gaiety Hollow this evening and as usual found the garden beautiful and restorative.

If you want to ease into the Salem Art Fair this weekend let me suggest the Lord and Schryver tours which are Saturday the 22nd at 9:00 at Deepwood Museum & Gardens and at Gaiety Hollow beginning at 10:30.  The cost is $5 for those 16 and up.

So why do this?  Why go visit gardens planted in the 1930’s by people long gone?  Well in Garden Curator Lindsey Kerr’s absence I’ll suggest a few reasons.

These women, Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver, lived here in Salem.  They designed cutting-edge gardens of great beauty for Salemites and for others across the Northwest.  They were rigorous, talented and interesting, and if you live in Salem they are a part of your history!  Come see the garden and learn their story, your back-story.

Walk through these garden gates and step back in time.  For the most part people don’t design or maintain gardens like this anymore. We are now into efficient, low water, low maintenance gardens. Here is a chance to see a house and garden designed and now maintained from another world altogether…and it is a captivating garden and a captivating world.

Come and see plant varieties and combinations that are “old fashioned” and yet totally up to date. Giant white hydrangeas, Nicotiana alata spilling out of beds, delphinium, grapes…ideas abound in this historic garden for modern gardeners.

Escape.  And this garden has been providing a breathing space for me and many others for years…always delightful, ALWAYS ALIVE, always a balm.

See you Saturday!



Summer in the garden


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It’s hard to believe that it is already July!


Nicotiana alata

This coming weekend, we are excited to welcome Salem Sketchers to the Gaiety Hollow for a morning of sketching the gardens. Artists will leave some of their Gaiety Hollow inspired work for us to display during our Open Garden. Please join us from 1-4pm, Sunday, July 9th.


We are excited to announce that the Lord & Schryver Conservancy received a large grant from Oregon Heritage that will partially fund the rehabilitation of the brick pathways in the Flower Garden at Gaiety Hollow. The Conservancy was one of just 16 projects to receive funding this year. The brick paths will be repaired this fall after the gardens have closed for the season. This project will allow us to re-use the old bricks and restore the original look and feel of the Flower Garden.

Many thanks to our board chair, Bobbie Dolp, for her hard work in procuring the grant and to the citizens of Oregon for making this program possible.

The Garden is READY!


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Garden manager and curator Lindsey Kerr is away this week so I’m jumping back in for a quick post.  The garden will be open this Saturday at 10:30 for touring ($5.00 per adult) and if you haven’t been in a while it is worth the trip.  Lindsey Kerr has worked miracles in the garden along with the team of volunteers who trim and weed and tidy…not to mention to the volunteers who are replacing the hard-scape in the garden…i.e. the rotting wooden fences, benches and gates. But first…the garden.   I stepped in the gate this morning and was just delighted…

Fresh, organized and the smells…yum.   Lindsey has been working with the many garden plans and lists that Lord and Schryver made for  their own garden over the years, and has replanted many of the old-fashioned favorites they often used.  Noticable this summer are the Canterbury Bells…the bells are back!

and this morning I sat briefly in my favorite shady benches for views of the garden…

And the pergola and bench under the grape arbor are COMPLETE!  (I spent a whole week here a few years ago drawing!)

Mark your calendar…Saturday June 24th!

GardenTime, part 2


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A week ago today, stopped in for a quick interview with Bobbie and me. They allowed us to plug our Sunday Open Garden and–thanks to the show airing on Saturday morning–we welcomed more visitors to the garden than expected.

If you would like to watch the clip, here it is:


Disclaimer: I fumbled and got dates wrong! We are rehabilitating the gardens to the “period of significance” from 1932-1969, the years in which Edith and Elizabeth lived in the house and operated their firm.

Garden Time!


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This morning, Bobbie and I had the pleasure of being interviewed by William from Garden Time, a television show based out of the Portland region. We should be on this Saturday! You can see his photos from this morning on his Facebook page.


It is wonderful to have more people taking notice of the Conservancy and what we are doing to rehabilitate that gardens at Gaiety Hollow and open them to the public.

The gardens are changing every day. Lilies are in bud. Roses are blooming. The alyssum fills the air with its honey fragrance. You can almost watch the zinnias and petunias grow. Canterbury bells–one of Elizabeth’s favorite plants for summer–are blooming white, pink, or blue, along the Flower Walk.

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(Please note that this is a slideshow and better viewed by watching on the blog website rather than in an email.)

Come join us on Sunday afternoon for our June Open Garden. 1-4pm. Enjoy the gardens at your own pace and feel free to ask questions of our volunteers stationed throughout the garden. All are welcome.

The gardens at Deepwood


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Even though this blog is named for Lord & Schryver’s home garden, I want to take this week to look at the gardens at Deepwood Museum & Gardens.


The gardens at Deepwood were one of Lord & Schryver’s earliest commissions. Alice Brown hired the firm in 1929 to help her create gardens spaces around her Victorian Era house. The house was built in 1894 and was considered one of the most beautiful and impressive in Salem at the time. However, it was built on a rise and the basement exposed. The surrounding landscape was not designed in tandem with the building’s architect.


Leaping forward to 1929, five years after Alice and Clifford Brown purchased the property, Alice decided that she needed help in designing the gardens around her home. Lord & Schryver, with their newly opened firm located within walking distance, made perfect sense. The gardens at Deepwood were designed and created over many years. In fact, the Scroll Garden was not created until 1936-37. The house and landscape were a challenge for L&S because they preferred to work with the architect to integrate the house and gardens. Although the sum of the gardens does not fit L&S’s standard design elements, the individual gardens are classic Lord & Schryver.

The Scroll Garden

In the early 1980s, after the Deepwood estate had been purchased by the City of Salem, a group of volunteers came together to rejuvenate the gardens. Deepwood was the only publicly owned Lord & Schryver designed garden and provided an opportunity to beautify a community asset. Over time, an intrepid group of enthusiasts–including a few of the original volunteer gardeners–met to study Lord & Schryver and formed what is now the Lord & Schryver Conservancy. The gardens today exhibit L&S’s design principles, educate the public about their pioneering landscape designs, and provide a place of beauty and respite.

Today, volunteer gardeners still care for the historic gardens at Deepwood every Thursday morning, 9-noon. The gardens are inside the iconic green fence and open to the public every day of the week, free of charge, 5am until midnight. We hope that you visit and enjoy the many years of hard work and love that has renewed the gardens.

Gardens–and trees!–in bloom


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The Tea House garden at Deepwood Museum & Gardens is already putting on a beautiful show. Poppies, iris, roses, foxglove, allium, and many more flowers were in bloom this afternoon. Most of the summer annuals have been planted and are ready to flower. The heat earlier this week made many of the plants grow quickly.

An exciting bit of news for the historic garden nerds among us:

A few years ago, the much loved hawthorn tree next to the Tea House was removed.  In searching through records, volunteers discovered that Lord & Schryver purchased a white hawthorn for Deepwood in 1932.  They were perplexed as the tree blooming by the Tea House had a pink double flower. They contacted nurseries and searched online to find a replacement but there appeared to be none available in the US.

When the tree was removed, however, two shoots coming up from the roots were saved. One was left at Deepwood–to hopefully thrive and replace the historic tree–and one was taken to Gaiety Hollow to serve as a back-up . The volunteers waited to see what the young hawthorns would turn out to be. Would they come true to the historic tree? Or was the old tree grafted and the shoots would be from the root stock?

Well, this week the volunteers got a beautiful surprise. The young trees both bloomed masses of fluffy white double flowers–matching Lord & Schryver’s records–and then faded to pink–just as our volunteers remembered.


Not the most beautiful photo, but it’s double and pink!

As photos were shared by email and text, you might have heard a few cheers echoing across the Valley.

Unfortunately, the intense heat made the hawthorn flowers fade and disappear all too quickly. But, the gardens at Deepwood are full of flowers and more than enough reason to visit. There will be a tour of the gardens this Saturday at 9am for those interested in hearing more stories about their creation and rehabilitation.

A second tour will take place at Gaiety Hollow at 10:30. The old hawthorns at the front gate are in full bloom and simply covered in clusters of white flowers. It is no wonder why Lord and Schryver chose to plant these trees with a view from their bedrooms and studio!

The annual display in the Flower Garden is also taking off, with campanula, roses, peonies, petunias, ageratum, alyssum, and daisies all blooming together. Come for a visit!

Annual flower displays


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One of my favorite parts of caring for the gardens at Gaiety Hollow and at Deepwood Museum & Gardens is designing the annual flowers displays. What could be more fun than choosing flowers for two different gardens?

I start by considering which plants we know Lord and Schyver purchased for the gardens (documented in purchase records, photos, or journals). I think about how much room we have in the gardens,  what are the current growing conditions (sun, shade, water needs, etc), and how textures and colors will work together. I make lists and plans and then hit the local nurseries. That’s the fun part.

When the local nurseries don’t have the plants I am looking for or they don’t have the right color, it’s time to get creative. Or maybe I should wait a couple days to see if what I want comes in on the next truck? It’s always a risk.


I’ve started from seed a few plants that I cannot find locally. They don’t look like much right now, but my imagination tells me that they will be beautiful this summer.

Last week, our Thursday and Friday volunteers planted all the annuals I had purchased for Deepwood and Gaiety Hollow. Dare I tell them that I bought more plants today? It’s so exciting to see the little plants in the ground. I’m a terribly impatient gardener, however, and find myself staring at them and willing them to grow faster.


All plant information goes in an Excel spreadsheet for record-keeping

I hope that you visit and re-visit the Gaiety Hollow and Deepwood gardens throughout the season to enjoy the flowers and to see the changes taking place.