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, GardenTime.tv 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Mother’s Day, rain or shine!

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We are welcoming visitors to Gaiety Hollow on Mother’s Day, May 14, 1-4pm. We hope that we have many new and return guests! Bring your family and enjoy the gorgeous shrubs and spring flowers blooming now.

Rhododendrons are the highlight of the West Allée.

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A stunning Deutzia is covered in white flowers near the Pergola.

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Forget-me-nots were some of Elizabeth Lord’s favorite flowers and they still re-seed themselves every year in the flower garden. They look like blue clouds right now.

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Pansies and alyssum are smiling in the sun in the newly restored Drying Garden.

 

And Peonia rubra plena, planted in 1955, is still showing off her gorgeous flowers in the Flower Garden over 60 years after she was planted by Elizabeth and Edith.

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We look forward to seeing you on Sunday…and don’t forget to bring your camera!

How things change…

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in a single week!

I was out of town for ten days and my how the plants have grown. Tulip season has drawn to a close. The tree peonies that Edith and Elizabeth planted are almost done blooming (the heat today and tomorrow will finish them off). The herbaceous peonies are growing leaps and bounds and some will open any day now.

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The Viburnum burkwoodii and lilacs are filling the garden with intoxicating scent.

The Rhododendron are beginning to show off.

I am planting our summer annuals and perennials. I hope that the heat and the sun makes them grow big and strong! Lobularia maritima in the Drying Garden smells like honey.

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And I have a few seedlings growing in pots that will fill in the Flower Garden and Drying Garden later this month.

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Our next Open Garden is on May 14th–Mother’s Day. Come visit the garden with family and enjoy the beauty and peace that the garden brings.

Volunteer Appreciation!

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I came in the back gate today for the event, and a quick walk through this garden makes you appreciate anew the power of commitment, focus and pure love of place.

This garden has been maintained and renovated and cared for thoroughly for years by volunteers.  Just this year we have been joined by garden curator Lindsey Kerr, the first salaried position.  Lindsey quickly saw the volunteers were key and she has intuitively networked with everybody…gardeners, carpenters, artists and photographers, archivists…the large team of people whose interest in the work of Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver has made this project go forward for two decades.  Lindsey wasn’t with us today, but I snuck up to her office (stopping on the landing for a quick look in to Lord and Schryver’s office)

for a couple of the views she sees everyday…

From up here I saw the clematis on the newly-completed pergola renovation just bursting into bloom (as planned by L&S)…here’s Lindsey’s photo of last week and then how it looked today…

We were offered refreshments,

and a look at some of the drawings of Lord and Schryver on the walls in the public rooms…(I liked this one which was Edith Schryver’s senior thesis project at the Lowthrope School)

and then to stroll the garden, returning to the house to tell what was our favorite spot in the garden…

Today all these volunteers were appreciated in the best way…each of us was handed a thank you note or two and asked to tell what we do for the garden and the conservancy, and in the story-telling there was a grace and a humor and a sense of commitment that seems rare in these days.

The Board master-minded a surprise gift for Board Chair Bobbie Dolp who really has worked full time doing everything from grant-writing to weeding…her favorite vintage photo of the house…(with a drawing by me of a cherry original to the garden)…she liked it…

…and before I forget I rounded the corner of the garage today to see the crab apple planted last fall in full bloom…

Volunteers we appreciate you!!!  Thank you for this work.

 

Spring tours

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Today was the perfect day for a tour of the gardens. After all the rain last night, the gardens looked clean and new.

We had a lively group of folks come from the Willamalane Park and Recreation District for tours of both Deepwood and Gaiety Hollow and a catered lunch in the gardens at Gaiety Hollow. Everyone had a wonderful time. We hope to share the gardens with more groups throughout the season. Know someone interested in a private tour? Have them contact Bobbie.

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We have two tours open to the public this coming Saturday. Join us at 9am at Deepwood Museum and Gardens. Tours will leave from the kiosk near the parking lot. At 10:30am, there will be a tour at Gaiety Hollow. Meet at the front door.