Gardens–and trees!–in bloom


, , , , ,

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


, , , ,

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.

Mother’s Day, rain or shine!


, , , , , , , ,

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.


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


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.



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.


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

How things change…


, , , , , , , , , ,

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.


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.


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


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!


, , , , , , ,

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


, , , , , , , , ,

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.


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.



“April, come she will


, , , , , , , ,

When streams are ripe and swelled with rain…”

This spring has been unusually wet here in Salem. It has made for a sometimes difficult situation for gardeners trying to get work done and trying to time flower combinations. Last Friday’s wind and rain finished off the cherry blossoms and blew away many of the Magnolia flowers. Our dauntless board chair, Bobbie Dolp, was outside in the horizontal rain, string-trimming and pulling dandelions from the lawns in preparation for our first Open Garden this past Sunday.

Many thanks to the volunteers to helped greet visitors on Sunday and thank you to all who came to see and enjoy the gardens. We hope that you come again to see the seasons  change as we dig deeper into rehabilitating the gardens.
As the early spring flowers fade, new blossoms open to take their place. Tulips are in full glory in the Flower Garden and more are showing color every day.


Elizabeth and Edith’s forget-me-nots form a backdrop to tulips and a blanket under the roses.

Rhododendrons are beginning to open on the west side of the gardens.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our next Garden Tours are April 22nd. We hope that you join us.

Open Garden this weekend April 9


, , , , , ,

Please join us at Gaiety Hollow for our first Open Garden of the season! Visitors may wander through the gardens at their leisure and speak with our volunteers stationed throughout the property. The garden will be open 1-4pm. Admission is $5 for anyone over the age of 16. Gaiety Hollow is located at 545 Mission St. in Salem, OR.

Below is a partial list of plants in bloom this week. Scientific names are italicized.

In the front yard and along the Allée:

Crab apple (scientific name Malus) just beginning to open by front door



Viburnum davidii 


Skimmia japonica (female plants have red fruit, male plants have only flowers)




Rhododendron just beginning to open by the statue in the Allée






In the Evergreen Garden:

Anemone hybrid






In the Flower Garden:

Crab apple (Malus) just beginning to open by back gate

Osmanthus delavayi under the crab apple


Anemone nemorosa by the bench




Daffodils (Narcissus)

Bellis daisies (Bellis perennis)


Bleeding Hearts (Lamprocapnos spactabalis–try saying it out loud!)


Forget-me-nots (Myosotis)


Grape hyacinths (Muscari)

3_28 grape hyacinths

Viburnum burkwoodii


Prunus (aka flowering plum or cherries)


First tour of the season


, , , , , , , ,

This past week was a whirlwind of activity at Gaiety Hollow. We had our first tour scheduled for Saturday and we wanted the gardens to look their best. Many, many thanks to the volunteers who put in over 60 hours of work to make the gardens shine.  Carpenters worked on the Pergola and cut plywood for guests and volunteers to walk on to avoid damaging the lawn. Garden volunteers filled up four large City compost bins with debris and needed to stash extra in the Service Yard.

Every day, we clean up more Camellia blossoms. You finish raking and turn around and there’s another one!
The morning of the tour, the gardens looked fresh and clean.

3_25 morning

Bobbie placed photos around the gardens so that guests could view the gardens in different seasons or years past.

3_25 tour

A sampling of camellias float in the pool.

3_25 camellia blossoms

And daffodils and grape hyacinths were at their finest.

3_28 grape hyacinths

We have more Garden Tours and Open Gardens coming up! The first Open Garden is April 9th, 1-4pm. More information on the website. We hope to see you in the gardens.

Deepwood: what’s blooming now 3/21

A few photos from Deepwood this morning. Many of the Gaiety Hollow plants are repeated at Deepwood. Here are a few new plants and a few that were too pretty no to include a second time.

In the Tea House Garden.

Walking down to the the Scroll Garden.

Near the entrance from Mission St.

Camellias by the house foundation

Oemleria cerasiformis (Indian plum), a native plant common throughout the Deepwood natural areas.