Changes are afoot at Gaiety Hollow


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This weekend are the last tours of the 2017 season. We have a garden tour at Deepwood Museum & Gardens at 9am. It is followed by a tour of the gardens at Gaiety Hollow at 10:30am. This is your last opportunity to see the Flower Garden at Gaiety Hollow before big changes take place!


Come Monday morning, I will be in the garden digging (almost) everything up. The annuals will go to the great compost pile in the sky and the perennials and roses will find new homes with our volunteers. By Wednesday, the Flower Garden will look like a blank slate.

Wednesday evening, we are welcoming a crew of youth from the LDS church in south Salem. They will pull up the bricks from the paths in the Flower Garden, clean them, and stack them. I am so grateful to have their offer of help!

The following week, our contractor will come in with his crew and work will commence on the rehabilitation of the brick pathways. If you have been to Gaiety Hollow this season, you know that the paths are uneven, water pools in various sections, and the edging brick is spawling in places or leaning right and left.

September in the Flower Garden

When you come back to the gardens next spring, this will no longer be the case! We cannot wait to have the paths fixed so that they look as they did when Edith and Elizabeth gardened at Gaiety Hollow. The bricks will be clean, the path lines sharp and crisp, the pedestal at the center of the garden reconstructed, and grass will be reintroduced in two sections (including the path to the Pergola).

It is a very exciting time for the Lord & Schryver Conservancy. Many thanks to our grant partners, the Oregon Cultural Trust and the State Historic Preservation Office, to our donors, and to our volunteers, for making this project possible.

One Last Open House


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I had a meeting at the house this morning so I snuck in the back gate a little early to see the garden…gorgeous even on an overcast and smoky morning…the last open house of the season is coming up this Sunday the 10th, $5 each for adults…545 Mission Street starting at 10:00 a.m….you won’t be sorry.  The zinnias are beautiful and so is everything else!  Come walk through for a summer memory.

Historic roses at Gaiety Hollow


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Earlier this week, I had an epiphany as I looked at historic plans in our organization archives. Years ago, volunteers had Edith and Elizabeth’s hand-drawn plans for the gardens at Gaiety Hollow digitized. I have copies on my computer and refer to them often while doing research and planning. There is a sketch that I have often skipped over because I did not see it as particularly relevant.
ND plan with shrubs coll96_lordschpapers_0020

I had overlooked this drawing because it features a Vitex and Lonicera hedges that were never planted.

However, this week, I had a realization that the information written in the four inner flower beds might be very useful. We know from photographs that Edith and Elizabeth planted these beds with roses–roses that have long since disappeared.

So why could this sketch not tell me which roses Edith and Elizabeth preferred?

With the power of the internet, it didn’t take me long to generate a complete list of the roses on this plan, their type, their colors, and their year of introduction. And they match with our historic photographs.

  • ‘Butterfly’ (aka ‘Golden Butterfly’). Apricot yellow. 1920
  • ‘Sunburst’. Yellow-orange. 1911
  • ‘Constance.’ Golden yellow. 1915
  • ‘Los Angeles.’ Salmon. 1916
  • ‘Augusta Victoria’ (aka ‘Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria’). White, yellow center. 1911
  • ‘Mrs. Aaron Ward.’ Yellow blend. 1907
  • ‘Imperial Potentate.’ Carmine pink. 1921
  • ‘Lady Ashtown.’ Pink. 1904
  • ‘Duchess of Wellington.’ Yellow. 1909
  • ‘Mme. Edouard Herriot.’ Coral-red. 1912
  • ‘Golden Ophelia.’ Medium yellow. 1918
  • Mabel Morse. Golden yellow. 1922

It seems like an easy step forward for us to replant exactly what Edith and Elizabeth specified on this drawing. But historic preservation is never easy! We have no records that indicate these exact roses were ever installed. At the same time, we know that Edith and Elizabeth were critical of their gardens and flowers, frequently tossing out plants that did not meet their high standards. Perhaps these roses were planted in 1932 and then went into the compost heap within the next few years. We may never know. In addition, sourcing old roses can be difficult, as roses frequently drop out of trade as new cultivars are introduced. We might not be able to find these roses for purchase in the USA.

970 nd_roses with brick walk and arbor

Roses in the Flower Garden. Date unknown.

Nevertheless, I am excited about my discovery! The colors match our collection of historic photographs. I will use this list of roses to inform the type and color palette of the roses that I choose to plant in the coming year.


‘Gruss an Coburg’ purchased by L&S for Deepwood

Many, many thanks to our volunteers who spent countless hours in the University of Oregon archives finding these scraps of information and paving the way for the restoration of the gardens.

Photographs and plans courtesy of the Lord & Schryver architectural records, Coll 098, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.


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.