Each Thursday morning, a wonderful group of gardeners shows up at the historic Lord and Schryver gardens at the Deepwood Estate. I am grateful for this dedicated crew who work hard to keep these sophisticated gardens – located within a public park – looking great. Most public parks never receive this level of care and attention.  Although the work is ever-changing, these volunteers do a great job, rising to any task that comes down the pike.

It really is a heartwarming feeling to be working in the Scroll or Teahouse gardens and  hear the “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” as visitors turn the corner and view these beautiful gardens.

We are always on the lookout for volunteers. If you interested in joining this group, please drop me a line at:



Beat the Heat

From the transcribed “Lord and Schryver Personal Garden Notes” found in Special Collections #98, Box 16, Folder 6 of the L&S archive collection at the University of Oregon, Knight Library, Eugene OR:

June of 1936

“Delphinium. Pretty good. Canterbury Bells [Campanula medium] can be pinched off and will bloom in July in time for Phlox.

Use more Astilbe + Phlox in back of garden. Need more pink and white.

New Columbine good color – well with pale blue. Give more space to it.

Take out Belladona D [Delphinium x belladonna] near S. Rose and plant white Phlox there.

Put Lilium – Tulips and Canterbury Bells [Campanula medium] back of Jar. Both Hemerocallis very pretty. Advise taking out other varieties – bloom early when not needed.”

One of the best things about a garden journal or the more modern version, a garden blog, is the ability to track planting activities, weather, bloom times and more over time. I’ve been reading through the transcribed garden notes of Edith and Elizabeth and really appreciate the detailed observations.   Although often sparsely worded, these journals include a wealth of knowledge to guide us in the Gaiety Hollow garden.

If I was recreating a similar journal entry today, I would note “Delphinium good this year. Need to try that Campanula pinching trick to see if it works.”

I love how Elizabeth and Edith tracked the weather in the garden notes, making for a very interesting read.  Of course, the big news now is the warm weather…94 degrees at 4:20 pm.

Hope the blossoms don’t fade too quickly with the heat!


Growing From Seeds


Check out the collection of Dianthus barbatus, aka sweet William, blooming at Gaiety Hollow today!

Dianthus barbatus is a biennial or short-lived perennial native to the Pyrenees, Carpathian and Balkan mountain ranges as well as several disjunct areas in China, Korea and Southern Russia. It makes a fantastic cut flower with its long stems and slightly spicy scent.  Sweet William was often used in classic Victorian cottage gardens.

The majority of the sweet William at Gaiety Hollow was propagated by seed.  I’m a big believer in starting plants from seed as the genetic variability allows you to make your own selections based on personal preference.

This winter, I’m looking forward to working with the Gaiety Hollow Gardeners to locate seeds that best represent the works of Lord and Schryver. Many modern cultivars propagated in nurseries don’t quite fit the color palette preferred by Elizabeth and Edith.  But by pouring over seed catalogs, especially of rare and heirloom varieties, we can make our own selections.

Another reason to start your own seeds is to stagger your plantings to maximize bloom times. I like to start a tray of plugs, plant out half as plugs into the garden, then pot up the rest into 4″ pots and let them mature for a few more weeks. This way, when you plant them out, you have variability of maturation and bloom times, resulting in longer lasting color.

Don’t forget to visit Gaiety Hollow on an upcoming Open Garden to see the sweet William and other seed-grown beauties in bloom.

Happy Gardening,


The Delphiniums are in bloom

The Delphiniums are blooming and looking spectacular at Gaiety Hollow. The tall spikes of Foxgloves and masses of Hesperis and pink Peonies add to the show.

According to Greek mythology, Delphiniums first emerged from the spot where Ajax, the Greek god and hero of the Trojan war, died.  Here in the Northwest, native Delphiniums, or Larkspur, were used by early indigenous people to make blue dyes.

Foxglove, or digitalis lanata, contains digoxin, a toxin used to treat heart issues.  Both Delphiniums and Foxglove are highly poisonous to people and animals and should never be ingested.  Instead, just admire the striking blooms.

This past week began with light rain showers, and when the sun finally came out, the weather became quite humid.  But it looks like we can expect a stretch of sunshine for the long weekend ahead.

Happy Memorial Day and thank you to all who served.






Deepwood Update!


The Lower Terrace Rehab project is almost complete, the guys from Aspen Creek have done a wonderful job on this project. Here is a sneak peak of the area:

The vines to climb it are yet to be determined, but the rehabilitation of the Lilacs and the Peony plantings are being followed per the treatment plan. The peonies may be a challenge because of the heavy shade now covering the area from the dominant Magnolia canopy that has matured over the garden. However there are species of Peony such as the Japanese Forest Peony, Paeonia obovata which are very well adapted to shade and understory plantings. Sometimes as gardeners we have to adapt to the changing weather patterns, and changing seasons, as well as the changing availability of sun or shade as it may be.

I for one am super glad to have the rain back!



Rhododendrons and Columbines


Just a few of the sights to see at Gaiety Hollow this week. The Rhododendrons are blooming heavy and in the Parterre the dainty blossoms of a half dozen different selections of Columbine dot the landscape.

The weather has been very unusual and while I hate to be the boy that cried wolf, if it’s any indicator of what the summer has in store it could be a long and hot one. No rain for going on three weeks now and forecasted highs that are supposed to push into the low 90’s by the weekend. Time to make sun tea and stock up on ice cubes!

Happy Gardening,

Deepwood Update!

The lower terrace rehabilitation project at Deepwood is really coming along, Last week the Pavers were laid down and with the wall being finished it’s a great historic restoration project in the works.



The weather has just been fantastic this week! A bit of a North Wind blowing but Sunny Skies all around.

Happy Gardening!


Tulip season hits its peak

The rain has lightened up and the tulips are starting to hit the peak bloom this week. The replication of Elizabeth and Edith’s 1956 bulb planting plan makes for a spectacular show!

An April Walk Around the Deepwood


Finally a spring day with some soul warming sunshine! 75 degrees in the garden today felt amazing! I took a brief walk around and snapped a few photo’s of the beautiful pre easter day.


The Camellias of Gaiety Hollow



May 5th, 1942. It was a Tuesday. On that day in History, the US began rationing sugar during World War II. In Tremont, Mississippi,  Tammy Wynette was born. She would go on to record some great hits with “the Possum” George Jones and become known as the first lady of Country music.

And on that day in 1942, Elizabeth and Edith bought 5 distinct cultivars of Camellia, from the purchase records: May 5th 1942:

  • Camellia alba plena
  • Camellia Cheerful (Chandler)
  • Camellia ‘Francine’
  • Camellia ‘Kumasaka’
  • Camellia ‘Purity’



The Camellia Collection of Lord and Schryver is still going strong, while we have some work to figure out what all the old names are, it’s a spring pleasure to enjoy the hard contrast of the shades of White, Pink and Red set so strongly on the dark green background of the evergreen foliage.


This is one of my favorites in the Garden, the Double dark pink under the oak tree in the West Entry, it’s probably the most well behaved of the collection, only dropping a few flowers at a time. Which makes it a favorite of the gardener, because you don’t have to clean up a 100 lbs of spent blossoms every morning!


Spring Marches on


The Urn from the Pergola with the dark red blossoms of Magnolia on the brick.