Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Visit to The Oregon Garden

Gazebo with grape vine at Northwest garden 

It's been almost a week since I visited The Oregon Garden with Chris and my parents. It is located in Silverton, Oregon near Salem, right in the center of the state. Only a 1 1/2 hour trip for us, we chose to drive south on Hwy 213 and had a pleasant, scenic drive there vs. the freeway.

I've been wanting to take my mom there for a few years, but plans never panned out. A few weeks ago I told her I'd really like to go before it rains so we aimed for the last week of September. That's when the rain started, inches of rain, but somehow we got lucky and had beautiful sunny weather the day of our trip.

The Oregon Garden is 80 acres with a grouping of themed gardens, you can walk through each or take the tram with a guide, or both. I have a lot of photos and I didn't keep track of which garden we were in most of the time. I think our trip merits a couple of posts so I'm going to grab some of my favorites for this one randomly.

At the entry to the visitor's center I found a rain chain, and have to admit that the chain links look as good to me as any artsier version. I think the vine is fig (correct me if not) and the dry creek bed is attractive running along the entry patio.

This plant, below, was the most interesting to me. I hadn't heard of it or seen it before. Fiveleaf Akebia, a vine used here to cover a trellis. Once I got a closer look I realized it had fruit, odd looking fruit.

I liked the foliage - I've read it is evergreen, but Monrovia lists it as deciduous. I like the fruit, as ornamental, not sure I'd try it. I found it listed later in a local fruit catalog.

Young green Akebia fruit

The ripe fruit is purple and split open

The tram runs every half hour and the driver provides a guided tour. All four of us went on the tour at least once. They provide information you may not get in the catalog or on signs. One such piece of information was that they use Filbert shells as a mulch or ground cover because slugs do not like crawling over the jagged edges. Now I love the look of the shells and have seen them used in Seattle, the community garden, and in potted plants. But, I have never seen them sold in nurseries.

A visit to the gardens is a great way to see different plants grown locally. These Oakleaf Hydrangea were over 6 feet tall.

This view of the Willamette Valley could be seen from the tram.

Our visit to The Oregon Garden provided garden ideas, like the Filbert shells, or using an old tree trunk to support these bird houses.

I'll have a few more photos in another post. Here's a link If you'd like to check out the website:

No comments:

Post a Comment