Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Village Green Gardens

LAST SATURDAY MY hubby and I decided to celebrate our 33rd anniversary by getting in the car and driving. 
I never thought much of Blackberry Lily until now. 

Originally we had planned to go to the Oregon Garden but since the resort was already booked, we decided we'd drive south instead. About halfway to Eugene, with a slight detour to Alsea Falls (photos next time) I remembered that huge sign along I-5, near Cottage Grove and how all the attorneys I used to work for BC (before children) used to go there on business trips. So, we meandered along more back roads until that telltale sign came into focus.

Along the I-5 Freeway, just south of Eugene is Cottage Grove.
This sign for the Village Green has been here for as long as I can remember. 

After checking in, we strolled the gardens. The following photos are some of the exactly 299(!) that I took. 

This is the Blackberry Lily plant, just finishing up. LIKE

The curators devoted an entire 14 acres to gardens. I did not know this before we arrived but it was a pleasant surprise. 

I love this ghostly chair. 
Many of the garden plantings were finished blooming but there were still lots of cool things to see.

The ferns were magnificent. 

Nice pathways meandered through several theme gardens. 

Isn't this picturesque? 

More pathways... The Clerodendrums (the white dotted plant ahead)
were in full bloom and completely perfumed the garden. 

The Heliopsis (?) were also in their prime. 

More meandering paths... What's not to love about this? 

The first themed garden we came to was "The Hidden Garden". It was tucked under limbed-up towering Laurel bushes. I'm thinking I could attempt this with my Laurels at home. Maybe.? 

Each theme garden had a mailbox that contained a laminated page of information. I didn't read them.
I was too worked up with plant-gawking. 

The hidden garden...

A nice place to hide. 

Speaking of benches, how about this work of heart? 

Some benches were there for slightly annoyed but very patient, non-gardening husbands. 

The plant labels, similar to most well-loved gardens were hit and miss, easily forgivable.
Is this a species Clematis? The plant was bushy, about 2 and a half feet tall.
Clematis tubulosa. Thank you Alison

Here is another mystery plant. Any ideas, peeps?
Update: Nicandra physalodes or Shoo-Fly Plant.
Thank you Anna

Here is the developing seed pod on the plant. Interesting, huh? 

I know it's Actaea now but I still like impressing people (husband)
with "Cim ee see fugh guh." 

Okay Mindy, do you think my Pee Gee Hydrangea will ever look like this? 

The Mae Wests of the plant kingdom

Rosa 'Teasing Georgia'

A few Heleniums finishing up. 

There was lots of Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate in bloom.
Such a cool plant! 

Hardy Geranium leaning on Ajuga

The leaves of that hardy Geranium...ooh la, la. 

One more diminutive hardy Geranium

Leycesteria formosa is another plant I love pronouncing.
Himalayan Honeysuckle sounds so boring. 

Even a few Foxgloves were holding on. 

On the left is Acer grisium. Can you see the clemmy climbing it? 

Get a load of that bark! 

Look at the bones on this sexy Rhodie. Almost obscene, isn't it? 

Lots of Black Eyed Susans

And a 'Tiger Eye' Sumac to make the heart swoon. 

Another NOID. Any guesses?
Thank you Loree for the ID: Chestnut, Castanea sativa

Love this moss? Saxifrage? surrounded by blooming Heather? Caluna? Heath? 

This is a Carex/Sedge of some kind. 

I love the "flowers" 

Acer ... something. I've got one at home but mine doesn't look this happy.
Acer 'Esk Sunset' Thanks, Carol.  

This huge stand of butterfly weed was going to seed.
I don't know what color it was but I bet it was incredible. 

Don't you love Nature? 

Berberis in shade. Wowzers. 

A Magnolia of some kind. Love that foliage. 

There must have been at least 20 huge blooming Clerodendrums. The perfume was incredible. 

Love those star-shaped blossoms. 

Of all the very cool plants in this garden, my favorite had to be this specimen of variegated Clerodendrum. The photos don't do it justice. 

Clerodendrum tichrotonum 'Stargazer'
Where can I squeezed one of these into my landscape? 

Soooo beautiful! 

I'm thinking this must be a Willow of some kind. 

Another sweet mailbox. Let's have a closer look. 

The children's garden playhouse. How sweet is this?
My apologies for the tilt. I was a little high from the scent of Clerodendrum. 

Perfect for kids. 

Confession: I wanted to take this. 

For those who love annuals... To me it was about the vintage galvanized containers.

This was another must-have, variegated Laurel.
Those leaves were incredible. 


The rock garden needed some TLC. There were lots of spent Verbascums that probably looked awesome a month earlier. The only other items of interest were these small (six inch) clay pots with modest sprigs of succulents. 

For the Tropical feel, there was a huge Trachycarpus fortunei. 

And this ginormous stand of Musa basjoo 

For the Conifer lover, wow, some awesome specimens.
Too bad we couldn't find the tag to this beauty.

The needles were very soft. 

So cool! 

This Golden Larch towering above a sea of golden Creeping Jenny
was really breathtaking. 

Finally, a labyrinth. 
After a fabulous dinner in the Village Green restaurant, Steve watched the movie RED (again) and I planned our Sunday itinerary. Before heading home, we'd visit some of the local garden/nurseries such as the famed, Territorial Seed Company. After all Steve had a book to keep him occupied. 

But our plans were foiled when we woke up on Sunday morning. Rain! And not just a sprinkle, either. We're talking soaking downpour. We didn't even bring jackets, much less an umbrella. So we nixed the outdoor activities, studied the map and headed west before heading north through back roads once more. It was a weekend of comfortable adventure and marital reconnecting.  


  1. Looks like you found a marvelous garden to explore! Thank goodness for those garden benches for bored husbands. Thanks for sharing your pictures. I used to know that plant with the blue flowers and papery seedpods, but I can't think of it right now. I grow a Clematis that is very similar to the one you show here, mine is called Clematis tubulosa. It's been ages since my husband and I just got in the car and drove. Happy Anniversary, Grace!

  2. Dear Grace and Patient non-gardening Hubby ~ Happy 33rd Anniversary.

    It sounds like you had a lovely celebration and what a wonderful garden to stroll through. You've inspired me to check out some gardens around here.

    Love and hugs to both of you,


  3. What a wonderful getaway for you...and I imagine Steve was happy you were happy in your element. I love all the photos. Those geraniums don't look like what we call germaniums, must be a different species. I love to look at plants we are not able to grow where I live and you have a lot of them. Happy Anniversary and may you be blessed with many more!

  4. Very nice. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Many congratulations to both of you Grace! What a special place to visit on such an auspicious occasion. Think that your mystery blue plant is nicandra physalodes aka the 'Shoo-fly' plant. Those mailboxes are magical. I want one!

  6. Ok, I forgive you for not stopping by; I mean, since it was your anniversary and all. :)

    It sounds as though you had a wonderful weekend together despite the unexpected rain. And now Pete and I must venture south to see this garden_ indeed beautiful. Thanks, Grace and hope to touch base soon.

  7. I can't believe I've never even heard of this garden...it looks like it would be so fun to explore...it must have smelled like heaven with all those Clerodendrum blooming!

  8. Happy Anniversary! I had to giggle at your description of the non-gardening husband. I have one of those too. I really enjoy your pictorial tour of the Village Garden. Shame about that drat rain. I would love to visit Territorial too! Glad you had a nice, comfortable Anniversary weekend. :)

  9. 33?! Congratulations!!! And what a great place you found, Grace! I love all the plants and garden accessories too! Thank you, and next time, please, take 300 pictures!

  10. What a fun coincidence! A friend just recently mentioned this garden to me and here you are posting about it. So glad to see gardens and plants did figure into your anniversary celebrations!

    Oh and th NOID after the sumac is a chestnut, Castanea sativa. Oh how I wish I had room for one!

  11. Grace, congrats on your anniversary!
    Great trip and photos. Don't know what to say: all plants and garden sculptures are wonderful. I love conifers and of course I love this one with soft needles. Also I liked the picture of moss, the paths those call you to go ahead and look...
    Thank you for sharing!

  12. Beautiful garden, great plants :) Regards

  13. #33 for us on Friday too. Happy Anniversary. What a great inn & garden. So many lovely specimens and how beautifully cared for. (Am now on the hunt for that carex with the little "flowers".....nothing like a good mystery followed by trip to an excellent nursery.)

  14. Gracie girl and ever so patient non-gardening hubby .. post HAPPY ANNIVERSARY !! 33 years ? we beat you by 3 more years, hum ? maybe 4 .. I was a VERY young bride ? LOL
    You should have heard all the wow ! and oh !!! and squeals out of me as I scrolled down the pictures .. loved that bench and the willow arch and .. just EVERYTHING !
    It had to have been a wonderful weekend rain and all.
    Gorgeous post girl !!
    Joy : )

  15. Just stunning photos!I love meandering pathways.I read somewhere that visitors to a garden should always wonder what's beyond the curve.I strive to do that.

  16. Wowee, where do I start?!?!

    I need one of those blackberry lilies, too!!!!

    I saw a pee gee hydrangea like that today in the parking lot of Laurelwood. It was SO cool. And giant.

    So many cool plants! What a fun day.

  17. That garden is clearly a labor of love and so an absolutely perfect choice of a place to stay on your anniversary.

    P.S. Does your husband give lessons on patience to other non-gardening spouses?

  18. Wow, that is quite a collection of conifers ... and Butterfly Weed! I loved the secret garden and the meandering paths. You know a place is impressive when you fill your memory card with images and have trouble picking the ones to highlight. Thanks for sharing!

  19. What an amazing garden! I love that the garden was such an important part of the resort. That Himalayan honeysuckle was incredible as was the stained glass. I'd have wanted to take that, too. :o)

  20. Grace what a great getaway even with the weather...fabulous garden too. I need a break away soon especially for my physical and mental well being...toooooo much work

  21. One of these days I'm going to hop over the border and visit some of the places I see on Oregon and Washington based blogs. Do you know the history of Village Green Gardens? It is not often you see a commercial enterprise willing to devote so much land and money to a garden.


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