Occasionally, business travel allows me to escape the office, and today my workday ended early and in the vicinity of the Oregon Garden in Silverton, on the other side of the country from my Virginia home. I’ve visited the Garden several times since its early days, but it’s been a few too many years in between and it’s come a long way.
Visiting other people’s gardens, or public gardens, gets me to thinking, and as I strolled, I thought that it’s a good thing I didn’t buy that house with ten acres twenty eight years ago. No doubt, I’d have gone broke years ago trying to fill every inch.
If I had the space, an unlimited budget, and a bunch of folks to help with maintenance, this is what I’d do. I’d plant lots of Japanese maples (which I have), one of every conifer I could find, flowering trees and ones with pendulous branching, and I’d fill the spaces between with flowering shrubs and perennials. Certainly, my efforts would not be so tastefully put together as this fine garden.
While I’m thankful that some sunny spots in my garden permit planting of Japanese Umbrella pines, Alaskan cedars, and a variety of spruces, the Oregon Garden recalls my regret that shade from tall maples and tulip poplars limits conifers to a small section of the garden.
I try to be thankful for what I have, but this garden reminds me that there are so many treasures I’m missing, and if there was space enough and sunlight enough, I could plant just a few more. This garden is a place to enjoy usual and unusual plants, and to get one to dreaming about what could be.