Garden of the month is a visual complement to Lithia Park
Stephanie and Bryan DeBoer have an unusual degree of interest in the spectacular garden of their home at 85 Winburn Way, as well they should. Theirs is the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for September.
The DeBoers see their property as a visual extension of Lithia Park, which sits across the street. Bryan has a special affinity for the park: His maternal grandfather was a gardener there and, as a boy, Bryan would help him and be rewarded with ice cream from the shop that once sat where the DeBoer home sits now.
Meant to look long-established — and thus better to complement the park — the garden was installed in stages over 2018-19. The initial planting took 11 days and required a large crane. One tree weighed 7,000 pounds. Using mature plants was the key to making the garden look as if it had been there a long time.
Bryan and Stephanie were very much involved in planning the garden and selecting plants. Bryan and Stephanie went from room to room inside the house while plants were being placed outside, to ensure spectacular views from every vantage point.
Laurie Sager & Associates of Jacksonville were the landscape architects and steered the DeBoers through a fun and creative process. One of Laurie’s many ideas was creating a beautifully landscaped light well to brighten a lower-level bedroom, and created an amazing overall result.
The building’s architect, Carlos Delgado, took an active interest. Dieter Trost, of Southern Oregon Nursery in Medford — and a family friend — aided in procuring the specimen trees, all grown right here in Oregon.
Mostly the garden is in the Japanese tradition and has many conifers and maples. Bryan has a special fondness for the Chief Joseph pines, “Lovers" Japanese maple, and the ice breaker firs.
It’s a good thing Japanese maples are among Stephanie’s favorite plants, because there are 29 Japanese maples on the property, composed of 25 varieties, including red filigree lace, green cascade and contorta weeping. A full list of plants, with pictures, is available on PlantsMap (www.plantsmap.com — search on Winburn). Bryan has installed PlantsMap tags at the foot of many of the plants.
Unique sources were found for many of the treasures in the landscape. The Iseli Nursery in Boring provided many of the special trees and is known for mature specimens found in their gallery. The gorgeous rocks placed strategically throughout the garden were imported from the Netherlands, where a Japanese garden was being dismantled. The giant mid-century modern urn on a pedestal near the front door came from a Frank Lloyd Wright building.
Both Bryan and Stephanie work in the garden, and Bryan, especially, has been mistaken as a professional gardener by passersby while he was working outside. He can identify every plant from memory.