Design By Nature

Let the natural landscape inspire your garden!

Memorial Day Weekend offered many of us time out of the city and in nature. Were you as inspired as I was by the natural beauty of our Oregon Landscape? Here are some wonderful scenes from my hike over the weekend that offer some great ideas for your own landscape project.

8 design lessons I learned exploring the Willamette Valley

1. Use simple plantings with distinct form and a path to create a little garden mystery.

Oak Savanna


2. Plant it! I discovered Oso berry with berries. Somehow I had only seen Oso berry in the early spring with new leaves and blooms, or later in the fall. I was delighted find the berries so beautiful and delicate in color and form. What a gardeners treat.

Oemleria cerasiformis - Oso berry


3. Cow Parsnip: Plant it but don’t eat it. What a fabulous white cloud on earth. 

Meadow with Cow Parsnip (Heracleum maximum)


4. Poison Oak: Don’t plant, or touch, these leaves of three!

Poison Oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum)



5. Create layers of color and texture with mass plantings and borrowed landscape views.

Meadows and Fields


6. Lupine is a fabulous native perennial for the garden.

Lupine and Oregon White Oak

Lupine and Oregon White Oak


7. Natural elements make for beautiful, sculptural, and playful landscape focal points.

Standing inside a hollow snag.

Standing inside a hollow snag.


8. Frame an interesting view.

View from inside a the snag.


8. Make your garden explorable, interactive, and delight in its surprises.

There's a tree hugging me!

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