ashland.news
June 14, 2024

Garden of the Month: A space for children, pets and pollinators

August Garden of the Month
Alicia and Jeffrey Welder worked with Regenesis Ecological Design and designer Jane Alexanderr to create a beautiful garden where their children can play and explore. Ruth Sloan photo
August 7, 2023

The Welder family’s Westwood Street property includes meadows, flowers and water features where kids can play and rabbits can roam

By Ruth Sloan

Alicia and Jeffrey Welder had their welcoming house at 98 Westwood St. built in 2015. The lovely garden that surrounds it was initiated in stages on the bare earth after that, and is now the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for August.

A play structure and grass area give children and pets plenty of room for recreation and exploration. Ruth Sloan photo

Working with Regenesis Ecological Design and designer Jane Alexanderr, the Welders created a space ideal for their two children and animals, including two dogs, two cats and four rabbits, as well as themselves and visitors.

The gardens include maples and fruit trees. Flowers include peonies, euphorbias, daisies, iris, germanders, hydrangeas and hellebores. Ruth Sloan photo

The entry garden was designed to include a water feature that is audible from inside the house on days when the windows are left open, a graceful curved bench and one of Alicia’s favorite plants, a weeping dwarf dawn redwood.

A water feature can be heard from inside the house. Ruth Sloan photo

The front garden space is meant to resemble a small meadow teeming with life. Pollinators enjoy the catmint and salvia, while the children are able to spend time playing and observing nature with the many life forms in and around the water.

The front grass areas are seeded with Pro Time’s Fleur de Lawn, which is an eco-lawn designed with Oregon State University (OSU) for low water requirements.

The backyard is a child’s delight, featuring a large grass area for play planted with JB Kevlar tall fescue, grown in Oregon, which tolerates the high traffic of children and pets and is drought tolerant with lower water requirements than traditional lawns.

A small orchard is planted with a variety of apple, pear and peach fruit trees and seeded with the same Fleur de Lawn as the front meadow.

The eco-lawn supports pollinator with pink English daisies, Baby Blue Eyes, and sweet alyssum sprouting in the spring.

Alicia and the children love picking the wildflowers from the meadow for May Day crowns and small bouquets. Tall grasses and wildflowers surround the children’s play structure for nature based play with a slackline for added fun.

The entry garden includes a curved bench beside the water feature. Ruth Sloan photo

A gazebo for shade rounds out the backyard space for use year round by the family.

A very large rabbit hutch gives shelter to the children’s rabbits, who enjoy the cut grasses and trimmings from the garden and, in turn, support the garden growth with plenty of bunny manure.

A large deck graces the back of the house.

There are many flowers throughout the year, including peonies, euphorbias, daisies, iris, germanders, hydrangeas and hellebores. The Welders love to watch pollinators hard at work in their garden.

Among the many trees are Seiryu and sugar maples that add vibrant colors in the fall.

For fire prevention, the Garden Club urges homeowners to check lists of firewise plants to make sure that, like the Welders, they have chosen ornamental grasses that are not especially fire-prone and maintained so that there is not a lot of dry grass at any time.

Taproot Landscaping provides routine maintenance for the Welders and Alicia averages one to two hours per week doing the fine-tuning of the garden.

A gazebo provides shade in the back. The backyard is planted with tall fescue that stands up to the children’s use and requires less water than traditional lawns. Ruth Sloan photo

The Ashland Garden Club has been naming Gardens of the Month, from April through September, since 2000. Nominations are gratefully received at aogardenclub@gmail.com. Check out the Club’s website at ashlandorgardenclub.org for information on meeting times and places.

Picture of Jim

Jim

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