Garden Tours: Valleylynn, Lynn Smith

Welcome to the Member Ideas area! This community feature is where our members can post their own ideas. These posts are unedited and not necessarily endorsed by the National Gardening Association.
Posted by @Sharon on
Let's take a trip this week to Oregon and visit the lovely gardens created by Lynn Smith and her husband, Cliff. It's always fun to step out of our own climate to see what grows well in another, and sometimes it's even more fun to see what our climates have in common. You are going to love what you see!


We moved here 11 years ago. We had so much to do on the house that I didn't start on the yard until a year later. When I started on the yard in 2000 it was just to get a lawn and a few flowers planted. We also put in some raised beds for vegetable gardening because the soil was compacted clay and was like concrete. It would be 2009 before I put the borders in along both sides of the creek.

I love that my gardens are a mix of shrubs, perennials and a few bulbs. I also love that we have a very small dry woodland area. Only drought type shade plants will work in this area. And I love that I have a fairly large area of full sun for my hardy succulents and other alpine plants to grow in. I love to grow plants that feed the birds and butterflies. Most of my Sempervivum are in the database here at ATP, along with many wonderful photos from others that love to grow and collect them.
I do grow a few tender succulents from the Crassulaceae family and some wonderful Adenium that I have to take indoors for the winter along with the tropical Hibiscus that I got a few years ago.

Most of the yard reflects the area we live in; it contains many native plants. I did bring in one large feather stone for the front yard. I also amended the shrub/perennial borders with forest compost and sometimes sand mixed in. The raised beds have now been turned into alpine gardens, so they have been amended to support healthy growth for that type of plant.

At this time of my life my favorite plant would have to be the sempervivum and other alpine plants in the raised beds. They are so easy to take care of and give me year round enjoyment, yes, even in the winter.

I always draw inspiration from what others are doing. So many gardeners are so creative, which is very helpful to me since I tend to have very little in the 'creative' department. I can see what some one else has done and adapt it to my needs.
In some ways my gardens do reflect my personality; a bad case of lack of focus and planning. *Blush*

Both my mom and grandmother inspired me to garden. Both of them loved the wonder of planting seeds or plants and watching them grow and thrive. I really miss gardening with my mom.

It seems like something changes every year in the garden. New plants, new beds, removing more lawn and maybe adding a new tree. A garden never stays the same; you lose plants or something just doesn't work right and seems I'm always adding plants. I have two more raised beds to clean out and convert to alpine beds. That will be next year's project. I might get to work on it a little this winter. I'll just have to wait and see what the winter weather will be like this year.

Rock Face from Mom Black eyed susans
2011-11-04/Sharon/5789c2 2011-11-04/Sharon/44e207

Summer storm with a rainbow of promise 

Salvia ‘Black and Blue’, Calla Lily, Honeysuckle and
Papaver orientale 'Beauty of Livermere' with artichoke ‘Green Globe’ and variegated vinca

2011-11-04/Sharon/19fac7 2011-11-04/Sharon/4e504d
2011-11-04/Sharon/1ec939 2011-11-04/Sharon/8edc43

Rhododendron—This was a dead stick when we moved into the house in Aug of 1999. It was the next spring we noticed tiny green buds.

Alstroemeria, Poker lilies, Papaver orientale ‘Beauty of Livermere’,
and an unknown Dahlia

2011-11-04/Sharon/a55cb3 2011-11-04/Sharon/0e56e0
2011-11-04/Sharon/c46ba3 2011-11-04/Sharon/3ff141

Lady Praying Mantis waiting for dinner on my front porch.


The Concord Grape room. It’s a wonderful place to sit when it’s hot.


Lewisia cotyledon, pink variety


Matt’s Wild Cherry tomato with nasturtiums. Boy are those nasturtium leaves tasty in a salad or on a sandwich. This was early in the growing season, but already the one tomato plant was filling the 4 x 8 bed. You wouldn't believe how big it got. I had to keep pruning it because it was trying to take over the neighboring beds.


Papaver orientale ‘Helen Elizabeth
’ with potatoes coming up in the bed behind her.


Unknown ever bearing raspberry. This is the grandchildren’s favorite place to be when the raspberries are ripe; to the right is the
Scarecrow with summer squash.

2011-11-04/Sharon/2085f5 2011-11-04/Sharon/a5b9a7

The arbor over the bridge and the metal gate was made for me by my husband, Cliff. He is such a treasure to me. He took two brass swans I found at a yard sale and an old cow bell I had to make it. It separates the first back yard from the second back yard which is divided by the creek.


New perennial and shrub border; Coral Bells, Bergenia, Astilbe and Azalea;
Cyclamen hederifolium ‘Alba’ and Aquilegia formosa (Native red columbine) 

2011-11-05/Sharon/fa9be4 2011-11-05/Sharon/e864af
2011-11-05/Sharon/3b971e 2011-11-05/Sharon/329bdb

Rosa ‘Just Joey’, Turk’s Cap Lily and Orange crocosmia 

2011-11-05/Sharon/fd5dac 2011-11-05/Sharon/394aa0


The Covered Bridge, with an old variety of red climbing rose and Akebia vines. In the spring the Akebia vines produce masses of blooms that are highly fragrant.


Front yard in the fall of 2010. All the bulb leaves are gone and I planted some perennials that will bloom with or after the bulbs are finished blooming in 2011


Spring time peony, orange blooming oriental poppy and soon to bloom iris in the background. The little red maple was given to me for Mother’s Day about six years ago. Petrie loves to hunt under there.


Anemone ‘Lord Lieutenant’ I love this little anemone, I planted several about 4 years ago, this is the only one that comes back every year. To the right is
our native fawn lily (Erythronium elegans)

2011-11-05/Sharon/c25b02 2011-11-05/Sharon/d3eebb

Snapdragon --Years ago I started out with a one red snapdragon plant, I think it was called ‘Red Rocket’. It lived for several years, even through some pretty harsh winters. It started producing seedlings and this pink snapdragon is one of the seedlings. This plant is 3 years old this year. I have never brought any other snapdragons home.


Galanthus (means “milk-white-flowers”), Snow Drops and
Bleeding Heart, one of several different kinds I have.

2011-11-05/Sharon/42e426 2011-11-05/Sharon/7e72cc

Native Camassia (Common names include Camas, Quamash, Indian hyacinth, and Wild hyacinth): This plant was an important food staple for many Native Americans and settlers in the past.
To the right is Epimedium ‘Sulphureum’

2011-11-05/Sharon/1f88db 2011-11-05/Sharon/ab622f

Euphorbia ‘Rudolph’; I use this in the beds where I have planted lily bulbs. For 2 years now, it has worked at keeping the gophers and voles away. Not a single bulb lost since I started inter-planting with the euphorbia.


Grape Hyacinth and to the right
Helleborus x hybridus ‘Kingston Cardinal’.  And to think I was disappointed in this plant for the first two years. I quit even paying attention to it until this last winter. I walked out the back garage door and it was a full on assault of 'in your face'. The flowers are carried way above the foliage on this one.  

2011-11-08/Sharon/4f6fe8 2011-11-08/Sharon/2087f5

‘Canyon Duet’ (A cross between Canyon Delight and H. elegans). This is my very favorite heuchera. It has tiny little leaves that form a dense low mat that always looks neat and tidy. I found it amazing that such a tiny plant could put out that much of a flower display. On the right you'll see
Daffodils, Iberis sempervirens (perennial Candytuft) and Spanish Bluebells foliage.

2011-11-08/Sharon/a5cae9 2011-11-08/Sharon/c8199c

 Incarvillea (hardy gloxinia). I just got this plant this spring, sure hope it comes back next spring. On the right you'll see
perennial wild sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus). Don’t anyone panic. I’ve had this one plant for many years now and it only grows in my large clump of Pampas Grass. I know it can become a pest in some areas. This one must have a survival instinct, it must know if it tries to move somewhere else it’s a goner.

2011-11-08/Sharon/b2c3de 2011-11-08/Sharon/fc0640

 The perennials I put in last fall are growing through the bulbs.
Colchicum × agrippinum (fall blooming crocus); followed by
another unknown fall blooming crocus
  Then there's Narcissus ‘Rip Van Winkle’.  This miniature Narcissus came up as a surprise in the third year we lived here.  It must have laid dormant all that time just waiting to surprise me. To really appreciate it you have to get down on your tummy so you can look into its tiny blooms.

2011-11-08/Sharon/104c6a 2011-11-08/Sharon/21d24e
2011-11-08/Sharon/c4ad5d 2011-11-08/Sharon/1d4596

Below:  unkown yellow tulip;
Hemerocallis ‘Buttered Popcorn’, this plant belonged to my mom, she loved it so much that I moved it to my yard when she passed away.
Geranium renardii; I love this smaller hardy geranium for the shape and texture of its leaves and its sweet pale purple flowers. It is a very well behaved geranium.
Bottom right, an unknown iris from my mom.

2011-11-08/Sharon/be0bde 2011-11-08/Sharon/d3d3be
2011-11-08/Sharon/8a683e 2011-11-08/Sharon/3e5ca3

Bottom left, unknown iris.
Another unknown iris from a very close friend that now lives in Montana.
Gloriosa superba 'Rothschildiana'; a gift from FloraSeeker_OR. It brings me joy to watch it grow and grab onto things so it can climb.
Tricyrtis (Toad Lily): this one came from a very generous member of Cubits and ATP. I will forever be thankful for these fascinating little lilies.

2011-11-08/Sharon/ef8827 2011-11-08/Sharon/6037fa
2011-11-08/Sharon/a8b6e9 2011-11-08/Sharon/152e84

Below:  unknown lily, Rosa ‘George Burns’, Rosa ‘Strike It Rich’ and
Orostachys eburnifolia

2011-11-08/Sharon/f088a9  2011-11-08/Sharon/56818b
 2011-11-08/Sharon/60945f 2011-11-08/Sharon/c2c410

Rosularia bloom. This is the first year to have blooms on my Rosularia. What amazing little flowers they are.
Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ with a blue aster.
Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’.  I’ve had this plant since spring of 2010 and just realized this spring how beautiful the sedum is. It took it a year to get going and show what it can do.
Sedum ‘Ruby Mantle’ with Sempervivum ‘Abba’.  When I planted this sedum next to Abba last summer I didn’t realize it would turn the same color red that Abba shows at the tips of her leaves. It was such a pretty combination.

2011-11-08/Sharon/3b7332 2011-11-08/Sharon/723757
2011-11-08/Sharon/35e885 2011-11-08/Sharon/2e720c

Raised semp beds this summer.
Sempervivum ‘Treebeard’ in one of its color stages.
Sempervivum ‘Fuego’. This one gets to be at least 7” across if given the room. It also goes through some very dramatic color changes.
Sempervivum pittonii is a species Sempervivum and is a new plant for me this year. It has the softest fuzzy texture. I just know this will end up being one of my favorites.  

2011-11-08/Sharon/5d5224 2011-11-08/Sharon/d3fb76
2011-11-08/Sharon/829553 2011-11-08/Sharon/d4cc33

 Sempervivum ‘Ali’, one of the webbed (arachnoideum) Sempervivum. They form wonderful colonies of webbed rosettes.
Aeonium ‘Irish Bouquet’ is one of those tender succulents that I have to bring indoors for winter. This has got to be the easiest indoor plant to keep happy. I only water it a few times during the entire winter/spring time. As soon as we have temps that will stay above 40° at night, she goes back outside.
Crassula cv. Gollum is another really easy tender succulent to grow.
Here's my only attempt at making a succulent wreath, thanks to the help of my Garden Art friends.

2011-11-08/Sharon/e51a9a 2011-11-08/Sharon/e92f49
2011-11-08/Sharon/5cb639 2011-11-08/Sharon/4782c4

Tropical double peach hibiscus is another plant that has to come indoors for the winter. It is well worth the effort. It even blooms off and on during the winter.
To the right is an Adenium that came from my gardening friends here at ATP.

2011-11-08/Sharon/30bda1 2011-11-08/Sharon/8c350e

Albizia julibrissin
(Mimosa Tree, Silk Tree) This little tree is a humming bird magnet when it blooms.


Callicarpa 'Profusion'. The birds love these berries in the winter time.


Blueberry 'Patriot'. This particular blueberry does very well in our Pacific Northwest climate and it's a heavy producer of luscious berries. It's another favorite of our grandchildren. To the right is Buddleia Adonis Blue.  This smells just like you're standing next to a bee hive full of honey.

2011-11-08/Sharon/5156cc 2011-11-08/Sharon/db3217

Clerodendrum (Peanut Butter Tree). The leaves really smell like peanut butter.  To the right is Variegated Red Twigged Dogwood 'Ivory Halo'. This is a beautiful plant that has year round interest.

2011-11-08/Sharon/4398a0 2011-11-08/Sharon/1bad40

I love my two fig trees, Vern's Brown Turkey and Lattarulla. They are now providing many figs to eat and share with the birds.


Pineapple Guava
is one of my favorite shrubs in the garden. It blooms for most of the summer and the white part of the flower petals is sweet as cotton candy. We've had fruit one out of 7 years since I planted it. It makes my mouth water just thinking of eating the highly aromatic fruit that smells just like you've cut open a ripe pineapple.


Pomegranite Punica granatum 'Chico'. We will never have fruit set on this beautiful deciduous shrub, but that is all right with me since it gives us such beautiful blooms all summer until frost. The fall color really stands out in the landscape. What a great little shrub.


Ugni Molinae 'Chilean Guava'. I can't resist sharing this new small shrub with you. I found it this fall at our Hardy Plant Sale. It is an evergreen bush, hardy to zone 8, with delicious fruit which gets its best flavor once the weather becomes cool in the fall. I am really excited about the new find.


Double file Viburnum 'Shasta' and on the right Snowball Viburnum. I've loved this shrub from the first time I ever saw one in bloom back in the sixties. I've limbed this one up and trained it to grow more like a small three.

2011-11-08/Sharon/9fc2a7 2011-11-08/Sharon/abb463



Lynn, what a beautiful tour! It seems to me you can grow most anything in your gardens, but then I remember that an excellent climate combined with a great gardener can do no less than astonish all of us. How very beautiful.

Thank you so much for showing us your gardens, Lynn. You and Cliff are surely surrounded by beauty.


And thanks to all of you for joining us! Come with us again next week as we take you on a tour of another member's gardens.


 Garden Tours is a joint effort by Trish and Sharon.

Comments and Discussion
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Amazing Garden by Boopaints Dec 29, 2012 9:49 AM 60
I have LynnEnvy by flaflwrgrl Nov 13, 2011 7:31 PM 18
What Diversity! by goldfinch4 Nov 13, 2011 7:30 PM 26
SOOOOO pretty by gingin Nov 12, 2011 10:19 PM 1
I'll be back by MaryE Nov 12, 2011 10:18 PM 1

Explore More:

Member Login:

( No account? Join now! )

Today's site banner is by RootedInDirt and is called "Amazing Grace Phlox"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.