Hello, this is Peggy Rupert from Brookings, Oregon, on the coast. You have twice published my garden (Giant Snapdragons!, and Gardening on the Oregon Coast). I am sending you photos of a friend’s garden because I believe you and your readers will be as amazed as I am how my friend, Vickie Jewell, 70 years old, gardens!
Vickie and her husband, Steve, chose a beautiful building site high up a pine-covered road facing the beautiful blue Pacific! The only problem it posed, after the five years to build, was where to plant the garden. There really wasn’t any place for a conventional garden; the only space available was—you guessed it—straight down the slippery hill between their home and the road. So Vickie, not one to give up, had Steve put heavy-duty steel hooks along the top of the hill. Now comes the amazing part! Vickie ties a heavy rope around her waist, hooks onto the implanted ground hooks, and over the side she goes; battery-powered chain saw in one hand and a small pick in the other. And she’s not settling for ground covers! She’s been planting all kinds of interesting things. Steve also built her a greenhouse halfway down the hill, and a romantic swing/glider sits perched at the top, perfect for drinking a lemonade, admiring the day’s work, and soaking in the glorious view of the Pacific.
This house really is perched on the edge of a cliff.
That cliff-side site gives incredible views.
And there goes Vickie, dangling from a rope, gardening away!
A red passion vine (Passiflora sp.) blooms abundantly on the hillside.
Yellow California poppies (Eschscholzia californica, annual) bloom next to a stump on the slope.
Angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia, Zones 8–10 or as an annual) show off its huge, yellow, fragrant flowers.
On a level bit of ground, an old wheelbarrow-turned-planter overflows with annuals, including variegated nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus, annual).
Vickie planted this beautiful hillside waterfall of impatiens (Impatiens walleriana, Zones 10–11 or as an annual) by cutting nursery pots in half and burying them halfway into the hill. She filled the pots with soil and then planted her impatiens in each pot. Genius, right?
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