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A Garden in Eugene

Articles: A Garden in Eugene

The sloping front bed, as viewed from the driveway. Crisply detailed stone walls throughout the garden contrast with the overflowing abundance of the plantings. Photographs by Buell Steelman

When Buell and I moved into our new home in Eugene, Oregon, in August, 2002, we realized we were taking on a sizable challenge, despite our nearly ten years of garden design and construction experience. It would be so romantic to say that we bought the property for the infinite potential of the space, or because of one lovely, established tree. The truth is, however, that we purchased an affordable but uninspiring house, on a dramatically tricky, sloping, treeless, narrow lot, with eighty thousand pounds of concrete pavement that had to be eliminated. Over the past three years, we have replaced the concrete and weeds with basalt retaining walls, gravel terraces and pathways, over 500 kinds of plants, a deck, a vegetable garden, an orchard, and some special features. Our homely, neglected little lot has rewarded us with a wonderful space in which to live and play. Our favorite and oft-repeated question from visitors is, “...


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