Written by Lindsey Kerr, Curator/Garden Manager

Welcome to 2017!

It’s a cold January morning–10 degrees below normal for Salem–but we are excited about all the changes to come to Gaiety Hollow in 2017.

To kick off the new year, I arrived at work this morning to find that the men from Autumn Leaf Landscaping had completed the Drying Garden lawn restoration. The lawn was removed and a patio installed in the 1980s or 1990s. As part of the effort to take the gardens back to Elizabeth and Edith’s original design, we needed to remove the patio.

Later this year, I will research and plan the rehabilitation of the beds on either side of the Drying Garden. This will be a challenge because documentation is almost non-existent on this small garden. Elizabeth and Edith were, perhaps, like you and me when it came to designing their home garden–they moved plants here-and-there on impulse and forgot to note it in their journals. Or, perhaps, they did plan and take note but, sadly, those plans and notes were not kept after their deaths.

The next big project to come is the rehabilitation of the driveway. Not the sexiest project, it still needs to be done. Portions of the driveway will be re-poured, a new gate installed (based on Edith’s plans from the 1930s), and the lawn adjacent to the driveway regraded and improved.

As spring comes to the Valley, we will fill the Flower Garden with flowers that Elizabeth and Edith loved. Our plant choices and design are based on historic images and purchase records kept in the archives at the Knight Library at the University of Oregon.


The most exciting news is that the gardens will be open two times a month, April-September. Never before has the general public had such access to Elizabeth and Edith’s home gardens. Visitors can see the restoration in process and enjoy the beauty of Elizabeth and Edith’s designs. 

We hope to meet you in the garden!