I took some time off last week and headed to the coast to celebrate my Dad’s birthday. While there, I took a side trip with my family to visit the Gerdemann Botanic Preserve, a hidden gem of a garden along the Central Oregon Coast just north of Yachats.

The garden was started in 1981 by Jim and Janice Gerdemann as a place to test the hardiness of rare and unusual plants. Jim was a renowned mycologist, with a PhD in plant pathology from UC Berkeley. He studied Rhododendrons as well as other unusually species with a focus on the interaction between mycorrhizae and plants.

After the Gerdemanns passed away, a portion of the property was put into a conservation easement with trails connecting to the neighboring national forest. The house and rest of the gardens are open by appointment only so while I missed them this visit, I plan to return next spring. What a great place to observe and study for those interested in preserving the gardens of Lord and Schryver.

What a way to preserve a garden legacy! The naturalistic areas are open to the public year-round, the manicured gardens may be viewed on docent led tours, and the home may be rented through Airbnb!

The large-leaved Rhododendrons, ferns and massive old growth Sitka spruce give an almost subtropical feel to the garden situated just a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean.
A bench in a nook filled with unusual plants.
Dad admiring a 300-year-old Sitka spruce. The plaque said it survived World War 1 logging operations that sent many of trees to the massive spruce mill at Fort Vancouver and eventually to the European war theater as airplane parts.

Assuming we are no longer sequestered at home in spring 2021, the Gerdemann Botanic Preserve will be on the volunteer gardeners’ field trip list!

Stay well,