As we settle into autumn, it is such an unexpected pleasure to see some remaining blooming plants in Ronald Doyle’s garden at 945 Hillview Drive. In addition to more than 150 roses, he has coreopsis, petunias, anemones, Jupiter’s beard, gaura, honeysuckle, ice plant, zonal geraniums and, in season, a stunning display of giant phlox. Other trees in the front yard include crepe myrtle, flowering crabapple, tulip tree, Japanese maple, and a giant cedar that anchors the corner at Ross Lane.

Ron has been gardening here since 1985. Much of the property was just gravel when he moved in. Some of the garden design is by his late wife, Eva-Maria vonChamier. He uses TID water for irrigation. Two dump-truck loads of soil and amendments have been brought in.

The garden paths are of hazelnut shells, which he first saw at the Oregon Garden in Silverton. Presumably the sharp edges of the shells discourage snails and slugs, but Ron has good reason to believe otherwise. Well, it looks really good! There is a very large and graceful metal arbor in the back yard that Ron designed, based on something he had seen in France. The magnificent display is contained in the relatively small lot of 90 by 130 feet.

The fragrant roses are an amazing array of varieties and colors, including a very large Cecile Bruner that has finished blooming. Other plants that are past the bloom stage now but provide color at other times of year are rhododendron, azaleas, lilac, mock orange, oriental poppy, lilac, iris, daphne, bellflower, clematis and lilies. Ron has tomato plants in a raised bed, grapes, and raspberries. Both a Granny Smith apple tree and cherry tree grafted to supply five varieties of the fruit are in the back yard. An especially lovely oregano fills in among flowering plants in the front.

Doyle’s garden was Garden of the Month in September of 2012, but was not featured in the Daily Tidings at that time.

The Ashland Garden Club has been selecting Gardens of the Month, from April through September, since 2000. Nominations are gratefully received at Check out the club’s website at or come to the meetings at 12:30 on the first Monday of the month, October through May, at the Community Center on Winburn Way.