Ashland Garden of the Month: Garden stretches from Oak Street to Bear Creek

By Ruth Sloan
Ashland Garden Club

Posted Aug. 2, 2016 at 7:38 PM

When Ben Gault purchased the cottage at 1156 Oak St. in 1971, the gorgeous willow tree that now graces the front of the property was a volunteer sapling. But it wasn’t until 1979, when wife Leslie joined the household, that the garden began to take shape. She took Master Gardener training in 1981 and that’s when things really took off.
Landscape designer John Stadelman advised in the earliest stage of the garden’s development. Gardening the property is a labor of love for Leslie, and she spends a lot of time working on it. This is the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for August.
The Gaults use only organic products. Ben mows the grass, and waters — very deeply — only once a week. Leslie does almost all of the rest of the work, with occasional help from Ricardo Sabino. The property, of slightly more than an acre, stretches to Bear Creek. There is a small pool and tiny lily pond in back.
Right now, asters and rudbeckia dominate the landscape. In the spring, it was daffodils. Leslie has planted 82 roses throughout the property over the years, including Cecile Bruner and Sally Holmes — two among many favorites. Other than the willow, the largest trees are a wonderful spreading fruitless mulberry, and a couple of firs. Leslie more recently added a white Kousa dogwood to the center of the rose circle. In addition to rose circle she has named other planting areas throughout the yard, including fence border and long border.
St. Johnswort lines the street side of the property. A fabulous stand of purple poppies is just past the bloom stage near the house. Other plants in abundance include gaura, buddleja, clematis, daylilies, iris, verbena, daisies and forsythia.
With seating and shade, there are numerous places to relax and enjoy the garden. The Adirondack chairs remind Leslie of her youth on the East Coast. The overall ambience is of a slower, quieter time.
Ruth Sloan is a member of the Ashland Garden Club. The club has been selecting Gardens of the Month from April through September since 2000. Nominations are gratefully received at [email protected]. Check out the club’s website at or come to the meetings at 12:30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month, October through May, at the Community Center on Winburn Way.

Morning Brief Newsletter
Sign up today for our daily newsletter, a quick overview of top local stories and Oregon breaking news delivered directly to your inbox
You can unsubscribe at any time
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.