Driving to Silverton

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The drive from Portland to Silverton has always been beautiful, but during this time of the year, it is especially lovely. One of the reasons why I was so excited to drive down there today to deliver a case of wine for a fundraiser at the Gordon House was because I suspected that the flower fields would be in bloom. I was so happy that my hunch was correct!

This was the first field we saw before our visit with my former boss. It is just before you enter Silverton if you are entering the town by way of State Highway 213 from Interstate-205. (This road passes through Molalla and a few other small towns. The most unusual of which is the tiny town of Liberal, Oregon.)

These two fields were ones my foster respite and I saw on the way home by way of State Highway 214. They are just outside of the town of Mt Angel if you are headed back west toward the town of Woodburn or Interstate-5. The poppies were not fully blooming, but it was still a sight to see.
Silver Falls Seed grows these flowers for seed. Each year I order from them online and I can assure you that they have quality seed. It is one of the few ways that I do truly buy local when I am able. You can see why I support their business, as do others in their community.
Once we were in Silverton, after a quick stop at Roth’s Grocery Store, we drove over to meet with Molly at the Gordon House in The Oregon Garden. The house museum is separate from the garden and the resort but it works as an additional attraction to the area. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, it was saved from destruction almost a decade ago when the property and home were purchased by homeowners who’d intended for it to become a teardown. It is the only structure Frank Lloyd Wright designed in Oregon and I used to work there part-time.
During this trip I didn’t take many pictures of the house, but this is one view of it. It is the most amazing thing to photograph though and every angle is different. It really is amazing.
This is a remnant of one of the many plants I planted there. It it a lovely Penstemon.
My foster weekender took this photo of the red-twig dogwoods berries.
Mimulus cardinalis is one of my favorites and I believe I may have planted this one.
Here is the view from the entrance as we left. It was a lovely day to deliver a case of wine, and it was fun to introduce a part-time foster child to beautiful architecture. The place was calming for both of us, and we really enjoyed the drive.
If you would like more information about the Gordon House, you can visit their Web site:

Winter Color

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Sedum spathulifolium.


This Sedum is native to the Pacific NW and is typically found in areas which tend to be higher, drier and sunnier than our valleys usually are during the winter. I took this photo at the Gordon House last winter, but I have several at my home too. The red color in the winter is quite striking, and obviously, this plant can survive in the valley if planted with care.

The Gordon House (1)

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My Christmas wishes have already been posted, but I thought that I would include this one too on Christmas Day. As I am trying to look forward to the coming year, I would like to wish for better health, and for my part-time job at the Gordon House to be re-instated.
A year ago my job was cut after a very special board member/president passed away and a new president chose to take the house/museum in a different direction by moving the budget around a bit. I have no malice about any of that, my health was in decline at the time, but even now, as I sit here still ill, with a better understanding and a plan of attack in terms of my health upheaval, I would love to look forward to returning to work in Silverton this spring.
Before I was first hired, I didn’t know very much about Frank Lloyd Wright and his Usonian designs though I had majored in art history at the university. After working there for almost two years though I learned a great deal more about so many different things and I met some of the most wonderful people.
More is to come about all of that, and I have many stories that I plan to share too in this blog about my experiences out there. I just wanted to throw this wish out with the others because I have started seeds in my basement for plants which will eventually be planted in the Gordon House landscape.
Please wish all of us luck in the coming months!