An early morning scene outside the guest room window at Mary-Kate Mackey’s in Eugene
October in Oregon – you can’t beat it. Earlier this month, I traveled there to lecture to the Hardy Plant Group of Willamette Valley.
Returning to my beloved roots, in the Pacific Northwest, was such a treat, especially since it is still wickedly hot down here in LA and I am desperate for some moist, cool autumnal weather.
And oh, the gardens!
Mary-Kate Mackey, fellow garden writer and a gifted journalism educator, met me at the airport. It was fun to fly into this sleek, modern, small airport and arrive via Horizon Airlines (they serve complimentary Pacific Northwest ale on board and, oh, by the way, one of my articles appears in the October issue of Horizon/Alaska’s in-flight magazine, so I was able to grab lots of extra copies from the seat-pocket in front of me, etc.!).
Upon disembarking in Eugene, I was impressed by the changing autumn light and saturated foliage palette. Oh, it’s autumn in Oregon! It took away my breath and captured my heart.
The evening began with drinks at a nifty bistro with Mary-Kate, followed by dinner with my dear friend Jennifer (we were editors together at “Seattle Woman” magazine in the 80s).
On Tuesday, after a restful overnight in Jenny and her husband Tim’s comfortable home, I met up again with Mary-Kate.
Since I missed out on the one-day garden tour in Eugene that followed last month’s Garden Writers Association’s annual symposium, I had a special request for Mary-Kate: Can I have my own mini-tour of the best of the best Eugene has to offer? [Above: Mary-Kate inspects the craftsmanship of a stunning stone wall hand-built by Allen Bosworth (right) of Bosworth Landscaping.]