In the Garden with OR.CA and Kerrilynn


OR.CA, an acronym for Oregon and California, both places that hold a special place in my heart, is a landscape design firm that believes in raw, powerful, natural environments. Which is why I invited Molly, the founder and visionary behind some of the most magical gardens on the West Coast, over to my house to talk plants. I share what my garden means to me and Molly offers up tips and her favorite plants for fall. Welcome the natural world into your orbit this season, and watch the magic unfold.



Describe how your garden: feels, smells, sounds, tastes. 

The land is quiet and smells like sage and dry air and our garden feels like a deep breath, a place to relax, restore and tend to. I've dreamt of having an outdoor space for so long, that sometimes it feels unreal. Quite literally a blessing. It's starting to taste delicious too, as we just planted some vegetables with the help of Lily of Sustainable Landscapes. I'm looking forward to watching it grow and become more and more a part of my daily life.


What plants do you use for cooking or healing?

Salad is a big part of our eating routine and I lean heavily into greens to feel my best. I drink a green juice daily for taste, but also for health. And of course Matcha: in the kitchen as a daily drink or ingredient, and also in the bathroom as a healing, calming mask.


What are your plans for your garden in the next 5 years?

I want it to grow, both literally and figuratively. I dream of eating the majority of our meals from the garden, and making all our pantry staples from our land. I also love the idea of having a flower garden to make huge, wild and breathtaking arrangements with.


For more on Kerrilynn's garden, head over to OR.CA




Imagination + Planning

Early fall is a time of slowly fading light. The evenings come quickly; our gardening forays are cut short with the harvest sunsets. It’s a great time to wander your garden path and look at your garden and come up with changes for the next year. Take a moment to think about what your garden landscape would look like with a touch of color and texture.



    Color + Texture

    Add color with fall red and orange leaves. Add texture with ornamental grasses such as Miscanthus and Panicum. I love how their vertical lines and wispy seed heads add exclamation points to rounded shrub borders. Hellebores love to add flowers from December to March.



      Think long term

      Create a winter wildlife habitat in your garden by keeping your seed heads on your fall foliage. Allow some of your plants to lay and decay in place, giving beneficial insects and amphibians habitat. Winter blooming plants such as heathers and winter daphne provide a food source for the pollinators in your yard.



        SOIL. SOIL. SOIL

        Healthy plants love healthy soil. Feed your garden beds by adding compost or mulch by top dressing your landscape beds.  Use organic compost and slow release fertilizers to add beneficial microbes, mycorrhizae and slow release nutrients for a healthy garden next spring. 



          Pause and Appreciate

          Embrace the change of your garden: as plants die back, reflect on this important time of dormancy and reflection mother nature offers. The winter garden is a beautiful state that offers a moment of pause.




            Platanus racemosa (Western Sycamore): A native, deciduous tree with a large trunk and sculptural branches that twist and spread. The Western Sycamore can reach up to 100+ feet in height. Its bark peels, revealing a marbling of white, pink, and cream. Leaves turn yellow and orange-brown in the fall, and fallen leaves act as a great natural mulch. Platanus racemosa prefers full sun. 


            Salvia apiana (White Sage): Native to California, this evergreen perennial has fragrant silvery white leaves and clusters of white flowers with a hint of lavender. Salvia apiana attracts pollinators and loves a sunny, dry slope. 


            Achillea ‘Moonshine’ (Moonshine Yarrow): A lovely plant for a perennial border and excellent in a fresh cut or dried bouquet. ‘Moonshine’ has bright yellow flower clusters and silver-gray foliage. It thrives best in full sun and well-draining soil.


            Salvia clevelandii (Cleveland Sage): Fast growing and aromatic, this rounded sage is native to the southern California coast as well as northern Baja California. The drought tolerant shrub has clusters of lavender hued flowers and a gray-green foliage. Cleveland Sage grows up to six feet high and wide. Prefers full sun to part shade and well-draining soil. 


            Aloysia citriodora (Lemon Verbena): A woody shrub with fragrant, lemon-scented narrow leaves. Lemon verbena is used as a culinary herb, fresh or dried, in teas, dressings, and desserts. It can grow up to six feet tall and wide. Works well in a container for a balcony or patio garden. This plant likes full sun and well-draining soil.


            "I don't know how to separate my life from plants, they are woven into every part of my day. My routine is the plants, I just listen." - Kerrilynn Pamer 


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