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The Friends of Rogerson Clematis Garden at Luscher Farm have received a major grant from the Stanley Smith Family Horticultural Trust.

For The Review, Tidings

The Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Garden have received a grant from the Stanley Smith Family Horticultural Trust which will allow the Rogerson Clematis Garden to expand at Luscher Farm.

"This puts us in the company of famous botanical gardens throughout North America, from Mexico to Canada," said Phyllis McCanna, a FRCG member.

"The foundation's focus is to create educational value and develop and improve horticultural assets by awarding over $500,000 in grants each year to improve the educational experience and pleasure to visitors.

"(With the funds) we are creating an additional garden section with unique soil conditions featuring clematis and companion plants found in Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania, and enhancing the Japanese section in the Beech Tree's beds."

The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust was created in 1970 by May Smith, in honor of her late husband.

The trust supports education and research in ornamental horticulture in North America, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand. Grants up to $25,000 are typically made to botanical gardens, arboreta and universities.

McCanna said the grant FRCG received is approximately $15,000 and FRCG will will provide labor and in-kind matching donations including benches and planters.

"We plan to install in early spring and host an opening celebration in May," she said.

The New Zealand garden area will consist of three raised planters made of rustic manufactured stack stone. Each planter measures 6-feet-wide by 9-feet-long and 2-feet-tall and will be filled with a special soil mix to create the conditions needed for the clematis and companion plants to thrive.

Gravel paths will surround the planters on all sides allowing visitors to easily see the plants and volunteers to easily maintain them. The goal of the New Zealand portion of the project is to demonstrate another example of the wide variety and range of areas where clematis thrive.

The Beech Tree garden will provide space for more Japanese clematis along with Northwest native trees and shrubs. A new gravel path will connect it to the nearby picnic area under the beech tree.

The goal of the Beech Tree garden expansion is to provide more of the Japanese clematis in a shady northwest native habitat setting that visitors can emulate in their own yards.

Both new areas will improve and enhance visitor experiences by providing additional educational opportunities, as well as exposure to nature and the ornamental horticulture found in well-designed and maintained gardens.

Gardens are increasingly important as cultural, heritage and tourist destinations, providing places for solitude, community gathering, education, exposure, celebration, preservation and inspiration.

FRCG will host its 12th Inviting Vines Garden Tour and Party May 25, and will also host the International Clematis Society annual meeting in June, as well as an "After Hours" event for the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon.

To learn more visit rogersonclematiscollection.org.

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