When Jack Sadoff retired in 1992, he didn’t know what the future would bring. But by 1996, he knew he was ready to do something new and his yard at 195 SW Eighth Ave. was going to be his canvas.

What he and wife Karen have created is an oasis of bonsai, barkdust and feature rock.

It’s uniqueness and beauty have led the Canby Garden Club to tab it the Yard of the Month for April.

“It makes me feel pretty good,” Sadoff said of the award. “I think it’s kind of a gosh darn honor, to tell you the truth.”

Sadoff and his wife moved to Canby in 1978 and he retired 14 years later. Four years later, “I started getting a bug to do something rather than sit around,” he said. “I bought these feather rocks (lava rock) and started punching holes in them for drainage and put them on pedestals.”

And that got the ball rolling. Self-taught at most things in his life, Sadoff did the same to become a bonsai specialist. A look at his yard shows you he’s done a good job of mastering the craft.

“I’ve picked a few brains along the way, but I enjoy doing it,” he said. “I have the larger bonsai trees in the ground and have some smaller ones in the rock. They are mostly pines and maybe five varieties of maples. I’m a pine person. I love pine trees.”

The yard features mainly black pines and Japanese maples plus a 50-year-old mugo pine, lions mane maple, Marianna alpine pine (which a friend collected with a permit) and kodo booki pine.

Through the years, he’s found that working in the yard has given plenty back to him.

“It’s just a peaceful thing,” Sadoff said of working in the yard. “You come into the yard, work on the trees and you don’t hear anything in the world going on – just concentrating on what you’re doing. It’s just very gratifying to step back and see what you’ve done. It’s an ongoing process – you might have a process of three or four years of reshapping these trees.”

Sadoff also does copper work, making whirligigs, masks and other items. A few years ago, “In the Garden with Mike Darcy” stopped by to film a segment on his yard.

“I’ve enjoyed working on the yard,” he said. “It is a lot of fun.”

Canby Garden Club

Celebrating its 66th year, the Canby Garden Club is partnering with the Canby Herald for a new venture called “Yard of the Month.”

Canby Garden Club President Sharon Rueda liked the idea of highlighting some of Canby’s most attractive yards

“Canby has some outstanding and lovely gardens and we want to start recognizing these gardeners’ efforts and present them to the community,” Rueda said. “It really lifts a person's spirit to see a beautiful yard.”

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