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A bit of garden history


For the past 30 years, whenever I’ve taken a country drive on the back roads south of Hillsboro, I’ve admired a beautiful old home near the corner of Scholls Ferry Road and River Road. Just glimpsing over the hedges as I drove by made me yearn for a chance to explore the garden and learn the history behind the Georgian-style home. by: SUBMITTED PHOTOS: ANN NICKERSON  - A home located on the Rosemound Farms property south of Hillsboro was originally built by the Groners, a pioneer Oregon family. Its lush landscape makes for inspired gardening.

Last year I got my chance. I enrolled in Garden Boot Camp — Basic Training and Raised Bed Lab. I’d heard great things about the garden training and wanted to experience a class before I placed it on my “recommend list” for clients. I’m sure you could understand how thrilled I was to learn the class was taught at Rosemound Farms, the same home I longed to visit.

Boot Camp was a blast. Even as a gardener of 33 years, I learned new things I’m incorporating into my community garden plot. However, my highlight was the tour of Rosemound Farm. I learned it was built by the Groner family, one of Oregon’s early homesteaders. They first built a cabin across River Road in the early 1850s, which was replaced 30 years later by a white Victorian home that is still in beautiful condition.

In 1936, Ellen and Ferdinand Groner commissioned Herman Brookman to design and build their lovely Georgian home. After the Groners passed away without children, the entire estate was inherited by Rosemound Farms’ two caretakers. Their children continued to live on the property and care for it until 2003, when it was sold to Jenna Bayer, a landscape architect and owner of Garden Boot Camp.

Jenna was attracted to the home by its classic beauty and the wonderful gardens. She has invested a lot of love and energy into developing Rosemound Gardens into both a sanctuary and a working farm and garden school.

We all have the opportunity to visit Rosemound Farms this Saturday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please go to gardenbootcamp.com for more information and directions. See you there.

Ann Nickerson has practiced landscape design in the Tualatin Valley since 1993. You can contact her at ann.nickerson.net or by phone at 503-846-1352 with your comments or questions.