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FRCC receives grant from county's Master Gardeners

Clematis collection to be improved

The Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection (FRCC) have been awarded a $400 Clackamas County Master Gardener Gray Thompson Community Projects Grant.

The grant’s goal is to “broaden community service of Clackamas County Master Gardeners by providing seed money for projects which further the use of plants as food, as tools for education, as benefits to the community and as a means to beautify the community,” according to the master gardeners’ website.

FRCC plans to use the grant to buy strawberry plants — which will be tucked into the earth as soon as they’re received, says Nancy Gronowski, FRCC president. The garden is located at Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Road in West Linn.

“All labor for installation and regular weeding and maintenance will be provided by FRCC volunteers,” Gronowski says. “We always encourage anyone from the community to join us as volunteers.”

FRCC has planted the remaining clematis in Brewster Robertson’s original collection in a new area called the Modern Garden. The gardeners will use strawberries as ground cover over the crowns of the vines to suppress weeds in the old farm field. Strawberries cover the ground loosely, allowing clematis shoots to break through easily, while still preventing weeds and shading the soil.

The area is on the east side of the driveway into Luscher Farm as visitors enter from Rosemont Road. It measures approximately one-quarter of an acre, and there is room for expansion.

“The transformation of this space in 10 years from weed-rampant fields to North America’s most comprehensive clematis collection is a testimony to the FRCC volunteers and the city,” said Martha Waldemar, a representative of the Clackamas County Master Gardeners.

To learn more about the project and the Rogerson Clematis Collection, visit rogersonclematiscollection.org.