Oakwood Gardens is owned by Michael and Julie Safley and located on their 70-acre ranch, NORTHWEST ALPACAS. After their four children flew the nest and left for college in 2006, they found their home empty. Wanting to see beautiful things continue to grow and flourish, they decided to create a small garden to surround their home.
To educate themselves for the project ahead, Mike and Julie enrolled in the MASTER GARDENER program through the Oregon State University Extension Service, and joined the Oregon chapters of the HARDY PLANT SOCIETY and the NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY. They pored over the pages of more than 100 gardening books and toured dozens of gardens in the United States, Canada and Europe.
To help their vision to come alive, they sought the guidance of wellknown garden designers Lucy Hardiman of PERENNIAL PARTNERS in Portland and Laura Crockett of GARDEN DIVA DESIGNS in Hillsboro. The four became a collaborative team. After clearing several miles of invasive weeds and planting thousands of shrubs, bulbs and trees, Oakwood Gardens was born. The small garden of their original dream evolved into a much larger project – seven acres of delight to share with friends and others who appreciate gardens. Even though it was an empty nest that inspired their new pastime, the garden has become an everlasting and rewarding endeavor.