The Man Behind The Oregon Garden

Ty Boland, botanical curator, has catalogued more than 8,000 plants at the state’s “plant zoo”

written by Lindsay McWilliams | photos by Eugene Pavlov

Ty Boland is a dirt nerd. “I find a lot of solace in pruning plants,” he said. “It’s almost a meditative experience.” As the botanical curator at The Oregon Garden in Silverton, he lets his dirt nerd flag fly as he and his crew care for more than 8,000 varieties of plants.

In his six years at the Garden, Boland has developed an accession program—a database of every plant in the garden including its location, genus, species, cultivar and the date it was planted.

A large part of Boland’s job is making sure the gardens are aesthetically pleasing, by keeping plants healthy and designing the landscape in a way visitors will enjoy. “With every plant out here, we try to make it the best example of what it could possibly be,” Boland said.

The Oregon Garden is the state’s largest botanical garden—“basically a plant zoo”—with twenty-three themed gardens of trees, flowers and shrubs.

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