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Posts Tagged ‘gravel gardens’

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Garden Bloggers Fling, Portland

The itinerary for our bus was different than on the schedule.

The itinerary for our bus was different than on the schedule.

crossing one of Portland's many bridges.

crossing one of Portland’s many bridges.

Along many areas beside the city freeways, drifts of roses are planted.

Along many areas beside the city freeways, drifts of roses are planted.  (photo taken from the bus, of course)

John Kuzma Garden

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photo 1

As soon as I saw this garden, I again wanted to tear up all of my grass (as is usual when I see a gravel garden).  One of the main thing that stops me is that we cannot get decomposed granite or even washed gravel.  The only gravel around here is full of “fines” and is not the proper sort for building a garden like this (as far as I know).

the bus arrives

the bus arrives and we are greeted by our host, John Kuzma

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Gravel drifts all the way to the street.

Gravel drifts all the way to the street.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

front

As we arrived, it began to rain.

taking shelter by the front door

taking shelter by the front door

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

front porch, Allan's photo

front porch, Allan’s photo

the front garden

the front garden

Allan's photo, a rhodo for Steve and John

Allan’s photo, a rhodo for Steve and John

front

two

front

front

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Now…walking around the side of the house:

side garden

side garden

And into the truly enormous back garden:

entering the back courtyard

entering the back courtyard

an elegant water feature

an elegant water feature

water

water

against the house

against the house

in the center of the courtyard

in the courtyard

court

And now into the upper level of the back garden:

just a few steps up

just a few steps up; I’d hardly had to do any stairs all day.

upper

cactus

orange

The garden was big enough to let us spread out.

The garden was big enough to let us spread out.  Also so nice and level for my walking comfort.

orange

house

 

crevice

 

crevice garden

crevice garden

crev

crev

 

crevice

 

Allan's photo; I was smitten with his crevice garden idea.

Allan’s photo; I was smitten with his crevice garden idea.

The rain had begun to bucket down.

The rain had begun to bucket down.

I hustled to a shed at the back corner of the garden.

I hustled to a shed at the back corner of the garden.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

with a living roof

with a living roof

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

shelter from the storm

shelter from the storm

I had to get back out for more photos.

foliage

Soon it seemed I was the only one who had stayed out in the garden.

urn

urn

gunnera toward the back of the garden

gunnera toward the back of the garden

a small kitchen garden

a small kitchen garden

leaves

looking back to the house

When I heard thunder and saw dramatic forked lightning strike on the other side of the house, I decided I had better get inside!

house

crev

a quick route via an unexplored area

a quick route via an unexplored area

rose, maybe Mutabilis

rose, maybe Mutabilis?

rose

 

Eucalyptus at the edge of the garden

Eucalyptus at the edge of the garden

I found the bloggers clustered on the back porch, donning garbage bags as rain gear.  One of the organizers had thought to bring them after seeing the forecast of thunderstorms.

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the donning of rain gear, Allan's photo

the donning of rain gear, Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

our host, Mr Kuzma

our gracious host, Mr Kuzma, who let us drip into his house for lunch if we so desired.

This was our lunch spot; the other bus would be dining at the Floramagoria garden at the same time.

This was our lunch spot; the other bus would be dining at the Floramagoria garden at the same time.

lunch2

view from the back porch

view from the back porch

stairs to the upper level

stairs to the upper level

Along with several other people, I went into the house to eat.

another delicious sandwich from Elephants Deli.

another delicious sandwich from Elephants Deli.

view from the kitchen window

view from the kitchen window; you can see one side of the upper back garden does not have stairs to enter.

kitchen view

kitchen view

kitchen view

kitchen view

front door view

front door view

view from the front porch

view from the front porch

In the house, garden designer Sean Hogan's plant encyclopedia (Allan's photo)

In the house, garden designer Sean Hogan’s plant encyclopedia (Allan’s photo)

During lunch, the contigent of California bloggers were talking about Instagram and one of them gave me a quick tutorial.  I had it on my phone but had only used it once and had not realized it had become such a big thing.

Then the bloggers fanned out into the garden to take photos, rain or no rain.  (It had almost stopped.)

after lunch

after lunch

With the rain stopped, I could finally take photos looking up.

With the rain stopped, I could finally take photos looking up.

flowers

up

up

And with my phone, I took and posted my first Instagram.

And with my phone, I took and posted my first Instagram.

Allan joined the other bloggers for a post-rain tour of the garden; photos below are all his:

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Xera plant tag

Xera plant tag

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Aw....I had this back in 2012.

Aw….I had this back in 2012.

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Fatsia japonica 'Spider's Web'

Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web’, I believe, and a little rhodo

This is the sort of garden where I have no clue what most of the plants are.

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If I were twenty years younger…I might dig up every scrap of sod at home and find a way to get the right sort of gravel.  Beth Chatto’s Gravel Garden is one of my favourite books. I had no lawn at my old garden and liked it, but even better I like the way the paths, courtyards, and plantings are as one in a garden like this.

I think that Robert Nold of The Miserable Gardener would love this one.

Next: Floramagoria, a garden which I have heard is rarely open for tours.

 

 

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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Hardy Plant Study Weekend presented by the Northwest Perennial Alliance

Tucker garden

Our last tour garden in North Seattle was one I especially wanted to see because Beth Chatto’s Gravel Garden is one of my favourite books.

photo

by the street

by the street

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

looking up into the garden

looking up into the garden

detail in the low retaining wall around the patio

detail in the low retaining wall around the patio

the front yard patio

the front yard patio

Allan's photo of thyme on the patio

Allan’s photo of thyme on the patio

front garden

front garden

from gravel to lawn in the front garden

from gravel to lawn in the front garden

gravel path, front garden

gravel path, front garden

very Beth Chatto

very Beth Chatto

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the first of a selection of assorted Eryngiums…my favourites!

Dahlias, Allan's photo

Dahlias, Allan’s photo

a mosaic step up the lawn

a mosaic step up the lawn

gazing upon the lawn and house

gazing upon the lawn and house

next to the pebble mosaic: a cluster of Salvia viridis (painted sage), my favourite annual and one you don't see in many gardens.

next to the pebble mosaic: a cluster of Salvia viridis (painted sage), my favourite annual and one you don’t see in many gardens.  It is not quite blossomed out yet.

painted sage, which I discovered in a slide show lecture by Lucy Hardiman

painted sage, which I discovered in a slide show lecture by Lucy Hardiman

Eryngium

Eryngium again, backed with Ceanothus

looks like my friend Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

looks like my friend Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a tour guest photographing poppies

a tour guest photographing poppies

Here's why!

Here’s why!

I see Sheila heading for the back garden.

I see Sheila heading for the back garden.

I look back at the gravel garden.

I look back at the gravel garden.

Into the back garden.  Note the pond to the left.

Into the back garden. Note the pond to the left.

Perfection!

Perfection!

I poked at the lip to see if I could ascertain whether or not it was made from a big round tub.  Couldn't tell.

I poked at the lip to see if I could ascertain whether or not it was made from a big round tub. Couldn’t tell.

I have begun Googling “huge round tubs for ponds” and certainly hope I can find something like this, so nice and round, not one of those squiggly shaped plastic forms.  Looks like it has a wide lip for setting the pavers.  Maybe it is not a tub at all.

To my right, the garden.

To my right, the garden.

a trough garden

a trough garden

a reading spot

a reading spot

Along the same side of the garden as the pond, a wall drips with ferns over a path lower than the lawn.

Along the same side of the garden as the pond, a wall drips with ferns over a path lower than the lawn.

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blossoms drifted onto a fern

clematis fluff drifted onto a fern

Stepping from the fern grotto up onto the lawn

Stepping from the fern grotto up onto the lawn

a single yellow rose

a single yellow rose

levels in the back garden

in the back garden

There's Ciscoe!

There’s Ciscoe!  Note the sunroom to the left.

The sun room is open for tour guests to enter.

The sun room is open for tour guests to enter.

The sun room is open for tour guests to enter.

stunning.

stunning…may I have this AND the round pond, please!

a frog welcome mat at the door that goes straight out the back.

a frog welcome mat at the door that goes straight out the back.

into the garden

into the garden

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more levels of stone and plants

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another angle

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

another water feature

another water feature

I got distracted by a conversation and did not get any detail photos of this lovely area.  However, if you look at this entry in the Bonney Lassie blog, not only will you see an excellent photo of it but also links to other blogs about this garden.  (Alison, do you think that big round pond is a tub??)

looking down at the house and sunroom

looking down at the house and sunroom

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another level up, above a greenhouse, and going up to a little shed

Another level up, above a greenhouse, and going up to a little shed.

looking down

looking down

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little greenhouse

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greenhouse and shed

a path between greenhouse and an outbuilding (as I recall)

a path between greenhouse and an outbuilding.

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a shady nook by the house

We are about to go around the other side of the house.

We are about to approach the other side of the house.

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more simply lovely single roses

fern planter

fern planter

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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in the front garden again

in the front garden again

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I asked Sheila to take one more photo for me out the passenger window before we drove away.

I asked Sheila to take one more photo for me out the passenger window before we drove away.

This garden was very much my cuppa tea in every way and I feel now, looking at the photos, that I was too punchy and distracted to catch all of the details.  It is four hours way from me now, so I will have to read other people’s blogs to see more of it.


 

Sky Nursery

We had time to get to Sky Nursery before their closing time of six PM in order to get a birdbath that we have wanted for a long long time.  It is rather pricey (for us) and is often out of stock.

Sky Nursery

Sky Nursery

parking lot planters

parking lot planters

Allan took these three photos at my request.  The blue is Salvia patens, one of my favourites.

Allan took these three photos at my request. The blue is Salvia patens, one of my favourites.

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I bought a couple of hardy Fuchsias but was too tired to do much focused plant shopping.

mermaid birdbath from catalog

mermaid birdbath from catalog

Mer Family Birdbath

(MER-BB)

Designed by Kelly Godel

18″ x 18″ x 28″; 100 lbs (2 Pieces)

Mermaids, in folklore are supernatural, sea-dwelling creatures with the head and upper body of a beautiful women and the lower body of a fish. Many a travelled sailor has brought back tales of being enchanted by their beauty. In this original birdbath by Kelly Godel, we see all the members of a Mer family, happy in the knowledge that they won’t be disturbed by human presence. Mermaids were immortalized by Hans Christian Anderson’s famous 1837 novel, The Little Mermaid.

Mediterranean Kitchen

On the way back to the hotel (we were much too tired to go to the Bellevue Botanical Garden so missed that entirely on this trip) we had dinner at the Mediterranean Kitchen’s Bellevue restaurant.  It was a great favourite of mine in its lower Queen Ann and Capitol Hill (Komalco!) restaurants back when I lived in Seattle.  Zahrah, a deep fried cauliflower appetizer with tahini sauce, is so scrumptious.

Allan found it, close to the hotel, when he took a walk late Thursday evening.

Allan found it, close to the hotel, when he took a walk late Thursday evening.

When we arrived on Sunday night, the indoor seating was crowded so we ate on the patio.

The Mediterranean Kitchen

The Mediterranean Kitchen

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I got Farmer's Dish as it brought back happy memories of reeking with garlic.  Sheila and Allan got Dajaj Mishwi.

I got Farmer’s Dish as it brought back happy memories of reeking with garlic. Sheila and Allan got Dajaj Mishwi.

Allan's dish

Allan’s dish

I had forgotten how huge the portions were, and the sad thing was our hotel rooms at the Bellevue Hilton had no refrigerators so we could not take leftovers; the three of us could have split a Zahrah and one Dajaj Mishwi and been happy.

A dog walking with its human made eye contact with me.  I would love to have given him a taste, but garlic is not good for dogs.

A dog walking with its human made eye contact with me. I would love to have given him a taste, but garlic is not good for dogs.

back at the hotel...our new plant collection

back at the hotel…our new plant collection

and the water bottles Allan kept refilling to water the plants with, as some had been in the van for three days now.

and just some of the water bottles Allan kept refilling to water the plants with, as some had been in the van for three days now.

Tomorrow we would go home, but on our way we would visit five more gardens in southwest Seattle.

 

 

 

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Friday, 20 June 2014

Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend

Hummingbird Hill

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I walked round and round and round in this garden and felt like immediately going home and replacing all my grass paths with gravel and learning to make stuccoed concrete block walls.

I also felt again the poignancy that I experienced at the Froggwell Garden, where the garden co-creator had also passed away, while at the same time the upbeat mood and colours of Hummingbird Hill made me happy and uplifted.

street view of the garden

street view of the garden

from the street

from the street

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

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We were invited by Bob Barca's sister to enter this way. She said she had done the hardscaping for the garden.

We were invited by Bob Barca’s sister-in-law to enter this way. She said she had done the hardscaping for the garden.

outside the gate

outside the gate

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beside the gate

beside the gate

NPA= Northwest Perennial Alliance, the Seattle area version of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon and the sponsor of the study weekend

NPA= Northwest Perennial Alliance, the Seattle area version of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon and the sponsor of the study weekend

stepping inside

stepping inside

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I immediately had to step back outside to tell the sister in law how enormously impressed I was with her stucco wall hardscaping!

The second time I entered the gate!

The second time I entered the gate!

Garage/outbuilding forming one wall of the garden

Garage/outbuilding forming one wall of the garden

All the raised beds and warm walls help the plant collection thrive.

All the raised beds and warm walls help the plant collection thrive.

inset tiles and plants growing atop the walls

inset tiles and plants growing atop the walls..and a water feature!

another angle

another angle

The garden is completely fenced.

The garden is completely fenced.

Allan pondering.  I wonder if he is also wanting to change from lawn to gravel paths!

Allan pondering. I wonder if he is also wanting to change from lawn to gravel paths!

I did enjoy having no lawn at all in my former gardens...hmmm.

I did enjoy having no lawn at all in my former gardens…hmmm.

luscious eremurus

luscious eremurus

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I wish I had a closer photo of that blue flowering plant! (If a salvia, it is huge.)

Allan got a close up...so what is it??

Allan got a close up…so what is it?? A solanum??

Allan: "a piece of rebar solves a twisty problem"

another close up of the same area by Allan: “a piece of rebar solves a twisty problem”

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a scree garden.   have to rethink my scree garden plan now!

a scree garden of tiny treasures. have to rethink my scree garden plan now!

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

more eremurus envy

more eremurus envy

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plants thriving in the warm microclimates

plants thriving in the warm microclimates

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beside the garage

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on the garage wall...

on the garage wall…

Tropaeolum tuberosum 'Ken Aslet'

Tropaeolum tuberosum ‘Ken Aslet’

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stone and water

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I wonder if at one time each of these ovals had a small plant?

I wonder if at one time each of these ovals had a small plant?

My grandmother, who used a wringer washer well into the 1970s, would have loved this.

My grandmother, who used a wringer washer well into the 1970s, would have loved this wringer washer water feature. (I want one!)

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looking back at the areas I had walked through.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

and now am in front of the house with my back to the wringer washer

and now am in front of the house with my back to the wringer washer

the house

the house

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a corner of the front garden

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peeking in the potting shed by the house

peeking in the potting shed; I think it was a wing of the house

a little stream

a little stream

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

a bed of peas beside the house

a bed of peas beside the potting shed

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walking behind the house

walking behind the house

shade and moss

shade and moss

Fatsia japonica 'Spider's Web' (I was thrilled to recognize a plant!)

Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web’ (I was thrilled to recognize a plant!)

a private sit spot behind the house

a private sit spot behind the house

shady corner

shady corner

coming around from behind the house

coming around from behind the house

I may be going round in circles now.

I may be going round in circles now.

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a table with magazines, free for the taking, from Bob Barca's collection.  (I was reeling from the pleasures of this garden so did not even think to take any!)

a table with magazines, free for the taking, from Bob Barca’s collection. (I was reeling from the pleasures of this garden so did not even think to take any!)

the late Bob Barca

the late Bob Barca

Allan's photo; Bob Barca loved birds.

Allan’s photo; Bob Barca loved birds.

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Who can tell us what bird this is?

his earthly paradise

earthly paradise for plants and birds and people

Wow...pineapple broom....Argyrocytisus battandieri...HUGE

Wow…pineapple broom….Argyrocytisus battandieri…HUGE

Have grown it but moved before it bloomed, tried to move it and it died, and it is hard to find where I live.  Want!!  (Would it even bloom at the coast??)

Have grown it but moved before it bloomed, tried to move it and it died, and it is hard to find where I live. Want!! (Would it even bloom at the coast??) Sheila grows it successfully and says the flowers indeed smell like pineapple. (I could not get close enough to smell them.)

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on the front porch

on the front porch

another dahlia view

another dahlia view

from the front of the house, a bridge to the garden behind the garage

from the front of the house, a bridge to the garden by the garage

by the front porch

by the front porch

by the front porch

by the front porch

in front of the house

in front of the house

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looking back at the house

looking back at the house

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not wanting to leave...but we must...

not wanting to leave…but we must…

Oh dear, now I feel my garden is so SOFT and GREEN and COOL, and I want the warm, bright, gravel-crunching underfoot feeling of this garden instead.

I would linger, but we have more gardens to tour.

Here are two other blog entries about Hummingbird Hill on the same garden tour:

Linda Letters blog

Alison’s Bonney Lassie blog

 

 

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