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Posts Tagged ‘Portland Oregon 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.

Floramagoria, part 1: the front garden

There were three gardens I was especially excited to see on the tour, two because I read blogs about them (Rhone Street and Danger Garden), and Floramagoria because I had heard it is wonderful and rarely has a garden open.

Because I like to put every single last detail of gardens I tour into our blog, so that I can relive the experience later, I have divided this garden into two (or maybe even three) sections, thus avoiding an entry with over 100 photos! You will understand when you see the back garden.

The front garden is “NW/Asian” in style and is five years old.

arriving at Floramagoria; Allan's photo

arriving at Floramagoria; Allan’s photo

front

along the driveway

front

dog sculpture

dog sculpture

woodsy front garden

woodsy front garden

bird draped with Japanese forest grass

bird draped with Japanese forest grass

raised fern display

raised fern display

I suggested to Allan that he do something like this to squeeze more ferns into his garden.

I suggested to Allan that he do something like this to squeeze more ferns into his garden.

daylily...a hint of brightness to come

daylily…a hint of brightness to come

¯front1

I found the front garden pleasant, but I knew the garden was about flowers. Allan did not know that as he had not read hints about it online, as I had. So he was quite content in the front garden, especially because of his love of ferns.

Allan’s photos:

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Fatsia 'Spider's Web" (he has one in his garden)

Fatsia ‘Spider’s Web” (he has one in his garden)

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a gentle adjustable limb brace

a gentle adjustable limb brace

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Allan was in fern heaven and I believe he thought that’s what the garden was all about…until he looked up and realized everyone else had disappeared and he wondered where we had all gone.

That’s when he came around the side and joined the rest of us in the back garden.

side

Prepare to have your sock knocked off!

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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

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 6.45.21 PM

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.

bloggers2

 

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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Joanne Fuller and Linda Ernst gardens

Four years ago these two next door gardens were on the tour and I rhapsodized about how wonderful it would be to have such a neighbour and how it reminded me of the book Gardening from the Heart.  Some changes had been made to each garden.  I’m sure one of them had a new back yard water feature…

the sidewalk shared by the two gardens

first garden driveway

Tall Azara microphylla on corner of first house

I do hope my new Azara microphylla gets this tall.  The one in my old garden had gotten fairly tall and was just about to bloom when it fell over in a storm. (It blooms in late winter and indeed, the flowers smelled of vanilla; the opened just as the broken tree lay on the patio.)    When we moved to our new garden, I noticed that the old Azara stump had put out new leaves so perhaps it has come back for the new owner of that garden.

My favourite early bloomer was the Azara lanceolata that mysteriously died in that same garden and I have not yet managed to get me one of those.

in the first garden

side garden

the bright panels draw you in

colourful panels

a little fire spot

in the side garden

artful colour echoes

from the side yard….to the back yard patio. Mike Darcy on right, new water feature right, past the three square pavers.  Also: a table with treats.

beautiful water feature in first garden back yard

This called for many photos.

Jeffrey Bale Mosaic

In the second garden we’re treated to the sight of a mosaic by Portlander Jeffrey Bale.  (His own intricately mosaiced home and garden will be in the next journal entry.)

second garden, back yard

chair in second garden

second garden

chair and glass flowers

bright glass accents

shady porch, sunny garden

a water feature

path around side of house

At the front of the house, a seating area positioned on the roof of the garage overlooked the residential street.

the garage at street level; above it, the chairs and table

At street level and to the side of the seating area, opaque screens provided privacy while letting in the light.  I think these were made from shower doors, as we will see in one of the next days most spectacular tour gardens.

privacy screens

beautiful light capture

on the stairs to the sidewalk, the gift of a volunteer seedling

The neighbouring gardens are joined across the front yard as well as the back.

If my neighbour, who is in her 80s and no longer gardens, were still able I know that she would garden with me like this.

A very new garden

Next we did a quick walk through a garden that was very new.  Too new, I felt, to be on the tour.  I think that to Portland gardeners the designer might have been well known, and therefore her new work may have been of great interest, but to outsiders there was just not….enough.  (How carefully I choose my words so as not to hurt the feelings of the gardener who may chance upon this.  I am sure the garden is wonderful as I write this in spring of 2012!)

On the way into the garden: Cerinthe major purpurascens, one of my very favourite annuals.

The Portland neighbourhood

The Portland neighbourhood, however, provided many lovely vignettes on the way to the next garden.

a white flowering street tree…breathtaking…what is it?

And the houses of Portland are so lovely, so cheerfully painted and filled with such rich architectural detail.

lady in red

dormers

painted details

matching paint and foliage

gingerbread

handsome foursquare

Oh dear, garden touring is not much fun for dogs!

Next (as soon as I find time to write it; this catch-up project has gone into mid April and gardening season is upon us!): the unique, the colourful, the bright, the whimsical Jeffrey Bale garden!  [I ended up taking up this tale again many months later!]

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garden three

The third stop on the tour pleased us with its interpretive signs.

garden history

a classic bungalow

Down at the end of one of the parking strip gardens of the corner lot, I could see other tourists reading something.  It turned out to be a poetry pole.

poetry pole

poetry protected from weather

Euphorbias spilled over the wall as garden tourists walked back from reading the poem.

While the note at the top of this page apologized for having an area “stuffed with the ordinary”, I thought this parking strip garden looked wonderful with its run of cheerful daylilies.

parking strip

a grand entrance

The gardener kept bees, gentle ones….and we did get very close to the hive with no harm.

bees

espaliered tree

a place to sit near water

As well as friendly and kind bees, the gardener kept chickens.  (If I had more free time, I would love to have chickens.  Oddly, Ilwaco does not allow chickens.  I don’t have time to petition the city council to change this, but I think someone should.)

chicken story

chickens

to the right: chickens...almost straight ahead, the garage...The bees are behind the woman, left.

garage story

beside the garage

Walking through the path between garage and house and next to the bees, we emerged on the sunny vegetable garden.

structured vegetable garden

On a sunny end of one of the parking strips, metal grid protected some plants.  Behind, you can see the view over a river.

parking strip

As we departed we noticed the next door neighbour had some good garden beds and wondered if their garden would expand and perhaps someday be on tour.

neighbouring garden

On the parking strip

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garden two (two in one)

The second home garden was brand new…had just had the finishing touches put on before tour day.  It was considerably more enjoyable than a few other too-new gardens I’ve seen on garden tours.  I’m glad they were ready to open it.  The tour stop included a neighbourly collaboration on a lot across the street .  Our eye was immediately drawn to it but we toured the house garden first.

across the street

The new garden

a well establish parking strip planting

We did not get the story of why this garden had been completely redone behind the house, when it was obvious from the parking strip garden that the home had been in a gardener’s hands for awhile.

On a steep slope  around the side of the house, netting held  the soil in descending garden beds.

looking down

at side of house

It interested us to see the garden at this stage before trailing plants (we supposed) grew down over the slopes.  I’d love to see it a year later.

I covet the metal art in the garden, especially that divider.

metal screen

Parts of the back garden were well established.  I imagine the yard remodel had something to do with adding water and dealing with the steep drop from front to back yard.

back garden trees

The garden’s tropical feel included a theme of round, reflective water.

water and roundness

Directly off the porch a big pool was, I think, made of a huge plastic tub with a naturalistic rock edge.

next to the porch

Just around to the side, other pools were definitely made from big tubs.  I liked them and thought it looked much better than having a pool liner.

tub ponds

Looking back as we climbed stairs on the other side of the house, I reflected on the program notes that the gardeners’ goal was partly to hide the industrial view.  I myself am partial to an industrial view so I appreciated the scenic backdrop.

industrial view...almost gone

looking down

I see now that I have to find me a big tub like that….insert at back of patio….put rocks around the edge, or, as it seems here, rope.  Yes.

leaving the garden

the front of the house

(I’m glad that smudge did not appear in the rest of my day’s photos.)

across the street

We crossed the street to come closer to the huge face at the top of the garden there, a collaboration between the homeowner whose garden we toured and another neighbour.

the face

a different angle

closer

A metal nest echoed the garden across the street.

metal nest or basket...thing

Jeanne and Sheila

Sheila and I were fortunate again in having a local drive us for the first touring day.  Our friend from the Rainyside gardening forum lives in Portland and drove us in her Jeep (a sturdy vehicle in which I feel quite safe).  As with the 2010 weekend when Maggie drove us in north Seattle, it made Sheila’s day in particular much better to not have to drive in unfamiliar neighbourhoods.

As to the two gardens, as with a couple of other garden tour stops of previous years and the essay regarding neighbourly gardening in the book Gardening from the Heart: Why Gardeners Garden, I reflected on how gratifying it would be to have a neighbour with shared garden space and a shared love for the pastime.

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Now at last for the garden touring.  I’m writing this in April 2012, can’t lay my hands on the print out for the tour gardens (why is it not in my tour garden file folder??) and so I cannot name all of the gardens.

Garden One, somewhere in Portland

The first garden had a driveway with plants down the middle, reminiscent of the amazing driveway planting at 2010’s Huson garden in Ruston.  I want to take a jackhammer to our little driveway and do this, but Allan does not seem thrilled with the idea.  It WOULD work.  Oh, he just told me there is such a thing as a cement cutter.  Must find out who has one!

I...must...have...this.

Perhaps they are all pondering how to achieve this.

I loved the colour of the house itself.  In the cities of Portland and Seattle (and, of course, San Francisco with its painted ladies) one sees more colourful houses, and I wish there were more in our town.

colour!

Gold foliage pops against the hot pink!

garden tourists perusing the garden description

birdbath detail

We liked the handsome open metal trellis fence....

...and the metal art through the entire garden.

I am a big fan of putting decor on fences and the exterior walls of one’s house.  It’s harder with our old double wide, as one cannot “puncture the seal”, but I have ideas….

the fence

non windowbox

fence art

front garden path

reminder

Coming round the corner into the back yard, I was reminded of a plant I coveted, acquired, and then killed in my too-shady and damp (with poor drainage) former garden.  Perhaps in my new garden it would succeed.

The back garden’s patio and little stream charmed me but as a fan of little boardwalks I loved the one person walk that led into a dense shrubbery.

back yard scenes

I wish I knew who the gardener was so I could give proper credit for how pleasing it was.

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