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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

2015 Garden Conservancy Preview

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For those of you lucky enough to live in the Portland area, this Saturday, August 29th is the annual HPSO & Garden Conservancy Open Gardens Tour. This year the them is "Extending Your Garden Season" and features 5 varied gardens in the Beaverton area. This post was last weekend during a special "sneak peak" the HPSO hosted for several area bloggers and features 3 of the 5 gardens...enjoy!

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The first garden we stopped at was the garden of Nancy & Gordon Prewitt...and at close to 1/3 of an acre, I was instantly jealous of all their space...one thing I'll say about all of these gardens, they have room to stretch out!

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As I entered the backyard, I heard an audible gasp from fellow blogger, Heather Tucker, she had just stumbled upon what may be the largest Salvia 'Amistad' I've EVER seen in Portland...it was enormous and beautiful (at least 6' tall)!

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This garden was full of charming details, like this birdhouse. I believe the owner said they'd been in this location for 35 years...can you imagine!

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There was a small corner packed with different sedums...loved these little spreading guys...

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...and this mix of two different, taller, varieties.

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Exuberant use of annuals was to become a theme for the day, and this garden was no exception, with it's abundance of colorful Zinnias.

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Above all, the Prewitt garden, in my mind at least, was about food. It was one of the most beautiful edible gardens I've ever visited.

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In quite a few spots, I wondered if all the flowering annuals were a way of enticing pollinators to visit the surrounding veggies.

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Not that there needs to be a reason beyond beauty to plant them ;-)

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Sigh...I need to plant Cosmos again...oh, to have the room!

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Our next stop was the lovely garden of Chris & James Mitchell. Again, I was insanely jealous of all their space...and their graciously-sized corner lot...oh the things I could do with so much space!

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These two gardeners have a knack for foliage combinations and this garden felt very "PNW" to me, with it's eclectic mix of foliage types/colors.

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Continuing the theme of annual flowers, their front garden is dominated by scads of gorgeous, self-seeded Cleomes...they were amazing...so luminescent!

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I loved this pairing of Oakleaf Hydrangea and Rudbeckia.

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My favorite plant, however, was this gone-to-seed Lunaria (Money Plant). I just loved those translucent seed pods.

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I'd never think to pair pink and yellow together, but here it works.

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I love these richly-color, old-fashioned Hydrangeas.

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More foliage goodness.

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And here is probably my favorite spot of the tour...this shaded, calming spot sited underneath towering fir trees in their backyard...you just can't beat such trees for a sense of scale...it's hard to believe we're in the middle of suburban Portland right here!

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Who doesn't love the smoldering foliage of Cotinus?

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I was really impressed by this pairing of Rudbeckia and Inula...just slightly different textures and shades of yellow.

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Quite nice, right!

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It wouldn't be a garden tour in Portland without hops ;-)

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Here we have a few bloggers Jane and Amy admiring the garden.

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And more of our group, gathering around the gardeners to catch more details about the history of the garden and it's design.

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I don't know why, but Fuschias are one of those plants that are just totally off my radar...they are lovely though, don't you think?

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As we turn to leave this garden, let's say 'Hi' to this impressive Gunnera.

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The final garden we toured was that of Zachary Baker and Leon Livengood...and it was no shrinking violet...wearing its heart on its big, colorful sleeve!

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The garden is a mix of formal reserve and unabashed exuberance. Obviously, this vignette is on the reserved list...what a great view!

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A few steps over and you're greeted by a veritable bouquet of bedding annuals.

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And now we're calm again...with these serene, slightly blushed Hydrangeas.

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I really liked the stone walls and containers throughout this garden...they divided the space up nicely.

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This is such a great combo...Rudbeckia and Hydrangea.

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I wonder where they got this copper finial...loved it!

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And how nice is this vignette!

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Japanese Anemones are a nice complement to the hanging paper lanterns, don't you think?

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Another nice combo of annual red Pennisetum and Coleus. Why is it that when I see Coleus in other gardens, I like it...but when I go plant shopping, they all look so awful?

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If you are interested in going, visit THIS LINK for more information. Pre-sales of tickets are over, but you can purchase tickets at each garden at a cost of $7/garden. I hope you can go...there are some great gardens to see!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Bloom Day August 2015

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Technically, August is the middle of summer, but it feels like we should already be in fall, it's been such a hot, dry summer this year...it seems like it's been summer since May. One thing is certain, I'm looking forward to fall...even more so than usual! Still, things could be worse, so I try to ignore the areas that are sparse...including the ones I just never got planted this spring...since we skipped spring this year. Let's take a stroll through the garden, shall we?

echinacea and achnatherum
Summer belongs to the Composites, aka, the Daisies...and to me, there is nothing that compares to the elegant simplicity of the Echinacea. Here we have good old 'Magnus' backed by Achantherum calamagrostis.

echinacea at sunset
And here, in an idyllic summer vignette, 'Magnus' again, sandwiched between a gauzy haze of Deschampsia 'Schottland' and Panicum 'Cheyenne Sky'.

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As much as I like 'Magnus', I wish the form was a little more like the species...for that, we have the wonderful 'Showoff'...which is my favorite Echinacea at the moment...just love those reflexed petals.

rudbeckia in sun
While summer gets kicked off by the Echinacea, it's heralded in full-throated glory by the various Rudbeckias...their bold, unabashed golden colors look so comfortable in a summer border.

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Pair them with blue and/or violet and you have a classic, winning combination.

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The blue above, of course, is provided by the garden stalwart, Geranium 'Rozanne'...always dependable, always beautiful.

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And, of course, there's fellow Geranium, 'Ann Folkard'...who is having the best year ever, surprisingly. Usually, she seems to fizzle out once the heat of summer hits, but this year, she is unfazed and growing rampantly and mingling with bedfellow, 'Rozanne'...the hussies!

allium millenium
Allium 'Millennium' has been in this bud stage for what seems like weeks...JUST BLOOM!

blue blazes
The Agastaches this year are a mixed bag. The 'Blue Blazes' that were planted in the ground all failed to return, those in pots, however, are loving life.

agastache desert sunrise
Agastache 'Desert Sunrise' blooms away happily, even though it's literally growing in a pile of gravel...the same plant in the garden...dead.

agastache blue boa
The big surprise this year was Agastache 'Blue Boa', which I've had trouble overwintering in the past...sailed through last winter and was blooming already in June...it shows no sign of stopping.

ammi majus sunrise
I finally broke down and purchased several plants of Ammi majus...I want umbels!

bee on verbena hastata
After falling in love with Verbena hastata at a recent garden tour, I snapped one up during a recent trip to Joy Creek...I think the bees love it as much as I do.

verbena in sun
Of course, there are numerous Verbena bonariensis around the garden. I have so many now that I don't feel guilty when I pull a few out here and there...I'll always have more ;-)

vernonia southern cross
The fabulous Vernonia 'Southern Cross' is starting to put out it's electric purple blooms. I love Vernonias, but most of them are far too big for my tiny garden with its lack of real sun...this is a shorter variety that, for all intents and purposes, looks like a tall Amsonia until it blooms. A bonus, the seedheads are the most wonderful shade of rusty pink during the winter.

sedum sunsparkler
Some of the Sedums are also starting their floral show, here we have a new one (to me) 'Sunsparkler Dazzleberry'...not sure who thought up that name!

sedum xenox
One of my favorites, even it it tends to splay out a bit for me, 'Xenox'.

scabiosa ochroleuca
My beloved Scabiosa ochroleuca keeps on blooming...such a great plant!

knautia macedonica
The related Knautia macedonica are also blooming away happily...totally unfazed by the heat and drought.

impatiens balfourii
While I tried to eradicate them last year, there are still random plants of Impatiens balfourii popping up here and there...I will probably regret letting them bloom next year.

eupatorium little joe
August is typically prime season for the Joe Pye weeds as well...here we have the compact, but still fairly tall, 'Little Joe'

eupatoirum perfoliatum
Here, a variety of Eutrochium perfoliatum that I can't remember the name of...no matter, the bees are happy, regardless.

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And, of course, the big guy, Eutrochium atropurpureum (I think). I think it was just labeled as 'Joe Pye Weed'...so I'm not 100% sure what variety it is. I'm not sure why, but this year it's much more "open" and spreading...much less upright...perhaps I need to thin out the canes next year?

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If you have heavy clay soil, you owe it to yourself to give Persicaria a try. They aren't the most drought-tolerant plants ever...but they do well with just a bit of extra water...and repay your attention with masses of these wonderful ruby wands.

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'Golden Arrow' has had the toughest time of all the Persicaria this year...it scorched badly and then proceeded to completely open up, flopping everywhere. I corseted it with some twine, however, and once the weather cooled a bit, it seems to have bounced back.

persicaria orangefield
I spotted this variety 'Orangefield' at a local nursery a month or so ago, and in spite of my aversion to orange flowers, purchased it out of curiosity. Luckily, it's not even close to orange...so it gets to stay ;-)

golden sunrise
I'm sure I've forgotten a few things...but that's enough for now...so let's take a look at the wider views...here we have the North Border looking East.

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The North Border looking West.

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The Front Border looking South.

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The Front Border looking North.

whole house view
And a shot of pretty much everything.

echinacea deschampsia sunset
I hope you're having a good summer and enjoying it for what it is...for more bloomy goodness, head on over to May Dreams Garden.