Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Flirting With Danger

Danger Garden Header
Continuing my visits to fellow Portland Garden Bloggers' gardens, I had the fortune of visiting the Danger Garden this weekend!

Danger Garden Wide Shot
As we got closer, my partner, Norm (who I had convinced to go with me) asked what the house number was. "You'll know it when you see it," was my reply...and when we pulled up, he didn't dispute me!

Wingthorn Rose 2Verbascum bombyciferum
Wingthorn RoseVerbascum bombciferum
As anyone who already follows her blog knows, Loree (a.k.a, Mrs. Danger Garden herself) has a fondness for anything that is spiky, spiny or just plain...well...dangerous! Even a rose here is grown for it's decorative spines, rather than it's flowers. I adore this Verbascum...I'd almost rather it stay a nice, felty little rosette and not flower, if it meant it would be truly perennial (rather than die after flowering).

Cactus & Stipa tenuissima
Stipa tenuissima & Opuntia
Loree lamented the somewhat lax nature of this Stipa...and indeed, it has the nasty habit of falling over and splitting just when it should be looking it's best. Still, hers looked lovely at the moment, and did a wonderful job of softening the harder plants around them, like this Opuntia.

Verbascum olympicumStipa
Verbascum olympicumStipa tenuissima
There were several tall spires of Verbascum olympicum...adding nice exclamation points to the front garden.

Eryngium giganteum
Eryngium giganteum
One of my favorite Eryngiums, I love how it looks amazing, even after the flowers fade...those papery bracts catch the light quite fetchingly, yes?

Eucomis sparkling burgundyEucomis sparkling burgundy 2
Eucomis 'Sparkling Burgundy'
The bees seemed to be loving the Eucomis that flanked the front sidewalk.

Stipa & Yucca
Another wonderful pairing, as a silky Stipa caresses the rapier blades of a yucca.

Nanzanita barkSucculent
Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Harmony'Tender Succulent
Don't you just love the peeling bark on Mazanitas...so cool!

agave cactus stipa  2010
As we head into the backyard, I leave you with a vignette that exemplifies the "danger" style.

Planters and Hangers
While there are a few pots in the front yard, it's only when you enter the back yard that you realize how many containers Loree truly has...and they aren't just on the ground, either. She has utilized a lot of vertical space as well...like these pots hanging on the side of their garage!

Shade pavilion
One of the focal points of the back yard is the Shade Pavilion...a beautiful structure that was built by Loree's husband, Andrew.

Planter vignette
More pots...more plants! I'm amazed at how she manages to have so many pots...but each of them is unique...both in style of the pot, and in plants used.

Agave planter
This long, low planters was stuffed to the gills with little Agaves...Agave-lets, if you will.

Planters 1Magnolia macrophylla
More pots!Magnolia macrophylla
If I were to say the backyard is defined by any one plant, it would be Loree's Magnolia macrophylla (affectionately named Clifford). Clifford has an imposing presence...but is surprisingly airy. He serves a dual purpose of dividing the space and providing morning shade to the wonderful paver patio.

A spiny Aloe glows with early afternoon sun.

black pots
I loved these narrow black pots!

Concrete pots 2
I was totally crushing on these cool, crennelated concrete containers.

Curly Aloe 1
I was transfixed by the curling, almost sinister-looking arms of this aloe.

Mystery Plant
Bocconia frutescens (Tree Poppy)
I had to ask Loree what this particular plant was...love those silvery undersides!

Cactus 1
Don't you love how the spines of this Barrel Cactus catch the light?

Yucca rostrata
Another of the plants that immediately springs to mind when I think of the Danger Garden is this Yucca Rostrata...which, along with it's smallere bed-mate, ads a wonderful bit of spiky bulk at one end of a newly-planted area.

Spiky aloe
Another Aloe out for blood!

circular pot
Pots can even hang from trees like spider webs in the Danger Garden!

Dinner Plate Aeonium
Dinner Plate Aeonium
I think we all took turns exclaiming our surprise at this unusual Aeonium.

Shredded umbrella
As we headed out, I snapped one last pic of the Shade Pavilion, fronted with a lovely Shredded Umbrella Plant.

Thanks again for letting us visit, Loree. I hope it's the first of many such visits :-)


  1. It's always interesting seeing a garden I'm somewhat familiar with (from Loree's posts) through somebody else's eyes. Some very nice shots here too Scott!

  2. Ha ha ha ha-when we visited a few weeks ago, we also drove down the street confident that we wouldn't need to know the house number. What a great series of pictures! You really captured some beautiful details.

  3. Lovely gardens. Love that shade pavilion. Some interesting plants that I can't have and some great container gardening. Thanks for the tour.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  4. So wish we could have met you and Norm at Loree's! She could get quite the garden salon going in the Danger Garden...

  5. I'm surprised that you braved the scorching temperatures, but glad to see your great photos of the Danger Garden.

  6. You took some wonderful pictures of Loree's garden, I really enjoyed looking at it through your lens! A great new perspective. I especially liked the Stipa with the Opuntia. My Stipa is doing that same thing, falling over. I guess it's just a habit I'll have to get used to. That last shot with the shade pavilion in the background is fantastic.

  7. What a fun garden and your photos of it are really great. I had seen photos of a yucca with ornamental grass previously that really got me scheming, but the Stipa with Opuntia is really a fantastic combination. Hmmmm.... I could borrow those ideas over here on the East Coast too, I think.....

  8. I love the shade pavilion, too and how orderly Loree's use of gravel is. It inspires me to try to contain my gravel better.

  9. You have photographed her garden nicely. I wish I could see it in person.

  10. Not to downgrade Loree's photography but you captured her garden theme and astonishing groupings of plants in a most excellent manner. Well done Scott.

    1. Scott's photography is on an entirely different level than mine, no doubt about it. If you could have seen the harsh sunlight he was dealing with you'd be even more impressed at the depth he created in each shot, well done indeed!

  11. Btw do you use different http code to get your photos side by side?

  12. I just saw ricki's posting of this garden, loved seeing yours too! I love Stipas!!! I have a couple and can't wait for them to grow and multiply.
    Does she bring in those succulents for the winter?? I certainly don't think of PNW as a place to overwinter all those spiny beauties.

    1. Yes Janet I do. The cold hardy ones go under the shade pavilion (which has sides added to it during the winter) to keep them dry, and the tender ones go down to the basement where they hunker down under florescent lights. Moving them all is quite the process but it's the only way to grow the plants I love here in wet Portland, OR!

  13. Looks like an excellent garden to visit, though I'm more into the soft and cuddly sort of plants myself. Really like the verbascum and the stipas.

  14. Fantastic photos Scott..My friends and I were so happy it was overcast when we visited Loree..better pics right ? But you have the sun thing down !

  15. It's always a pleasure to see Loree's garden, but especially through your lens, Scott. Beautiful pics of a beautiful garden.

  16. GOrgeous. What a lovely selection of potted plants. I don't think I'd be able to keep up-but it would be fun trying!

  17. Fantastic photos of a fantastic garden! Hopefully we'll be able to visit her garden someday too :)

  18. I love her assortment of containers. Those crenellated concrete pots are something to drool over! That dinner plate aeonium is quite something, too!

    Now I will have the theme song from "Danger Mouse" running through my brain all day, except, "Danger plaaaants, Danger plaaants. . .!"

  19. Thank you Scott for braving the sun and heat to visit my garden, and of course for taking so many gorgeous photos (with hardly a flower in sight). Looking forward to visiting your garden next! (and you're welcome back anytime)

  20. Wow Scott, you did a wonderful job capturing Loree's amazing garden. I've never seen a Yucca rostrata look that good. It's all very tantalizing.

  21. Interesting approach to gardening! It must have been fun to visit there. I love to visit other people's gardens! I had planned to visit more this summer, but time got away from me. Great post!

  22. LOVE this post! Danger Garden herself takes amazing pictures too, but it is always neat to see the same garden through another set of eyes! I have now seen it through Loree's eyes, your eyes, and Pam Penicks eyes and each time leaves me speechless!

  23. Scott- thank you for visiting my blog. I haven't Been at it for long, so I still have a lot to learn. Your blog is fabulous and the pictures are wonderful. I am surprised at the location of the country of this garden and how well it is doing. Superb!

  24. Right on. Great garden, great photos. I feel like one of the main goals of gardening is 'you'll know it when you see it.'

  25. Thanks for the wonderful photos. Another vote for the comfort of the shade pavilion. Thanks again!

  26. When is Loree's garden going to be featured in Sunset?! and... Scott, can you be the photographer!?!?!?! EPIC!!!