Hmmm...well, my camera is still in the shop...and I've been pondering on what to post about. Luckily, during the year, I usually stock up on a few ideas that I can use during the winter months, when not much else is going on in the garden.
Earlier this year, in early September, we decided to visit The Oregon Garden, down in Silverton, which is about an hour south of Portland. We've gone down before, but it's fun to go every year, just to see what has changed. I usually prefer going in late summer or early fall, as that's when my favorite plants are going strong.
As you pull into the parking lot, you are already greeted by some amazing plants, like these stunning Stipa gigantea...I wish mine were so rigidly upright!
The entrance garden beds are actually some of my favorites, with their huge, rust-colored boulders and mix of grasses & flowering plants.
I really love the pairing of purple & yellow...as here with Verbena bonariensis & Helianthus.
I was surprised at the entrance to the visitors' center to see this large Pennisetum 'Vertigo'...gorgeous, especially paired with this lovely Coleus with serrated leaves.
This is the garden just outside the visitors' center...love those Japanese Maples. For some reason, this area of the garden, which is usually bursting at the seams with plants, had quite a few bare spots. I wondered if our extremely long, dry summer this year claimed some victims.
On this day, the patch of Helenium was looking splendid...and was smothered in happy pollinators.
While a little past their prime, I still found the seed heads of this artichoke (or perhaps Cardoon) quite striking.
Here's a close-up of the seed heads...love how a few of the cottony seeds had been plucked free from the seed heads...possibly by a hungry bird?
This is a great early-autumn grouping, with Sedum, Artemisia & Miscanthus.
Don't you love the wonderful, papery seedheads of Eryngiums!
One of my favorite areas of the Garden is this pond/wetland area, which has not only fish, but HUGE frogs! There were some loud kids on the day we visited, sadly, which kept the frogs hiding in the middle of the pond :-(
Can you imagine having a pond...let alone waterlilies...a boy can dream, can't he?
I actually really love the "bridge" that crosses the wetland portion of the garden...such great details.
I'm not sure which Lobelia this is (perhaps 'Monet Moment'). I've always loved the red foliage of 'Queen Victoria', but I'm not crazy about the vivid red flowers...maybe these would work better in my garden. Then again...those flowers are a very HOT pink!
No matter what garden I'm in, my eyes go right for the grasses...look at that stand of Molinia 'Skyracer'!
Of course, I made my way over to them...their stems were coloring up far earlier than mine (which just started getting fall color in the past week or so). These were the most delicious mix of orange/gold/plum.
I'm a little obsessed with Cattails. I really would love to have some one day...of course, they come with Red-Wing Blackbirds, right?
You can hardly beat Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carrota) for simple elegance, can you?
There were a few gravel paths in the wetland lined with various grasses, including these lovely little Pennisetum (probably 'Hameln').
Love their purplish plumes and that foliage that's just starting to morph from emerald green to a luminous gold.
I'm thinking this was some form of Hibiscus.
A little ways beyond this more manicured and "garden-y" area was a part of the garden that felt almost like a real, wild wetland, full of blooming and post-blooming plants, including these fluffy seedheads.
I was transfixed by the wonderful, spherical quality of these.
Aren't these great...I love the hint at kinetic energy in the post-explosion look!
My favorite of the seedheads in this area, however, were these, which seemed to have burst open along spiraling seams along their length.
This one even has a fuzzy outer coat...love them!
Am I the only one who thinks that the variegated veination of squash vines is striking?
You can't have a fall garden without some Pumpkins.
More gorgeous Verbena bonariensis, this time paired with Rudbeckia & some form of Amaranth.
You know I love me some Echinacea & Rudbeckia!
I was charmed by their small collection of varied cultivars of Echinacea, paired with other composites like Gaillardia.
Speaking of Gaillardia...I can never decide which stage of their blooms is the most striking.
I love the mix of new and faded blooms here...especially with the forthy backing of Stipa tenuissima.
Yes another water garden...this one complete with rocky waterfall, flanked with gorgeous, late-summer perennials.
Just past the waterfall, was a planting of 'Purple Majesty' Millet.
I'm sort of clueless about shrubs...I'm guessing Viburnum?
This one I know...Cotinus!
Ahhh...don't you love this little patch of Colchicum!
In the Children's Garden area, there is a wall of Clematis tangutica.
Luckily, at this time of year, it's a fluffy wall of seedheads...delightful!!!
And for you orange-lovers out there...here you go (Zauschneria, I think)?
A great late-summer stalwart, Solidago 'Fireworks'...I really need to find a spot for these in my own garden.
Every time I visit here, I'm reminded of what Pennisetum spatheolatum SHOULD look like...and reminded that I need to move mine somewhere sunnier.
Another great Pennisetum, Pennisetum massaicum ('Red Bunny Tails')...I love how it has red-tinged foliage during summer.
Who wouldn't be enchanted by this scrim of Molinia variegata stems?
As I turned a corner, heading back up to the Visitors' Center, I was confronted by this amazing stand of Molinia 'Skyracer'.
It took my breath away...now THIS is how to plant grasses!
There are quite a few areas of the garden I didn't explore (the old-growth Oak Grove, the Conifer Collection), but Norm & his mom were pretty tired of me taking thousands of pictures by this point...so we called it a day. I hope you enjoyed this little virtual trip to The Oregon Garden. If you're ever in the area, stop by, I think there's something there for everyone :-)