Friday, June 28, 2013
We're in beautiful San Francisco for the 2013 Garden Bloggers Fling!!! More pics to come, but for now, I leave you with a pic of a cool building we saw as we passed through Eureka, CA.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
This Saturday, June 22, is the 9th Annual ANLD (Association of Northwest Landscape Designers) Open Garden Tour. I was fortunate enough, last week, to be invited to their pre-tour day. An unexpected benefit, I got to spend the day with fellow bloggers, Loree, Heather and Ricki!
The Nelson-Sherman Garden
I love this recycled brick and paver patio/path...but as clumsy as I am...I'd be tripping all over the place!
The Elemental Garden
Next up was The Elemental Garden, built into a steep hillside.
The Cedar Mill Garden
I can't remember if there was actually a garden attached to this space somewhere...it was mostly about the dining/entertaining space.
Why put on a sweater when you can construct an outdoor fireplace?
The Floramagoria Garden
This next garden has a bit of a split personality.
Believe it or not, yes, it does! As you venture down a narrow side yard into the back, you are greeted by a wonderfully extravagant garden. I want to steal that idea of the painted bamboo...maybe chartreuse...hmmmm? To be honest, I was afraid I wouldn't like this garden when someone mentioned it was totally tropical in back. Luckily, it wasn't wall-to-wall Tropicalisimo, so I found plenty to like :-)
One of my favorite spots, this secret little shady area under an enormous Sequoia in the back corner of the garden.
The Pequeño Paraiso Garden
If any garden reminded me that we weren't in Portland anymore, it was this one. Its front yard alone is the size of my city lot (actually, probably bigger)!
What the what! Can you believe THIS is someone's back yard??? It's about the size of a city block! I do love these low, rock walls...I want them transported to my garden, immediately! This garden has a TON of entertaining space (most of these gardens focus on outdoor entertaining/dining). Strangely, however, almost all of the plants looked as if they had JUST been planted.
The Leon Garden
This small garden (by this tour's standards, anyway) is much closer to the size that most of us living in close-in Portland will have to work with.
I could gadren for 100 years and never be able to show such restraint! The plantings provided a surprising amount of screening and privacy from the surrounding houses.
The Plant Passion Garden
The last garden we'll look at is the Plant Passion Garden. I think most of us really fell in love with this very simple water feature, which overflowed into a reservoir beneath the stones, makeing the most wonderful noise. I want it! The Birch tree underplanted with Sedges is an exercise of subtle perfection.
If you like what you've seen here you can see each of these gardens for yourself this Saturday. Tickets are $20/person and can be ordered online. Otherwise, Day-of-show tickets are available at the following garden centers:
Garden Fever – 3433 NE 24th Ave, Portland
Cornell Farms – 8212 SW Barnes Rd, Portland
Drake's 7 Dees (across from Portland Golf Club) – 5645 SW Scholls Ferry Rd, Portland
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
For this month's Foliage Follow-Up Post, I decided to focus on one type of foliage, chartreuse foliage! I know it's one of those colors that you either love or hate, and I'm firmly in the love camp.
Rhus typhina 'Tiger Eyes'
There is something so wonderful about this color...it just GLOWS in a garden! Can you imagine this scene without the Sumac? It would be way less effective. It's in such great contrast to everything else.
Oxalis 'Iron Cross'
Maybe it's because it seems like such a fresh color, it reminds me of new, spring growth, who knows. One thing is for certain, it's most effective when paired with darker colors, like in this Oxalis, which does the work for me, with it's amazing two-tone foliage.
Origanum vulgare 'Aureum'
Most chartreuse foliage is at its best in cooler weather. This Origanum, for example, tends to fade a bit in hot sun (last year it actually scorched quite a bit). Luckily, it's so vigorous, that I just trimmed off the tatty bits and it looked fresh and new!
And, of course, few colors light up a shady spot like chartreuse, as in this Hakonechloa.
Persicaria 'Lance Corporal'
Another plant with built-in contrast, Persicaria 'Lance Corporal'. I love this plant almost to an absurd degree...it's so easy-going, thriving in sun or shade (although it too can scorch in hot weather). It reseeds like nothing I've ever seen, so you always have some to share.
Geranium 'Ann Folkard'
A stalwart in my garden, 'Ann Folkard' never fails to thrill me. The foliage is a screaming chartreuse in the spring, although it can green out a bit by fall. If you ever find that it is sprawling, you can cut it back for a fresh flush of new growth (well, technically you can, I've never had luck trying this).
I find that I have to restrain myself from planting too many chartreuse plants together...here, you can see, however, that spaced out, they are highlights in the garden...and bring together their own form of cohesion.
What about you, are you a chartreuse fan or foe? Either way, check out Pam Penick's Digging for more Foliage Follow-Up Posts :-)
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Wow, June already...half the year is over, insane! Happy Bloom Day to all you out there, I hope you're having a good spring (or, at least, not a bad one). June is that month where the garden seems to explode with sudden growth, as the soil warms and the sun returns. Let's get going, shall we?
While most of the Alliums bloom earlier in the year, Allium cristophii is a late-bloomer, which is great, as it extends the season by over a month, plus, it's my personal fave of the ornamental onion crowd.
If you love bees, you should plant Knautia. Seriously, it's like bee crack.
While the straight species is nice, I really like the hybrid 'Melton Pastels' as you get a nice mix of colors...perfect for adding variety while still having some cohesion to a border.
'Melton Pastels' comes in a nice array of colors, from lightest pink...
...to rich raspberry...
...and the typical deep red.
If you want something shorter, however, and with more uniform red flowers, 'Mars Midget' is a good bet.
I just can't stop taking pictures of this Allium...so forgive me if I seem a little indulgent.
One of the standout plants from last year was this Agastache, 'Blue Boa'. It surprised me with its long blooms time and vigor. I love those rich purple blooms.
My go-to Agastache for blue, 'Purple Haze'. This Agastache is reliable and beautiful...if just a little more subtle than 'Blue Boa'.
It wouldn't be spring on Rhone Street without some Astrantias, would it. Here, we have the large, chalky blooms of Astrantia maxima.
And the silvery-pink blooms of 'Roma'. I realize, now, that I forgot to take pictures of the red Astrantias, 'Star of Beauty', 'Ruby Wedding' and 'Abbey Road'.
Sorry, couldn't resist adding one more of the Allium.
Verbena rigida tend to be a bit floppy in my garden (too much shade), but the electric purple blooms make up for any shortcomings.
A sign of our weird weather this year, Sedum 'Matrona' is already blooming, several months earlier than usual. Has anyone else in Portland noticed this?
A fabulous Salvia, 'Purple Rain'. I love the deepest purple blooms and the hairy stems...they are magical backlit.
This hasn't been a great year for poor Geranium 'Ann Folkard'. Our lack of winter and weird spring have left her a bit lankier than usual, but she refuses to give up!
My Iris 'Gerald Darby' needs dividing badly, so I'm enjoying it's blooms for now, but will need to dig it up and split it apart after it's done blooming.
A PNW native, Epilobium angustifolium (Fireweed) is beautiful in bloom...but can get a little weedy afterward. I often cut them back completely after the bloom.
Ok, it's not quite blooming yet, but those perfect spheres of Echinops bannaticus are so cool!
Even my Virginia Creeper Vine (Parthenocissus) is blooming...well, I think that's what it's doing!
The crazy Asilboides has decided to bloom like crazy this year...the foliage mound tops out around 2' tall...but the blooms are taller than me!
So, to wrap things up, let's look at some wide shots. Here is the area with the Teucrium above, one of my favorite vignettes in the garden.
Here is the front garden from the south, showing my growing pot ghetto.
And the same border, looking from the north.
Here's the border that runs along the north side of the house.
And my infamous grass path behind that border. Oops, I realize I forgot to mention the Sanguisorbia in the forground.
Here's the backyard seen through our copper arbor...yes, it's getting a bit jungly back there. That Clematis tibetana is a beast.
And here's the backyard seen from our driveway.
I hope you are having a great spring, and for more Bloom Day happenings around the world, hop over to visit Carol at May Dreams Garden.