This summer has been a whirlwind of garden tours. With an eye toward the Portland Fling next summer, I've been going to as many of the gardens in our HPSO Open Gardens Book as I possibly can. It's time for a confession, however. Even with the best of intentions, I'm not going to make it to all of them. Honestly, I'm not even going to come close! However, I have to say, I'm glad I've had the added incentive to visit more gardens...because it has reminded me just how many AMAZING gardens (and, of course, gardeners) we have in Portland!
Today, we're going to take a look at one of my hands-down faves this summer, the garden of designer Bob Hyland. Bob is a fellow committee member of the HPSO, and when I saw his garden was open last month, I knew I had to go see it. As we pulled up to his house, which is perched on a steep slope over the Willamette River, I was already seething with jeaousy...his view is AMAZING!
I knew the moment I walked into their driveway that I was going to love this garden. The long driveway is lined with a gorgeous tapestry of grasses, shrubs and perennials...all blended harmoniously.
Notoriously difficult to over-winter, Salvia clevandii has a scent that is earthy, herbal and...well...wonderful!
Among the many plant jewels was this Euphorbia ('Bonfire', perhaps?)...yes, I know I've sworn them off...but this one looked so perfect and lovely.
I loved the sensual, smoldering palette Bob used here...it's sumptuous, isn't it! Believe it or not, this garden is only 2 years old! Bob and his partner moved here from the East Coast in 2011, where he owned Loomis Creek Nursery. Bob is a wonderful garden designer who has recently partnered with Xera Plants at their retail location on SE Clay street.
As you continue into the "backyard", you climb a steep set of stone steps onto a side yard of sorts...greeted by the tall, swaying stems of Helictotrichon
Once on top, you can look down the slope at the seating areas below...
...as well as the charming craftsman house and garden of edibles. Since we have both gardened in much harsher climates, Bob and I chatted for a while about how quickly plants grow here in our mild PNW climate. He said he was amazed at how quickly you can make and knit a garden together.
I was in love with this sea of roiling Carex punctuated by cool blue towers of Schizachyrium.
I adored this pairing of Schizachyrium and Gaura...heavenly!
The use of natural stone for the walls and steps was perfect...it felt utterly "right" for the location...especially flanked and softened by more grasses and sedges.
Once down on the graveled seating area, you can look up at that fabulous slope.
Isn't it amazing...Bob is truly a master of planting for maximum dramatic impact!
I think it's very cool when people mix edibles into a border that is otherwise "ornamental". Of course, it helps when the edible in question is a stunning Chard!
Even Eucomis, a plant I don't generally care for, is used so well that I kind of dig it here.
Like the people above, I could easily kick back and spend hours enjoying this view.
Looking across the border once more...I'm just in love with the play of light and shadow, color and texture.
Stipa tenuissima seems to be everywhere these days, but when was the last time you saw it used in such a way that you felt INSPIRED by it!
More sultry color pairings...Salvia 'Amistad' and Albizia.
Another very simple, understated use of statuary.
As we got ready to leave, I spied one more beautiful planting...this generous swathe of Molinia 'Variegata'...one of those plants whose effectiveness increases exponentially with the number of plants used.
Gorgeous...can you imagine how this will look once they've all filled it...this is definitely a garden I'll make a point of visiting again...and if you ever have the chance to visit, I'd highly recommend it.