Thursday, July 17, 2014

Neighborhood Gardens of Portland

I had the immense pleasure last weekend of attending my first Garden Blogger's Fling as it was, to my delight, in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. Not only did I attend three and a half days of private and public gardens (many of which were my first visits) and a few favorite nurseries, but I was so incredibly honored that Chickadee Gardens was a stop on the tour - it was like having 80 of my newest bestfriends playing with me in my garden. What a ton of fun!

Right now I am exhausted, to say the least. In a very good way.

As a prelude to the weeks-to-come blog posts about the incredible weekend, I thought it nice to visit some of my good ol' neighborhood gardens. Some are designed, some are simple, some just hell-strips....but all have something in common: they have heart. Let's check out a few of these neighborhood gardens (over the next couple of posts) that I enjoyed on many walks around the 'hood.



First up is a garden and hell-strip we pass when we take the long walk to Portland's Hollywood district. It is designed, to be sure, and very tastefully. **UPDATE** we passed by this garden again just yesterday and noticed a sign for landscaping - it was by Creative Landscaping, here is a link. This garden is featured on their website, have a look for more information.


That is a hell-strip to dream about. Water-wise and plant-sexy, it's one of my favorites. Feels more like California but very appropriate for our dry-summer climate.




This is actually the front yard.




Front entrance and garden.







Hummingbird fantasy...wow, that's some agastache! Nice arctostaphylos, too. Good favorites.





 A block or two away is a very different and thoughtful garden full of color harmonies and texture. 


The play of the chocolate colors of the cannas and the rudbeckias makes this work for me.


 Quite an inviting little garden, and in a hell-strip, too!


 I really appreciate the use of rocks as both a path and dry creek bed.


To me, this is quintessential summer garden imagery. I feel like I'm on a farm somewhere picking tomatoes when I see hanging sunflower heads.


Back in our neighborhood, just a couple of blocks from us is the "Eyebrow House" made famous by the hit show Portlandia.


Small but oh-so-effective garden with just the right amount of textures for this unusual home.


Around the corner from the Eyebrow House is this Hebe 'Quicksilver' with some heather and other great shrubberies.


This was last winter on a regular Mt. Tabor walk. I deliberately choose this street for our walks to see these moss-covered beauties.


On that same street, a lovely use of warm-colored stone. The plantings compliment the color and are interesting year-round - these photos are from last winter. Note the address bird!


In the summer this is a lush collection of sub-shrubs, perennials, grasses and trees. The color theme of the garden, I believe, compliments the house color.

A little further down the hill on a summer day, this struck me as a fun use of color. Why not?


Same neighborhood: I'm drawn to anything limbed-up. 

Here's a close-up of this:

Another Mt. Tabor neighborhood garden. How lovely is this design?


That's one very happy pug-shaped bee.

Down the street from the bee, I found these lovelies. I have a friend who really appreciates cream puff shaped shrubberies. Fifi, these are for you!


Earlier this summer also in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood I spotted a couple of dry wildflower-like gardens. Really lovely and wild.






It is carefree while maintaining a sense of balance.



Finally, another block of the Hollywood neighborhood last fall. A fairly large Hebe 'Quicksilver'. This plant did quite well for us this past winter, so definitely hardy to at least zone 8.


 Near the hebe, this restrained planting is always attractive to me. Upright sedums, grasses and cistus.


Portland has diverse gardening styles: xeric, lush and tropical, meadow, restrained, designed, cottage, urban friendly, butterfly friendly, weird and wonderful. As many styles as there are gardeners.

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Portland Blogger's Fling. We loved having you all here and we hope you can come back and explore our fair city even more! You are always most welcome, any time of year.



And on that note, this garden cutie-pie bids you a fond farewell. Thank you for reading and until next week, happy gardening! 






23 comments :

  1. What a wonderful collection of gardens and photographs. I especially love the first entry, everything about it is fabulous!

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    1. I too love that one, it's definitely my favorite. Now go get some r and r, Miss Danger!! Thanks for reading!

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  2. That sunken seating area in the corner of the streets is so clever!

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    1. I KNOW! When I was photographing it, the owner came out to talk about the garden art in the background as she thought that was what I was photographing. I just nodded and went along with it, drooling over her design. Really clever!

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  3. Wowee those are some fabulous looking poodle puff trees!! Live the rest of the examples of landscaping. That first hell strip with the grasses is gorgeous!

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    1. I KNOW, how about those? More poodly things to come next week, Miss Fifi!

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  5. I had the feeling that your neighborhood would be a fun one to explore on foot. You just proved me right. Thanks for so graciously hosting us for the Fling.

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    1. Ricki, you are so welcome! Thank YOU for coming out, enduring the heat and visiting. You are always welcome at my home! Yes, my neighborhood has some fab gardens, to be sure. I'll post another group next week. Cheers!

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  6. How fun to live somewhere with personality. :o) I love the uniqueness of each garden. But the pom pom trees are incredible! The owners must have a great sense of humor. :o)

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    1. Oh, yes Mariposa - a lot. Pom pom trees - I KNOW - I just stumbled on them recently. Wait until next weeks' post, there are more pom pom creations...I bet you can't sleep now :) hahah...

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  7. So many wows there! You guys are lucky to live in a part of the world where it seems so many are gardeners and care for their plot of land, including their hellstrip. We had a fab time in your fab garden Tamara and so lovely to meet you! Oh we haven't forgotten your light switch too...

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    1. I am lucky, to be sure :) We love it. So glad you were able to come to our home too, a small space but full of love. Yes, remember the light switch :) My sister-in-law, the gift giver of that little lovely, will be so pleased it was noticed! Hee hee...

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  8. Lots of wonderful ideas here! I'm amazed that these are just private gardens around your neighborhood -- less so than I was before seeing Portland during the Fling, but still amazed.

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    1. Hi Alan, yes, great ideas for me too! I am amazed every time I walk out my door, it seems there is a high density of gardeners in Portland. I don't think we officially met on the Fling (unfortunate!) but I'm glad you got a chance to see a bit of our town. Next time you're back in PDX let's officially meet! Love to show you other gardens in the area.

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  9. Loved the neighbourhood walk and all the garden pics. Smitten by the red house, and that house with a curved top is really cool and unusual.

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    1. Hi TanglyCottage....isn't that a cool house (the curved one)? Stay tuned, more Portland gardens this week! Thanks for reading and commenting...

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  10. Such a treat to meet you and visit your beautiful home and garden. These local gardens are fabulous, and I can't get over that agastache!

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    1. Such a treat to meet you too! Thank you for coming all the way up here to hang out with a bunch of plant geeks! We had a ton of fun and are so glad that everyone came out to our home and garden, we are honored, to be sure. Yes, local gardens everywhere! I'll post more this week...I could do a whole separate blog just about those. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  11. How amazing, to live somewhere that even has beautifully cultivated hellstrips. Some great images here, lots of ideas too. I found you via Mark and Gaz's post about your own lovely garden, and am now really hoping that my own agastache rupestris will look that good in a year or two. Thank you for the inspirational tour.

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    1. Hi Janet - thanks for reading and commenting! Was glad to hear how you found us, Mark and Gaz are such wonderful people, it was a pleasure meeting them. Yes, that agastache is incredible...it looks even better this year (just passed it again on Sunday)...so hopefully it increases in size and height every year. Cheers and thanks for reading!

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  12. Wowza, you've got some incredible gardens in your neighborhood! The garden with the agastache: is that an Amsonia that's almost as big as the house? Or a spiraea? (I hope it's a spiraea.) I think your garden was my favorite on the tour, so a huge thank you for the enormous amount of work it took to attend and host. You are incredible.

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    1. I KNOW! Very fun to walk around here. I think that is an amsonia - not a spiraea...sorry. You are so kind, Heather for saying that - it makes my day ! It was a lot of work but sooo worth it, it was a blast meeting everyone and having them over to check out the bees and birds and pesticide-free sign (which was the hit of the party).

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