Thursday, November 06, 2014

Danger Danger! It's Danger Garden: Part I

I am honored to present a post about Danger Garden, Loree Bohl's spiky paradise. "Careful, you could poke an your eye out!" is her motto, so be careful! Not only is she the gardener who got me hooked on garden blogging, I am also lucky enough to count her as a gardening friend here in Portland. Loree has been very actively blogging since 2009, and for those of you unfamiliar with her, she's horticulture royalty in these parts.


One fine day after the Garden Blogger's Fling wrapped up (she was one of the incredible volunteer organizers for this year's Fling AND had her garden as one of the stops on the tour just like Scott of Rhone Street Gardens - meaning they are both super heroes to pull it all off), we decided it was time for me to finally visit her garden for my first time. Yes, it's true, for various reasons I had not seen it up until this point. I would have seen her garden on the Fling, however we were both showing our gardens at the same time. It was the same situation I faced with visiting JJ De Sousa's garden.


 As I pulled up I knew this would be a special visit and it certainly was. I not only had some time to visit with Loree after what was a very busy gardening season for both of us, but I had the garden, Loree and Lila all to myself. There was so much to see and I took so many photos that this shall be two posts, one for the front garden which we will visit today and the back more private garden for the second post.


 After seeing something for so long in photographs and thinking I knew what it looked like, it was a pleasant surprise that it was in no way how I had pictured it in terms of orientation. Loree has been quite generous with images of her incredible garden over the years, so many aspects were certainly familiar to me. To experience it in person, however, deepened my appreciation and changed everything.


First of all I must say we had a terrible winter and I know Loree especially lost many plants. Having said that, her garden looks amazing.


Eryngium maritimum, sea holly. Notoriously difficult to grow, Loree had this beautiful species right up front and looking quite healthy.


The flower heads of Eryngium maritimum.




How about this color combination? Cotinus and yucca. Loree recently wrote about the fabulous color changes in this tree, you can read about it here. Even though she's not a fan of autumn, the color it turns this time of year is a thing to celebrate and makes me want to plant one at Chickadee Gardens.


Arctostaphylos and I believe Dasylirion wheeleri. 


What says "welcome to my home" more than spiky yuccas and Fatsia japonica?


One of my favorites, Juniperus conferta 'Blue Pacific'. I'm glad to see it growing with such vigor as it serves as a connecting element to the other plants, just like she likes it. You can read more about her Juniperus conferta philosophy here in a blog post from this spring. It is a truly beautiful plant.




Not your grandmother's garden!


Tetrapanax looking very good and seemingly well-behaved.


Wow, just look at all the great plants in there..opuntia, agave, callistemon, arctostaphylos, yuccas and more. Spikes galore, this is one stunning street side garden. She has, via her many posts, turned me on to several plants which now happily reside at Chickadee Gardens, callistemon and yuccas are just two of the many I could name.


There is a fine balance in textures here, the soft fluff of the grasses and the spikes of the opuntia leave my senses a bit confused but visually, very happy.






Here's that wonderful Eryngium maritumum again and a Euphorbia rigida. The same color but differing textures are a wonderful pairing.


Euphorbia rigida seedlings, some sempervivums, agave and cannas. What I especially appreciate in Loree's garden is the rock mulch she uses, it ties the differing textures and colors together so well and gives the sense of a hotter climate than would the use of bark mulch or something more traditionally Pacific Northwest.


Callistemon, rosemary and yucca. This gardener likes her spikes. I like them too.




Here's her Brachyglottis greyi, she blogged about it here. I even spied a yellow bloom that I promptly removed from the plant for her sake. Had to do it.


Pittosporum  tenuifolium 'Silver Ruffles' I believe in the background, the foreground plant is licorice plant, an annual she used to fill in some of those gaps created by freezing temperatures last winter.


Dasylirion wheeleri.


Here it is again with black mondo grass and wingthorn rose.


Here is her Dichondra argentea 'Silver Falls', she blogged about it this summer, you can read about it here.


Here's the front garden facing east along the walkway.


A welcoming sweep of black mondo grass.


Oh, opunita, you look so glowy and fuzzy, what a teaser you are.

 As promised, here's another shot of sweet Lila, the blueberry loving pug. Thus concludes our visit to the fabulous Danger Garden, at least Part I. There are so many plants to see, such textures and variety, you could linger for hours and talk to Loree about each and every plant. It is all interesting and she has managed to pull off something I struggle with, that is to be a collector of plants you adore and also present them in a meaningful visual display - in other words, garden design. Next week we'll visit her back gardens and see more of her design style.

 And now for something completely different:
Here's a little surprise for you, Loree's husband Andrew is an excellent professional artist. At one time I worked at a gallery which represented him and got the wonderful opportunity to get to know him, his work and that's when I initially met Loree all those years ago.
Loree allowed me to take a few photos of work he had in their home, have a look!
His art is so well-executed and inventive, really I've never seen anything like it. His little creatures with plant like extensions are so odd and wonderful.


Detail of one of his works in the round.


Isn't it great?


When I worked with Andrew, I coveted many of his works. That's the trouble working in a an art gallery, there is so much to want.


In any event, even though Andrew is no longer with that gallery, it's great to know he's still working and just as creative as ever. These works in the round are a real delight, a cross between sculpture and two dimensional works.


They are reminiscent of crowns to me, or a mural in the round, in miniature.
A whole world in each wonderful work of art.


So very cool. Thank you Loree and Andrew for the wonderful tour of your charming home and garden, it was a special visit for me and I hope to see it again someday.

Thank you for reading and until next week, Happy Gardening!




31 comments :

  1. Great photos and info on the plants! I saw that Eryngium and it has gone to the top of my wish list.
    What a special treat it must have been to see the artwork too--thank you for sharing!
    Looking forward to seeing Part II of the Danger Garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kit! Yes, that Eryngium is foliage central in my book...I'm getting one next year too! The artwork tour was great...nice to see what he's been up to. There's another eryngium in next week's post as well.

      Part II is full of even MORE spikiness so get ready!

      Delete
  2. What a surprise to read you hadn't had the pleasure of visiting danger garden until after the Fling! It's such fun to revisit it with you, and the bonus of seeing more of Andrew's art is fabulous. What a talented couple!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I KNOW, it's strange how it all (didn't) happen. Well....it made it extra sweet to be able to spend some time there and ALL TO OURSELVES...wowsers, how about that?

      Talent = Loree + Andrew + Supervisor Lila

      Delete
  3. I really enjoyed this close look at Loree's front garden, and I'm looking forward to your blog post next week about the back. Peter and I stopped in very briefly to see Loree's garden early last spring, but it wasn't quite in show mode yet, and I didn't stay anywhere near long enough to really get a good look around. I've been enjoying all the Fling posts about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I'm glad you like it, Alison. Next week is even more spikiness and color - I think people will enjoy it. It's a stunner, I'm tellin' you! :) But you knew that already!

      Delete
  4. You are so sweet and funny Tamara! (horticulture royalty, I'm going to be chuckling all day about that one!). Thank you so much for this! I really enjoyed your take on the front garden, so many times it gets passed over on the way to the back. I think perhaps it's the lack of paths through the space, it doesn't invite people in? If I had it to do over I might have included a path, but in the beginning it just didn't seem important, since it's so small and bordered by two sidewalks and driveways.

    Isn't it funny to think we met at the gallery not having a clue of our "secret gardening lives"...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loree! You ARE royalty, don't you know? :)
      WE all think so. I LOVE the front, it has that natural wild kind of thing going on but is well-planned with gorgeous plants. I love every one of them. I think we're all so familiar with your back spikiness that we tend to want to zoom past...maybe? I don't know....I for one could have (and did) linger just as long in the front. I don't know about a path...hmmm...seems fine without to me!

      Yes, it is funny to think back to those gallery days! Secret indeed...hee hee.....!

      Delete
  5. Your post is such a treat. Even though I was just there, your post showed me many plants I missed.

    And thank you for introducing Andrew's art! I'm sad to say I didn't get to see any of it during the Fling. I love what he's doing; it the kind of art you want to hold and spend time with, instead of just saying "ooh" and then move on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Gerhard! There are always plants I miss, so I love seeing all the blogger posts from the Fling...don't you? :) Hint...people! ...post more post more - those of you from the Fling! Not you Gerhard, you have been great about posting Fling related posts...thank you :)

      Andrew's art is incredible, you do want to linger...it holds interest for the long haul, not just an immediate sugar rush of pretty things - that to me makes art interesting and worthy.

      Delete
  6. It's always interesting to see a garden through the eyes - or lenses - of different people. I'm used to seeing Loree's garden through her eyes, which generally means intensely focused on particular plants. Thanks for backing up and showing me a wider view of her garden, and also for sharing Andrew's work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kris for your comments and observations. It is always fun to see a garden through another person's eyes. I too thought I knew her garden so well from her posts, but when you are there in person the spirit of the garden really sucks you in to your own world. I am glad you enjoyed it and Andrew's great artwork too!

      Delete
  7. You speak of "deepening appreciation" and this post provided that for me. Surprising, since I've visited Loree's garden often, virtually and in person, and would have said I'd examined every aspect pretty carefully. And Andrew! Loree has given us glimpses into his artistic vision, but now I am in thrall. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Rickii! I'm thrilled you think so too. I'm also glad at how much people love Andrew's artwork. Isn't it incredible? :)

      Delete
  8. Love the shot of Lila and Loree (reflected in the glass)!

    Also glad to be able to see some of Andrew's work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm glad you caught that, Alan! I love that too :)

      Delete
  9. It was one of the major highlights of our trip to Portland Tamara, seeing in person Loree B's iconic garden!

    Nice to see more of Andrew's work too through your post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wasn't it? I'm so glad you think so! Her garden IS iconic, very good choice of words :)

      Delete
  10. Thanks for that really interesting post Tamara. Loree's garden is certainly different from Sissinghurst! Garden's are a real reflection of the people that make them and it's always great to see a completely original and different style. Helen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome! Yes, I'd say Sissinghurst and Danger are worlds apart, but that's the fun of gardening...both are incredible and are really good at what they do...that is Sissinghurst is meant to be breathtaking and Danger is meant to wow you in the spikiest way. Both are extremely successful. Thanks again for reading and commenting, Helen!

      Delete
  11. What an interesting couple!!! the gardener, designer (isn't gardening some sort of art too?) and the painter, artist!! I´ve seen some of Andrew´s plant drawings at danger garden (the blog) and I love them. Oh I wish I could go back to see Loree's garden again...
    Thanks for you wonderful post Tamara, can´t wait to see the second part.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They sure are interesting! You are so welcome, Lisa! Part II is longer and spikier....look out!

      Delete
  12. Oh how fun! Not only revisiting the garden through your discerning eyes, but also to see a sample of the work of Andrew. I adore his plant creatures - I expect them to jump off the paper and join the garden party! I too look forward to see part 2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you're so kind Anna! I know, Andrew's art is incredible, I've always admired it and him. That idea of them becoming animated (his little creatures) might inspire him....Andrew? You reading this? :)

      Delete
  13. Wonderful pictures of very interesting plants and garden. I like the name 'danger garden', it is really a garden with many spiky plants. So nice to see the husband makes such a funny art, like the creatures with plant extensions. I'm going to visit their blog too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Janneke! Loree's blog is DEFINITELY one to follow....she's the best in the west! Andrew's art is incredible, I wish you could see it in person! Andrew....maybe you should get a gallery in The Netherlands!

      Delete
  14. Loree's garden is always fascinating to see in person. She has a great eye for design. As as you say, her husband is a talented artist. I admired his works when I stayed at her house before the Seattle Fling a couple years ago. So much talent in one family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it? She DOES have a great eye for design, they are both mucho talented...it shows in every aspect of their home and garden, don't you think?

      Delete
  15. Great tour! I can't believe I didn't take pictures during one of my visits this summer. I snapped a couple and then felt a bit self conscious taking pictures with the amazing creator of Danger Garden watching me. Then we got to talking and geeking over all her awesome plants. I wasn't intimidated anymore, but I completely forgot about my camera.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, that would have happened to me, exactly as you describe here however some supernatural force overcame me and said "you must take photos you must take photos" and I listened. Good thing because it's so easy to geek out with Loree about plants!

      Delete
  16. Ah, you captured Loree's gardens so nicely! I love that you gave her a royal title. It's well earned! And, I had no idea about Andrew's art. Very cool, great post.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments! I love hearing them, I will approve comments as soon as I can. Yay!