Thursday, December 25, 2014

Garden Blogger's Fling, Portland: Joanne Fuller

Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa!
I thought about creating a holiday themed post but instead opted for a bit of summer color. How about another garden from the Garden Blogger's Fling? Last week we visited Linda Ernst's colorful garden, this week let's look at Joanne Fuller's garden, Linda's friend and next-door neighbor.

A bit about Joanne's garden from the Garden Blogger's Fling website:

 This small urban garden continues to evolve. I love big bold leaves, strong colors and quirky plants. These passions create a retreat filled with texture and form in a small garden where there is something interesting at every turn. Sit under the Japanese Maple and take in the newest arrangement of shade plants, or lounge in the tropical corner under the banana. Art continues to be a theme with glass, metal and stone artwork throughout the garden. Down the street, a whole different low-water, high-impact scene is emerging. This garden is a great place to come learn about how you can have high impact with a regular city lot. Come, relax a while and enjoy.

The front garden has a steep slope just as her friend and neighbor Linda Ernst's garden does, both full of shade-loving plants as this street in Portland is tree-lined and quite shady. An Asian-inspired screen reflects light and adds sparkle to this cool, green grove.

At the top of the stairs looking to the right is a path connecting the two friends' gardens in the front. The pillars on the left belong to Linda's home next door.

Under the shade of trees, hanging metal lanterns add to the ambiance of seating on the front porch.

Splashes of color are restrained in this area. Begonias add a pop of red against a sea of greens.

Along paths a variety of foliage plants invite a slower pace.

The reflective screen theme continues on the side of the garden, leading you to the back.

The silver leaves also lend a sparkle to the woodland setting.

Really a wonderful work of art in this gate; someone in the home is a talented artist and metalsmith.

Lovely Impatiens omeiana -- how I wished mine looked like this.

Beautiful native deer fern Blechnum spicant.

More metal working and a lovely sitting area just around the corner from the shady side path. Splashes of color in the form of glass floats dot the area.

More metal art in the form of a fence picks up the theme of the round touches.

Abutilon and glass flowers.

This wonderful piece of glass art is situated just on Joanne's side of the connecting fence.

In the back garden, it opens up to a wonderful patio area with two seating areas. This area really caught my eye with its turquoise accents.

A variety of pot styles adds an eclectic vibe to this cozy grouping, while a bamboo screen makes it feel intimate.

Wider shot, and what great furniture!

Sempervivum, turquoise and rusted metal.

More accents with foliage.

Sitting here under a shady tree for a spell on a hot summer day feels divine.

The enchanting woodland theme continues on the west side of the garden up against a fence while the other side sees a bit more sun. There's a stone fountain in the midst of the garden just visible on the left.

More orb shapes continue hanging in the trees adding additional layers to this rich setting.

A wonderful pebble mosaic spirals to a beautiful center:

Magic. See what I mean?

 Architectural elements in the center of the garden are dramatic but have an organic presence. This wonderful structure really gives this garden a sense of place and feels historic, like an architectural remnant from long ago.

It sweeps around and embraces the upper seating areas without closing it in. Oh, I do really like this.

Their dining area sits just above the rest of the garden with wonderful views all around.

A few steps down from the dining area above, a secret nook perfect for reading or sipping morning coffee. The turquoise is again echoed here in the drapery.


Another view of the woodland feel, sprinkled with enchanted surprises.

A closeup of the fountain mentioned earlier, covered in moss.

I imagine a lot of birds visit this.

Delicate looking Atrantia major. 

Moving back out to the front of the house and hell strip, Joanne has managed to turn her neighbor's hell strip area in to a no-water, xeric garden (with permission of course). Kitty was keen on showing me around.

From what I understand, this garden saw very limited water for its initial planting and growth period and no water from there on out. I might not have this entirely correct but in any event the garden is gorgeous. Lots of drought-tolerant perennials and shrubs and blooms for the pollinators. This is so much better than a strip of grass as it provides a small bit of much-needed habitat.

Asclepias speciosa or showy milkweed, a host plant for the monarch butterfly. This is what I have in my garden and I saw my first monarch caterpillar this year, I posted about it here.

Wider shot with kitty greeting the Flingers.

There is so much more to this garden, I could go on and on, but we shall end here. It has a magic woodland feel to much of it as I mentioned earlier, but it also has moments of sunshine and brilliant color hidden in unexpected places. There is plenty of seating here too, just like in Linda's garden, so it too feels like a space that's meant to be lived in.

Thank you, Joanne, for opening your wonderful garden to the Garden Blogger's Fling this year.  It was a highlight for me, and I hope to return if you have an open garden in the coming months.

This post concludes an action-packed 2014 in the garden; thank you dear readers for visiting Chickadee Gardens, for commenting, and for being a part of the gardening community. I am most grateful to all of you gardeners out there, a group of the best people a girl could know.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and here's to a fabulous 2015 full of garden dreams.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Garden Blogger's Fling, Portland: Linda Ernst

Now for something colorful! There are still a few more gardens to cover from this year's Garden Blogger's Fling, so today we'll visit the garden of Linda Ernst, half of the "Ernst/Fuller Gardens" combo. Linda Ernst and Joanne Fuller are neighbors who are friends and gardeners connected by a garden gate. Each garden was so full of visual stunners that I want to take an intimate look at both, thus each one will have its own post.

A colorful sitting area in Linda's garden.

A bit about the gardens: Joanne and Linda have been friends for a long time. Both are incredibly creative and original with very different styles of gardening. I would say that Linda's garden is larger on a lot-and-a-half and has more color in its exuberant blooms while Joanne's feels more like a magical woodland with surprises tucked in hidden corners. Linda is a glass artist with an artist's studio on site (that was once the garage), and her art is featured throughout her garden. 

Here's what the Garden Blogger's Fling website says about her garden:
Linda Ernst: My lot-and-a-half city garden hosts several garden ‘rooms’ and a variety of garden art, with a big emphasis on fused garden glass, which I craft in my garage-turned-studio. The front garden features plants for winter fragrance and hydrangeas for summer interest, anchored by a huge swath of Hakenenchloa macra. The side yard features a patio and fire pit; mixed borders; a small dry garden; clipped euonymous, berberis, taxus and juniper; and a small raised-bed kitchen garden with interesting solutions to the problems of hiding the less attractive bits of garden reality. The backyard is a gravel dining courtyard with stainless steel fountain and stacked stone seating wall, and a stucco wall sparkling with a colorful window of fused glass tiles. Bends are a mixture of crisp hedging and billowing prairie plants. A bluestone and steel mantel is adjacent to a new steel and glass gate leading to Joanne Fuller’s garden next door.

 I was so drawn to the gardens immediately that this is the only remnant of a photo of the house I could find. Joanne Fuller's house is seen through Linda's garden here in the foreground. Pam Penick of Digging fame has some wonderful photos of the house and areas I missed, you can see her post here.

Big on color, this garden is a mix of perennials and annuals with many trees and shrubs sprinkled in.

 Hanging on the wire screen are colorful, fused glass-panels created by Linda. The potting area behind the panels is as charming as they come.

I was particularly struck by the simple beauty of succulents in such an ornate concrete planter.

 Wonderful textures and explosively hot colors combine with plenty of seating to make this a very friendly space. The whole garden (past the front entrance of the house, which is on a slope) is fairly level, so no real slope issues exist. Linda makes the most of this feature by really using the whole space as an outdoor entertaining area. At least she could, it feels so inviting, like an open-air home decked out with fantastic plants and art.

 Papaver seed head.

 Lilies in the front garden.

 Foliage textures placed thoughtfully in the shady part of the front garden.

Nice color echoes here.

 Glass beauty in the form of a birdbath.

Loropetalum chinense on the right above a Hellebore, lilies and Hakenochloa macra leading you along the path.

 Beautiful peach-colored Verbascum.

Varieagated yucca for a little spike in the garden while a climbing clematis adds sparkle.

Spent blooms of Phlomis fruticosa or Jerusalem sage. Lovely plant.

Nice combination of the silver grays of the Phlomis and crimson lilies.

 Some cleverly disguised utilitarian areas. This is a great idea! As other bloggers mentioned in posts about this garden, these plants up top are referred to by many as "ladies in waiting"…I love that!

Euonymus nanus v. turkenstanicus - what a great plant. She had a tag in the ground so I can tell you it came from Joy Creek Nursery.

 The Hakenochloa macra flow freely in the front while ceramic orbs add contrast and more focal points.

 Flowering Sepmervivums in a basket.

Texture and color from foliage, my favorite.

 Some well-placed focal points.

Poppies, pinks and paths, oh my. Lots of differing hardscaping materials that don't really compete with the plants as it's all the same tone and color.

 Another cozy seating area with a pop of this year's "it" color for the garden.

 Here's her spacious outdoor dining area with a gravel carpet. What an amazing space.

Another wonderful focal spot in the form of ceramic orb, glass and rusted steel.

 The southwest corner of the garden, the gate is just visible on the left.

 In the foreground is one of Linda's glass sculptures transformed into a water feature. How about that metal "L" shaped planter? Such amazing details.

 There's the gate leading to the Joanne Fuller garden (seen beyond the gate) we will explore in another post. Note the lion on the right.

Here's a detail of the above photo, a charming moss lion.

The glass and steel gate. Oh, how I wish I had a gardening friend who lived next door to me...I would open my doors to such a friend.

 Linda's artist studio and a stacked-stone seating area.

 A slightly wider shot with many Flingers enjoying the overwhelming beauty of both gardens.

 A chimney pot that in my mind echoes a crown.

Lastly, back to the front area of the garden. A pair of lime green chairs and a very inviting fire pit.

Linda was so gracious to allow all 80 of us (in two shifts, mind you) to roam around and admire her vibrant and welcoming garden. She is an extremely accomplished gardener whom I admire very much. I had heard a lot about both her garden and Joanne's garden, and this was my first visit, hopefully not the last - I was pretty blown away by this pair of gems. Linda's use of electric colors echoes in her artwork and ties the whole garden together, while each garden room has a slightly different ambiance.

While I did not see a lot of native sun perennials, there were a few in the shady areas. I did not see any invasive species, so kudos to Linda!

It was such fun to put together this post, to relive this glorious summer day. Thank you, Linda, and stay tuned for next week's post about her dear friend and neighbor, part II of the Ernst/Fuller combo.

Thank you for reading and until next week, happy gardening!