Thursday, January 22, 2015

Garden Blogger's Fling, Portland: Floramagoria

Floramagoria, the surprise of all surprises. 
It is a jaw-dropping double lot in the southwestern hills of Portland. We visited it on the last day of the Garden Blogger's Fling, a rainy Sunday in the middle of July. The rain did not stop us.


Craig Quirk and Larry Neill created a gardener's garden full of surprises, a tropical-ismo splash of colors and textures with many places for entertaining. The experience and eventually the memory of Floramagoria is still overwhelming because the garden spoke to multiple levels of my interests. I responded positively to them all and because of that, I say this was my favorite garden on the Fling. To make it easier for me to process and to show all of you I decided to break up each element into reasonable compartments that can be absorbed bit by bit. I have six elements I would like to explore. They are:

THE LAY OF THE LAND
SPIKY PLANTS
HARDSCAPING
CONTAINERS and POTS
ART IN THE GARDEN
THE PLANTS and COMBINATIONS

First up:
THE LAY OF THE LAND

All of these images were taken in their back sunny garden. Here we have entered the side garden on the north side of the property (just to the left of the greenhouse seen in this photo), and are in the western part of the property looking east towards the house.


Facing east again towards the house through the main pathways that dissect the garden. 


Standing in roughly the same spot, this view is looking slightly to the south (my right as I stand there) to the newly built enclosure over the deck off of a bedroom.


Facing south (I believe), the central concrete paths give way to less formal gravel.


Facing the northwest corner of the property is a shady dining pavilion. 


The greenhouse just to our left as we entered the back garden from the north side of the property.


 On the south side of the property, this path leads to the front garden. Since it's so sunny, they have taken advantage and planted many edibles in containers. There are hummingbird feeders, and they also keep bees.


 The bee keep. Just the right size!

The front garden (not pictured) I would describe as Northwest with an Asian flair, a couple large trees and low-growing perennials, and definitely worthy of a blog post unto itself. However, my photos are few and somewhat blurry, so perhaps I could persuade Craig and Larry to allow me an encore visit?


Now that the lay of the land has been established, we can meander and take in the many faces of this garden.



SPIKY PLANTS
 Agaves, aloes and yuccas, oh my!

There were so many gorgeous agaves and succulents they deserve their own section, don't you think?






A healthy Aloe plicatilis. I may try growing this again, my last attempt failed miserably.


Agave parryi I believe. I'm still learning all my spiky plant names, please feel free to chime in.


Where's Mothra?


Aloe vanbalenii in a matching pot. Such color.


Agave 'Blue Glow' and friends.



HARDSCAPING

This concrete patio off of the main house is surrounded by a low wall with lots of potted plants and color. The lights hanging from above are changed out according to the season or holiday. I love these little lights, especially on a wet day as they really do add sparkle.



In between poured-concrete rectangles are shiny river rocks that add a touch of texture to an otherwise continuous surface. The green of the wall kind of disappears but encloses the patio giving it a comfortable feeling. This view is facing north, the greenhouse just visible past the house on the right.


Facing west and south a bit, the patio extends towards the western edge of the garden. The path is interrupted by a planting of sedges and also a beautiful mosaic, seen in the next image.



Insects in full color, pollinating the flowers, no doubt. What a unique, colorful and wonderful focal point of the garden. I would say this masterpiece really represents the spirit of Floramagoria. This should be categorized in the "Art in the Garden" section, too, as it is both hardscaping and art.


Detail with snakes, bees and other critters.


Orange and turquoise are repeated throughout the garden, here in the form of outdoor furnishings which add a bit of flair and function.


A wonderful (and welcome on such a wet day) fire pit at the far western fence. I am sure it was custom-made with the rest of the garden in mind.


Where the plants become tall, lush, and plentiful, gravel paths delineate individual beds.



Up near the house just off of the concrete patio, gravel continues around the borders of the house. The low concrete walls are appreciated here and double as support for their many potted treasures.



CONTAINERS and POTS

The pots and containers are plentiful in this garden I imagine for both aesthetic and practical reasons. Practical, as they have many tender plants that can be moved indoors for our wet and cold winters. Aesthetic, as they fill in nooks and crannies on the many subtle level changes throughout this garden giving a sense of flow and filling in gaps. Here, Melianthus major is combined with begonias and echeverias.



The subtle blue hues of both plant and pot play off of the oranges of the sempervivums and brick.


A grouping of same colored pots gives more weight to this corner of the garden.


Contrasting sizes make for drama, perfect for this brugmansia and the bog garden at its feet.


They really are tucked in everywhere. The turquoise of this container is echoed in the chairs behind.


There is a shady garden just behind the dining pavilion. Unfortunately, my photos did not turn out. This did, though--a pocket container on the far northwest corner wall. Even in the shady areas containers are used.


Pots in repeated patterns and colors. The orange of the terracotta and plants and green wall are a nice contrast. 


These appear to be handmade and a little alien, fitting for the plants within.


Repeats of blue and turquoise shades.



ART IN THE GARDEN

An el gato tile by Bay Area artist Mark Bulwinkle


Ceramic orbs in the shady garden by Bay Area artist Marcia Donahue.


Glass flowers among allium bones.


A sea of tentacles swimming along.


A UFO in the shady garden, looking through the pergola dining area with the custom chandelier just visible on the right. I'd bet this area sees a lot of activity.


Just plain fun and, well, orange and turquoise.





There's always room for Godzilla in the plants. Always.


THE PLANTS and COMBINATIONS

Sea holly or Eryngium maritumum, difficult to grow but thriving here. On the left Penstemon pinifolius.


Eryngium, poppies and agastaches.


What variety! Cannas, Hakenochloa macra, cattails, rudbeckia, it goes on.


Bog garden with cattails and pitcher plants. I love the metal edging here.






Pitcher plant. Not anything I had ever considered before I saw them here.




Echinacea, day lilies, Alchemilla mollis in upper right.


Like stained glass.


Kniphofia or red hot poker (in this case orange hot).


Wonderful Yucca rostrata.


A carex lawn right in the middle of concrete pathways. I love it, it is subtle and breaks up the monotony of gray.


Tetrapanax leaves.


Astilbe, eryngium, phlox, canna, castor bean plant...such bold colors and forms.


Big, bold banana leaves.


Salvia (I believe) and allium bones.




Poppies and phlox.


I see some eryngium, digiplexis, day lilies, and I believe phlox in the foreground. Lots of hot, sizzling colors here and a wide variety of sun perennials with nods towards oranges and blues. The whole thing is consistent throughout the back sunny garden and so it works, very well I might add.


Pineapple lily looking quite healthy.


My garden friend Matthew of The Lents Farmer shows off some leg in the beautiful greenhouse, complete with chandelier. We really were this jolly visiting Floramagoria. I don't think we wanted to leave (well, Matthew and I at least). Let's just hide in the greenhouse, they won't notice, right? 

Wasn't that something?  I am at a loss for words this time, I would prefer to just let the incredible qualities of this garden speak for themselves. Hats off to the gardeners and garden designers, they have really created magic. I was honored to be able to see this famed garden and hope to come back again someday.

That concludes this post, so until next week: Thanks for reading and happy gardening!






24 comments :

  1. This garden is fun, fun, fun! And fabulous! Just love all the detail and plantings!

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    1. Oh, well put Mark and Gaz. Fun and fab indeed!

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  2. Nice seeing this again after 6 months. Such a fun place, with so much to discover! You captured some details that I didn't see, but we were drawn to many of the same plants -- loved the bog!

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    1. Yes, it's fun to revisit these gardens in the middle of winter, I seem to see a lot more than I did at the time..funny how that works! That bog was pretty impressive.

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  3. Wow - I feel like a celebrity! Two photos of me on one post! You really captured everything in that garden that made it so wonderful. It was impossible to not be joyous.

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    1. You ARE a celebrity, Matthew. Don't forget it :) I know, I was so happy (and rained on) at that garden. Something special.

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  4. This garden is scrumptious! The inlaid "carpet", Aloe vanbalenii in a matching pot, the low green wall. Love everything. Sorry I wasn't there to see it in person.

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    1. Scrumptious is a very good adjective to describe this garden. It was an impressive space to be in.

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  5. *sigh*...such a wonderful garden which you captured very well. I've lost track of how many times I've been there and yet will jump at the opportunity to visit again. I hope they're open for the HPSO this year.

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    1. Thanks, Danger. Lucky you to have visited so often...I am really hoping for my sake and Alison's sake that they are open for HPSO open gardens this year. If they are, let's make a trip of it.

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  6. I really hope Floramagoria is open this year for the HPSO, I missed out by not being able to go the Fling. Thanks for sharing your photos. I've seen pictures of this garden on lots of other blogs, but I never tire of looking at them. It looks like such a delightful place.

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    1. Me too, Alison - I'll be watching for the open garden book soon. I know, this is a garden you could see a hundred posts about and see something different in each.

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  7. I will seriously never get sick of seeing posts about this garden. It looks jawdroppingly amazing, and I see different details in every post. I love it, and I want a garden Godzilla of my very own!

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    1. Me neither. It is jawdroppingly amazing, to be sure and everybody needs a Godzilla...I think I'll shop for one this weekend :) Good shopping reminder.

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  8. It was my favorite of the fling too, with other 4 I think, hehehe.

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    1. Really? :) Yes, I know what you mean, each had so much to see and appreciate. This one had such color and spirit, I think that's what I responded to.

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  9. There's nothing about this garden I don't love. It's a garden I could happily spend all my days in.

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    1. Me too, Kris...me too. It's such a livable space...and the house is amazing. Wow.

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  10. DANG!! Incredible!!

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    1. Dang straight, Fifi! You are going to be an HPSO member (are you already?) and go to their open garden if they have one this year. I'll drag you there and you'll never leave :)

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  11. What a fun garden. My favorite plant is Eryngium maritumum. I think it needs to go on my wishlist. I also think I need to find a spot in my yard for a bog garden. Those Pitcher Plants are UH. MAZ. ING!

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  12. This was my fave too, Tamara - it had such fabulous attitude! So many fun and quirky details. I noticed I was part of one of your photos, and it made me laugh - I was wearing turquoise! I probably could have gotten away with getting lost in there until the bus had left - I blended right in! :)

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  13. I loved this garden and was so excited to see it in person after seeing posts on Loree's blog about it before the fling! I also hope Floramagoria is open again for the HPSO! If they are, can I tag along with the group?

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  14. It was truly a spectacular garden. I need a repeat visit or two just to take in everything I missed. Sooo jealous of Loree for her multiple visits.

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