Thursday, April 09, 2015

Neighborhood Gardens of Portland Part IV: Springtime Edition

It's time for neighborhood gardens of Portland again! We've been on a few neighborhood walks recently, one of which took us by one of my favorite gardens that I originally wrote about last July. 

Designed by Creative Landscapes, I aspire to have something similar but end up cramming way too many plants in my own garden. It looks great for late winter/early spring, I must say, something for me to remember. There's not a lot of difference between these photographs and ones from last July - that is to say this is mostly an evergreen garden. The July post can be revisited here.


A wider shot with the home in the frame. This is facing south with the hell strip in full view. Gravel mulch pulls it all together, while a seemingly simple planting plan is really spectacular, especially when the Zauschneria californica and Penstemon pinifolius really get going in the summer.


Right now everything is just waking up. The wooly thyme as a groundcover in the background is something that requires (through frustrating experience) great drainage and a nice, hot dry site.


Arctostaphylos and Frothergilla major.


Arctostaphylos in full bloom.


Arctostaphylos, and what looks like Yucca rostrata.


Hardy in our climate, it looks great in this setting. Heck, it looks great in most settings.


I believe this is Hesperaloe parviflora with great drainage and a hot south-facing cement wall.


It appears as if the heathers have received their dome haircuts for the year, keeping them in check. Penstemon pinifolius in the foreground, I believe. Another great drought-tolerant evergreen for xeriscaping.






Perfection.


Mahonia nervosa, a native evergreen, and Frothergilla major.



Not far from that beautifully xeriscsaped garden is this lovely place. This is a cool new home with a distinctly Northwestern-feeling landscape.


Native sword fern amongst a sea of sedum.


Japanese maple, some over-exposed candytuft (apologies) and lavender.
Simple and elegant.


Across the street this is a typical Portland cottage garden. Ubiquitous rosemary in the hellstrip (it does quite well there!), trees, bulbs, perennials and ground covers vie for space. Very much like my own garden, i.e., no room!


Farther down the street, spring bulbs brighten up one of my favorite ground cover gardens. The hell-strip on the left is covered in sedums, creeping thyme, Penstemon pinifolius and other low-growing drought-tolerant plants. A real stunner in the long hot days of summer.


When bulbs are massed, it's so much more effective. Don't you agree?


And why did I include a photo of an alley? I just like them.


Here's a bonsai gone crazy.


On the walk home this day, the spring flowers were popping everywhere.






Here's the sign I love to see, the "Pesticide Free Zone" sign. You can buy them here.


A little earlier this season I took a different walk in my neighborhood and took the following photos. I first spotted this lovely hamamelis. Oh, that color.


The formality! I secretly love it. As a child, I always thought I was supposed to live in a home like this. Too many fairy tales, perhaps?




Patterns.








 More patterns.


Another gorgeous hamamelis. The season has long gone, but I must get one.




More patterns.


Here is a phormium that actually survived our PKW, phormium killing winter, of 2013-14.


It's in this lovely hell strip in a fairly new garden not far from our home. It is a new home and started with the required perfectly green lawn. I was very happy to see the owners remove that to plant this, a very happy and quite drought-tolerant garden. The salvia, rosemary, creeping thyme, euphorbias are all well-suited for our Portland summers - much better than plain old grass - and much more interesting and diverse and much less water-required. This will attract more pollinators and birds indeed, so kudos to these gardeners! If you had this blank slate of grass to plant anything you wanted in our zone 8 climate, what would you plant?

That's what's happening this week at Chickadee Gardens. As always, thank you for reading and until next time, happy gardening!


20 comments :

  1. I also like alleys! They often have interesting plants that have escaped the garden or some of the weedy but lovely blooming things that we try to keep out. Also, there are sometimes discarded treasures. Maybe you could start a meme about alley walking. Lots of beautiful gardens here and I love the restraint in the first one. My garden is too crammed with plants! If I had a blank slate, I'd hire a designer to draw up a plan with me to be sure and include all my favorite plants and leave some space for future loves. Hopefully the plan could be done in phases as I'd still do the work myself but having an overarching plan would be a good thing. Hopefully that would eliminate a lot of the wandering around with a newly-purchased plant in my hand, trying to find space to shoe horn it in.

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    1. Me too, Peter. Something secretly cool about them, I'll have to consider a meme...interesting idea! I like your idea of the designer to draw up a plan and you do the work. Sounds pretty ideal to me. Your description of walking around with a newly purchased plant in hand makes me laugh out loud - sounds oh so familiar. D'OH!

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  2. You have the best garden posts!

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    1. Thank you Valorie! Thank you for reading and commenting, too! I appreciate it :)

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  3. I enjoyed this look at some of Portland's gardens, especially that first one with the gravel. I try to strike a balance between cramming and restraint in my own garden. It's hard when you tend to fall in love with so many plants!

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    1. Thanks Alison! Balance balance balance. It's all about the balance. It IS hard when we are plant addicts, that's the problem. Now for the solution. Any ideas?

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  4. You live in a wonderful neighborhood! My favorite was the "typical Portland cottage garden" but the tulips also had me sighing - they aren't something you'd see in SoCal.

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    1. Those cottage gardens have such allure, don't they? There are many of them, perhaps I should do a post dedicated to the many many cottage gardens around my neighborhood! Hmm....

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  5. Some really nice gardens here -- I prefer the "cottage" look myself, and any hellstrip with huge, flowering rosemary is okay in my book! BTW, that is the lushest alley I've ever seen. Love it!

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    1. Cottage it is, then. Oh, the alleys too - yes, we have some surprisingly lush ones around here. Peter suggests I do a meme of alleys - perhaps I'll do a collection of alley photos and make a blog post one day.

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  6. I recognize that first house, and have always loved it. I need to get by and check out the garden, though. I turned the block before that place just yesterday morning on my way to Providence. Lovely post.

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    1. Really? Where did you move to - which neighborhood? Thanks for reading and commenting, Patricia! I love this garden, the designers are fantastic - it's just gotten better and better.

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  7. Great alley shot. I love allies too. They're like a combination of mystery and nostala, like a throwback to the 1950s. I can almost hear children playing hide-and-seek, housewives chatting and metal garbage can lids banging shut. Honestly, as nice as those minimalist landscapes are, they're not my cup of tea. I like exuberance and the hum of bumblebees and the cool shade of a tree and like you, I cram as much as I can into my soil. But diversity is the spice that makes life interesting so I enjoy seeing what others are doing. Love the mossy wall with the row of tulips. Have a great weekend.

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  8. Dang, the first house has that more minimal, carefully edited approach to spacing/planting that I can't seem to master! It looks really good there but at my place, it would look too sparse, which is why I cram. I think the key, along with good sense of composition, is that the individual plants are large and mature enough to have a presence, maybe(?)

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  9. I love the formal garden house the most. I'm always drawn to them in photos, but then do the exact opposite in my own yard. Funny. That row of boxwoods lining the path in the parking strip makes me swoon, too.

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  10. Beautiful series of photos!!!

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  11. Fun post! So happy to read about people ripping out their lawns and planting drought tolerant, 4 season, gardens. So cool! Great photo's :)

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  12. I love this: the gardens, the plants, the patterns, lovely alley, stately home... great tour!

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  13. It looks as if walking through the neighborhood is walking through a great garden! It is so nice... Do you think they would send me a pesticide free sign for my garden? I suppose the shipping costs would be higher than the cost of the sign... I love those Hamamelis :)

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  14. What a lovely walk. I agree that tulips are best planted in masses. I really enjoyed your patterns photos. There is always so much to see when one walks rather than drives through a neighborhood.

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