There is another garden I would like to share from the Portland Garden Tour West event held last month in Portland's West Hills. It's likely the more famous of the two (last week we visited Cynthia Woodyard's garden). This time it's the Jane Kerr Platt garden on a spectacular two-and-a-half acre lot. This plant collection is considered a Portland treasure full of rare, unusual and mature trees.
Elk Rock at Bishop's Close. John Platt bought the property in 1937. It had been an apple and cherry orchard but John and his wife, who grew up among an amazing garden, turned it into something special. She and her father were both interested in specimen plants and since he exported wheat to Asian lands, his ships were able to bring back incredible specimens of plants on the return trip, thus exposing Jane at a young age to what must certainly have been unique findings to Portland at that time. It is said that many of the treasures here started as cuttings from her father's garden at Elk Rock.
John passed away in 2013 at the great age of 100; Jane many years before. Their son David and his family are the current caretakers, along with other gardeners.
Having now visited this garden (for my first time) for the Portland Garden Tour West, I can understand its significance, especially here in Portland although it should be noted that Jane Platt was known abroad as an incredible plantswoman. I am honored to have been able to visit. I certainly appreciate the subtle beauty - it's not a place that hits you over the head with "wow" unless full-grown conifers make you excited. They have that effect on me. It's elegant and feels friendly like a lot of time and love went into its making. It has history, too. There is a cedar hedge around the property now over 100 years old. Two of the original apple trees from the 19th century orchard still remain. It's a garden of flowing beauty, natural and serene. I hope to visit again someday during a different time of year.
The Portland Garden Tour West was a great gathering and a lot of work by its volunteers. If you go next year you will not be disappointed. May it continue on through the years.
That's it for this week at Chickadee Gardens. As always, thank you for reading and until next time, happy gardening!