Gardens of Portland, Rindy Mae

 Let's visit more Portland neighborhood gardens.

We're here, indeed! Earlier this summer, Rindy Mae, a garden blogger very near our home opened her garden for the first time. The occasion was a progressive community garden tour in Montavilla, a small neighborhood near Mt. Tabor.

Mindy is a fellow gardener I met in the wonderful world of garden blogging and she graciously invited me to come by her garden this tour day. Of course, I accepted. Camera in hand, I arrived to see jolly people enjoying mimosas and breakfast treats ala Mindy. This was going to be good.

One of the most charming gems of a garden I have visited, it is overflowing with Mindy's creative touch. This is a visual delight, so sit back, relax and enjoy the details.
I sure did, I was blown away by this inviting space.

Many plants line the side garden towards the back, like this clematis. Mindy is plant happy, a gardener after my heart. Many cottage-style plants warm the heart and fit with this home and neighborhood wonderfully.

The back area is a place for living. With three children, Mindy and her husband have created a little oasis with many areas for sitting, eating and enjoying. There are both shady areas and sunny corners; something for everyone. Many potted plants such as this fuchsia added splashes of contrast and color.

Every inch of space is utilized to its fullest. Seating areas tucked away, this one is perhaps for an "adults only" time-out area? Or maybe just a hideaway.

The beauty of this garden is in the details. It feels like an outdoor home, lovingly decorated.

A great use of an older ladder. I may steal this idea. I also love Mindy's reuse of old pots and household items in the garden - if done well, they add to the charming feel. She does it well.

There's a chair back there somewhere.

Magic details. I think her three children must be in paradise with so many imagination-piquing props.

Lovely black-eyed susan or Thunbergia alata vine.

Shady impatiens, ferns, grasses, discentra, fuchsias and hydrangeas and plenty of seating.

Lewisia cotyledon. This color echoed throughout the garden.

Impatiens, fuchsia, bird feeders and chandeliers.

I'm sure homemade, and they look delicious.

In true garden-blogger form, Mindy documented the "before" garden back in 2001. Quite a different space today after 13 or so years of Mindy's magic.


It is a layered garden with many established background trees, pots tucked in, ground-covers and mid-sized shrubs. This is in my humble opinion one of the many reasons it works so well.

More seating, pots, water features and background trees. The pastel color theme throughout the garden is consistent, which is a great design element to use when pulling a garden together.

Soft cosmos flutter in the background, more pastels line the path. Mindy also pays attention to foliage which helps to add interest when the flowers are long gone for the season; there are ferns, mosses, sedums, and plants with variegated leaves throughout.

Garden lighting is another important aspect that many of us, myself included, don't pay enough attention to. I wonder what this garden looks like after dark.

Right outside the back door is this seating area. I can see spending my whole summer out here. Again, seating, potted plants, lighting and pillows.

More seating up on the deck. I bet Mindy's family spends a lot of time out here.
Doesn't it feel like a garden showroom? Just gorgeous and practical, too. How does she do it, a mother of three? Amazing.

More garden lighting directly above the seating area pictured above.

More details, a candle and some happy sempervivums.

Successful reuse of an old shelf. 

People were really enjoying themselves this day.

Oxalis, solar lighting, impatiens, seating and pillows. Who wouldn't love to sit here for a spell?

St. Francis and dicentra.

Bottle-lined path, looks like a Tonka truck tucked in there, too.

Sweet woodruff, impatiens, hosta and I believe Polystichum stetifernum or Alaska fern.

She has many hanging baskets adding to the romantic feel.

More photos of the side garden, same color scheme connects the front and back gardens.

Continuing with the pastel color palette, the front garden with a lot of shade and patches of sunshine.

View from the sidewalk.

The front is beautifully planted as is the hell strip.
Great color combinations of blues, whites and purples up against the fence.

The hell strip has a lot more sun-loving perennials and annuals.

The whites and grays up against the weathered fence.

In the hell strip, some electric purple of a cardoon.

And the stained-glass magic of Japanese blood grass or Imperata cylindrica.

The lovely couple, thank you so much for opening your garden to everyone! I hope you do it again next year.

Perhaps three little blooms for the three children.

Mindy's garden is obviously very loved and taken care of. She combines a consistent color theme throughout and lets the garden be what it is at its best, a charming urban cottage garden made for a family to enjoy. She has a keen eye for detail and a warmth that overflows in her plant choices.

Since this blog is primarily focused on native plants and sustainable gardens, I will comment that while I did not see a lot of natives, there were a few - Oxalis oregana, sweet woodruff and dicentra for example. I did not see a plethora of invasive species either which is wonderful. Yay!

 I do hope she opens her garden again in the future, perhaps she'll do so through the Hardy Plant Society's Open Gardens next year. We can all hope. I am honored to have visited, thank you both for your time and efforts into opening your very personal space, I certainly appreciate the amount of work that goes into it. I think we can all relate.


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


  1. I read Mindy's fun blog, and rally enjoyed this look at her Open Garden. I too hope she opens it again next year, I'd love to come down and see it.

    1. Rally, Dahlink....:) You are so right, Alison. She should join HPSO and open up that garden for the world to see!

  2. Another fab Portland garden! Thanks for sharing Tamara, loving all the personal touches, seating areas and how packed the garden is. And is that a chandelier bird feeder, cool!

    1. I know, isn't it lovely? Those touches are what love are made of :)

  3. Great details like you said! Looks like a place I could get lost in for an afternoon. Plus baked goods!

    1. Oh yes, Alan you would go crazy with photos. And baked goods. Amen.

  4. Wowee. If opening our garden up guarantees posts like this, I'd gladly do it every year! The stress and crazies leading up to it was worth it. Thank you so much for allowing me to see our yard through a different set of eyes. And for such kind words. You totally made my morning!!! I'll do a post later today with a link to yours. So flattering and so sweet. Thank you, Tamara.

    1. You are so very welcome, thank you again for opening can be a lot of work but in the end very rewarding. I"m so glad you like it, yay! We look forward to seeing your garden again next year...have you thought about joining Hardy Plant Society of Oregon?? :)

    2. I'm so out of the loop, I don't even know what joining entails! I'd love to know more about it, though.

  5. Mindy is an online friend. One of the days we're going to meet and view each other's gardens. You did a fabulous job with prose and photos, Tamara. I love not just the plants but all the ways Mindy has decorated the garden with treasures. She is so talented and a kindred spirit.

    1. She's a doll, Grace. I hope you get to see it in person some day. You need to make a week of it next summer and just go-a-visiting!

  6. You can see from the pictures this is a very creative garden, beautiful!

    1. She is indeed a creative person with a very creative garden, like yours, Janneke!

  7. So happy you made it there that day Tamara. The tour was just a random idea for me to go on and I had not idea a fellow blogger was there. I've yet to post my photos but her garden was an eyeopener to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was so cozy and reminded me so much of my childhood in Oregon. I have so much to learn in terms of design. Mindy really is talented and what a gift to share with all of us! Great post.

    1. Me too, it was fun to see you on your sweet ride. It does remind me of something special from childhood, I can't quite put my finger on it. She is super talented, as are you, Ann!

  8. These are fantastic photos of Mindy's garden. Her aesthetic skills in the garden are flawless!

  9. I had a hunch that there were some gardens like this lurking behind fences in your neighborhood. What a treat to get a glimpse of one through your eyes.

  10. What a purely enchanting garden and you'll be a better gardener because of it. Thanks for visiting my blog today.

  11. Delightful garden. I really enjoyed my virtual "visit", thank you!

  12. Anonymous4:59 PM PDT

    Thank you - that was inspiring! What a lovely garden!

  13. What a sweet garden with many enticing seating areas. Thanks for sharing it with us. And wow I took a look at her blog and was blown away by her daughter's birthday party decor and desserts, which she made!

  14. Anonymous5:25 PM PDT

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  15. Anonymous12:25 PM PDT

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