Friday, July 19, 2024

Garden Duet VI, and a fern find!

I'm a frequent shopper at ReClaim It (a local shop "devoted to reducing waste & promoting creative reuse in our community"), so when I saw a poster for their late June Cracked Pots event in two Portland Gardens, I bought a ticket. The Cracked Pots event at Edgefield (here's a post) was a fun "must-do" every summer up until COVID put an end to it, this seemed like a  small scale revival.

While I love to upcycle and plant (mostly) metal pieces in my garden most of the items sold as "garden art" send me running in the opposite direction, fast. So I wasn't hoping to find any thing to buy, so much as wanting to support the organization and hoping to see a couple of interesting gardens. As luck would have it, I hit the jackpot.

The first garden I stopped at belonged to Fred Nilsen and Theresa Garcia.

There were so many people moving around the garden, and so much stuff there for the sale, it was a little hard to focus on what the garden would be without the various distractions.

Still, I was able to tell that a real plantsperson was at work here.

Afterall, there was a nice Pyrrosia sheareri...

The deck cut-outs allowing for sunken pots were a genius touch.

When I saw these trough planters...

Specifically this one...look at that foliage! 

I knew I needed to talk to the gardener, thankfully a Cracked Pots volunteer led me to Fred and he was up for a chat.

The plant, labeled as Hepatica (Poulett Hybrid) came from Heronswood in 2006. As luck would have it there were a couple of potted up seedlings sitting near by, I asked if I could buy one and Fred didn't hesitate for even a minute before handing me one and saying "I don't sell plants".

Moving on I was quite smitten with this sizable in-ground patch of Pyrrosia sheareri.

Moving around to the front.

That's a nice clump of Pyrrosia hastata on the left.

More ferns, a large Asplenium trichomanes on the left, and several Polystichum setiferum (I believe). 

I love that they're located on the path side of the rocks.

Haberlea rhodopensis

Rhododendron chamaethomsonii, which would appear to be an excellent substitute for my much lusted after (and twice killed) R. forrestii.

On the sunny side, a dasylirion (I think wheeleri?).

And agaves! (yes the dog was part of the garden art sale)

Do you see the ferns? 

I did and I was very curious as to what they might be. They were obviously sun lovers, but not one I recognized. I went back to find Fred and asked, he didn't recall the name but promised to look it up and email me. We got to chatting a little more and I learned Fred used to manage Portland's Forest Park, Hoyt Arboretum, and other areas for the City of Portland Bureau of Parks and Recreation. He was also part of the early days of our local chapter of NARGS (North American Rock Garden Society) and we knew a couple of people in common, like Sean Hogan and Panayoti Kelaidis.

So I did get an email from Fred just a day or two later, with info: "The fern was acquired from the old Bayless (and maybe a reference to her is a red flowering currant named 'Pokies Pink'). I got the fern labeled Ceterach officinarum, but now named Asplenium ceterach." I did find an online reference to Portland plantswoman Pokey Bayliss (and the currant) but that's not a name I've heard before. The best part of the email though was that Fred said he'd dig up a fern for me! (more on that below)

Leaving Fred Nilsen and Theresa Garcia's garden headed for the second location I spied an interesting bamboo fence and an explosion of bamboo just up the street, I had to look closer.

Tetrapanax too...

My takeaway from the second garden I saw that day (belonging to Cindy McEnroe & Joe Coletto) was that deer fern, Struthiopteris spicant, syn. Blechnum spicant, can get WAY bigger than I ever imagined.

Note the legs standing behind the plants for scale! 

So now we've fast forwarded to my garden and where I planted the hepatica that Fred shared with me.

And here are the two Asplenium ceterach he brought me when he came over for a garden visit. How generous, thank you Fred!

Naturally I started researching this new-to-me fern, and that's when I discovered our paths have crossed before. Here's a screen shot I took during a webinar last March from the Hardy Fern Foundation, I think maybe it was Ferns of the Azores with Fred Ramsey.

On the Wikipedia page for the fern I learned it's common name is rustyback fern, due to the "dense layer of pale reddish-brown scales" on the underside of the fronds. That same page had an image of this Russian stamp with the Asplenium ceterach on it...

Guess what I have! Yep, that same stamp, and four others (a stocking stuffer gift from Andrew one Christmas).

So that's the story of a garden visit I went to as part of a fundraiserand on the off chance I might see an interesting gardenand where I met a like-minded gardener with an interesting plant past AND I ended up being given an obscure fern, that I'd lusted after enough to take a screen shot of it during a webinar and hang on to it. Crazy cool eh? Now here's hoping I can keep the ferns alive...

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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

A couple gardens in East Clark County, Washington

Back on Saturday June 22nd (almost a month ago, why does summer go so fast?) I visited a couple of HPSO open gardens up in East Clark County, Washington. I live in Northeast Portland so Washington State is just a quick jaunt across the bridge over the Columbia River. My first stop was Karen Palmer and John Emmett's garden.

When I arrived the owners were out greeting visitors in the driveway and I overheard mention of the "yucca garden". I asked for clarification, a yucca in the garden? Nope. A section of the garden devoted to yucca! Unexpected!

They've been gardening on these 5 acres for 27 years. I didn't catch where the petrified would collection came from, but since they travel frequently to Tucson and bring back plants, I wonder if maybe they came from the SW?

The stems on this potted succulent were remarkable.

I think this was a Burkea purpurea not quite ready to open?

The view was breathtaking.

And the yucca garden was tons of fun.

They weren't labeled and I'm not going to venture a guess. They all definitely had their own personalities.

Petrified planter.

This one looks to be a nolina, rather than a yucca. Perhaps Nolina matapensis (ID from a friend)

A final glance at the yucca...

There were lots of veggies and fruit trees in the garden, but I failed to take any photos of those, other than this artichoke.

Monkey puzzle! Araucaria araucana

What a fun greenhouse off the back of the garage (I think?).

There were several dry-loving container plants that must spend winter in that greenhouse.

Just across the street was Lucie and Mike Friedlander's garden, also open for touring. This was a very different aesthetic...

Oh! But with another greenhouse, this one detached.

Quite detached!

Looking towards the house and pool, across the ginormous lawn.


Deer are an issue here, hence the tall fence around a fruit and vegetable garden in front of the greenhouse.

Containers outside on their summer vacation.

Peeking inside...

And the edibles...

Heading towards the pool now, looking back over my shoulder.

What does one call a structure like this?

The pool, and bbq.

The tennis court, and it's not your imagination, the "lawn" has turned into a lawn substitute on this part of the property.

Wow. Such a different way of living, I do appreciate them opening their garden though. 

It was lovely...

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All material © 2009-2024 by Loree L Bohl. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.