Thursday, April 27, 2017

Back to Salem and my visit to the Cornwell Garden

On the final day of the Salem Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend, last June, I toured this garden, in Woodburn, OR, just north of Salem...

From the tour brochure..."Started in 1986, "Clementine" is a small city garden created with frugal acquisitions and recycling of both plant and structural materials. This garden was reclaimed ground from a distressed dog-run, boasting several large historic "anchor" trees and shrubs that surround a rented and sadly-neglected 1912 Craftsman bungalow. Living in the core area of the city is difficult, but with "dirt" in my blood (grandpa was a Dust Bowl farmer and daddy an undertaker), I couldn't let one square of aesthetic possibility go unimproved. My father would often refer to my efforts as "making a silk purse out of a sow's ear" but it didn't deter me. Gardening brings balance and purpose to my world. As time and relationships evolved, so did my plant acquisitions and garden hard-scaping. There is a purpose, story, and memory related to most every notion in my "outdoor" rooms. I decorate my outdoors like I do my indoors — a colorful gypsy caravan palate with a tapestry of plants, flowers, and found objects. I declare no "theme" — the plants tell me where they fit best aesthetically — sometimes wrongly — yet the spirit of the home and garden is real and I am its current caretaker. Of special note are the monstrous Catalpa tree in the backyard, the hell-strip plantings, and the beauty of the restored home."

The hell-strip was indeed worth noting. In fact it was a whole entire garden into itself, squeezed into a small strip.

Walking into the shady back/side garden I wasn't sure what to expect...

But was completely enthralled with this rectangular pond/bog.

The patina of time helped to amp up the beauty.

Shady spaces can be so magical.

The mossy flagstone/paver area added emensly to the charm.

Dierama blooms.

Thankfully it wasn't all shade.

Time to exit and walk around the other side...

I loved the gravel driveway, but didn't get a chance to ask the gardener about it (damaged concrete? No concrete?).

I believe this was a family heirloom. Or maybe I just made that up, it was 9 months ago that I visited.

A shady pavilion just off the driveway...

And a chance to eat among the plants.

There are so many great gardens out there to discover...

Weather Diary, April 26: Hi 58, Low 42/ Precip .21

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wednesday Vignette, perfect pairing

I found this plant and pot in an out of the way corner at the Desert Botanical Garden...

The poor Agave has seen better days, and getting it out of the container looks next to impossible. It wasn't just planted in there, it's like the container was made around it, almost as though they've grown together. There's something about this combo that has stuck with me over the months since my visit. It's a perfect paring of plant and pot. They have become one.

Weather Diary, April 25: Hi 54, Low 45/ Precip .15"

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum. All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I got to go to the Getty!

Family time, during our January trip to the Los Angeles area, meant visiting somewhere with multiple levels of interest (not just plants). Enter the Getty Center, art, architecture and gardens = something for everyone! Oh and it's free...

Contrary to what it looks like I didn't wait until just the right moment to capture the plaza without people. And there were plenty of people there that day. I guess I just got lucky.

While Andrew and family headed right indoors I headed towards the gardens. Specifically for the tour of the Central Garden and grounds.

Everything came to a screeching halt when I saw this.

The Central Garden is huge, that entire "green-space" in the center, below. How could it be closed?

What the hell? There were some clouds, some rain the day before, but no rain on this day.

There was a security guy in a suit with a ear-piece, like he was secret service, standing at the entrance to the garden. I laughed at the sign and then turned to him for an explanation. Evidently when there has been strong rain some of the soil runs across the paths, the lawn gets wet. They don't want people getting their shoes "muddy" and then walking into the art galleries. I am sorry, but not sorry, that is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

You could walk up to the garden, but just not into the garden. I made a point of getting a little beyond the closed sign while I took pictures. Nobody seemed to care (although the security guy kept his eyes on me), and my shoes didn't get dirty.

Melianthus and Dyckia, that's a combination you don't see every day. Well, unless you live in L.A.

Dangerous paths ahead!

Look at all that mud.

The plants seemed happy.

I wonder how long these have been in the ground? Do they change them out seasonally?

Firesticks, indeed.

Finally, coming to terms with the fact I was not going to step foot into the Central Garden itself, I decided to see what I could see by climbing up the stairs and stopping at the various view points along the buildings.

Wow! That's all sorts of sexy fabulous. A Cordyline?

The Bougainvillea covered arbors have long been a fascination of mine. I still can't believe I was so close, and yet not allowed to get near them.

They're amazing! From the Getty's website: "(Robert) Irwin began planning the Central Garden in 1992, as a key part of the Getty Center project. Since the Center opened in 1997, the Central Garden has evolved as its plants have grown and been trimmed. New plants are constantly being added to the palette. Irwin's statement "Always changing, never twice the same" is carved into the plaza floor, reminding visitors of the ever-changing nature of this living work of art."

"Always changing, never twice the same" that seems about right for a garden.

Moving on I had to smile (smirk?) when I saw these. They're Arbutus unedo, aka the strawberry tree.

They produce hundreds of small fruit which ripen to look like a round strawberry. Then they fall to the ground. Where they can be stepped on. Their red fruity pulp then can be tracked into the pristine art galleries on the bottom of visitors shoes...well unless there's a security guard nearby to pick up every fallen fruit.

Okay, take a deep breath. Don't be bitter. Bitter isn't healthy...deep breath...

Moving on...isn't this a lovely vignette?

I do love Bougainvillea.

Aha! Finally.

We're at the desert garden, the garden you can't ever walk into, but rather look at from above. I've seen oh so many photos of this, but seeing it in person is so much better.

It is a little difficult to get a true sense of the scale when your looking down, and out, at the plants. But they must be huge.

The rains look to have caused the weeds to sprout. I would have loved to volunteer to go out there and weed, really...

A memorable image indeed.

But there is more to see...

Aloe trees!

With a Senecio carpet.

I could have spent a lot more time photographing the architecture, but this is a garden blog after all...

Sometimes the plants become architecture...

Imagine those Echium in bloom, blue bloom, against that white wall and with a blue sky. Must be breathtaking.

I've been down there, on the 405, many a time. It's nice to finally be up here, looking down.

In case you're wondering, I did make it into a couple of the galleries. I was particularly excited to visit the "7,000-square-foot Center for Photographs in the West Pavilion" but was rather disappointed in the exhibit on display. Oh well, my visit was really all about the plants, and just like a visit a museum they were to be looked at from a distance, and not touched.

Weather Diary, April 24: Hi 54, Low 44/ Precip 1.05"

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.