Monday, June 29, 2009

ANLD Garden Tour

I am always up for looking at other peoples gardens, I love to see how they arrange their space and the plant materials they’ve chosen. Last weekend was the Association of NW Landscape Designers “Behind the Scenes Garden Tour” an opportunity to see how the professionals (those that actually get paid to do it!) designed 10 urban gardens around Portland. My in-laws from Tennessee were visiting us and this seemed like a great way to spend the day with them.

We started at the garden closest to our home. This metal fencing material held back the laurel and created an accessible pathway (top, and below). Even though you can’t clearly see it, it did run the entire length of the hedge. I wonder does it must make it easier to trim too? I should have asked. I know Laurel is a fast grower and keeping it in check is a constant battle. Also in this garden they had very carefully attached the stems of their Crocosmia to small bamboo stakes, with bit of wire, to keep them upright. Mine lean forward and can be a little floppy, I’d never considered tying them up, I never like the way it looks but in this case it was done very well. If I had the patience I would consider doing this. At the next garden this little evergreen caught my eye. Not normally my type of plant and I’m embarrassed to admit I have no idea what it is, I am sure you all know. The colors and textures were fabulous. And speaking of the colors and textures I love this old CMU wall. I hope you can see the diamond shapes. It was the back wall of a pergola covered setting area. Fun.
This same home/garden had this crazy little deck over the garage. Don’t understand its purpose! There was no way to get into the space! This would drive me crazy.
This driveway wasn’t actually part of the tour, it was the house next door but I had to sneak over and take a couple of pictures. How cool are these little niches and the monks head plaque?
The next garden was billed as a family garden with places for the kids to play. They integrated a sand box area along with a net to pull over it so that it doesn’t become a cat box. There were beautiful Nasturtiums all over this garden, one of those plants I have to enjoy in others space because I can never get them to grow in my garden.
Lunch break at the Chapel Pub, another McMenamin’s restaurant. It used to be a funeral parlor until it was renovated a couple of years ago. Since we were in garden tour mode we walked around the grounds prior to lunching and I spotted this! I love it! I hope someone can identify it…. There was also this happy huge Callistemon which gives me hope for the pair I planted earlier this spring. I wish I had noticed them earlier so I could note how they grow and how last winter treated them.
This bright grass/garage wall combo caught my eye, from a block away as we got out of the car and headed to the next location, it just glows! The next garden turned out to be my favorite of the tour. That one, and others, tomorrow!


  1. that mystery plant is a rose, rosa sericea. it gives off this glowing jolly rancher effect if you get the sun to hit it right (sunset, sunrise backlighting).

  2. I know about keeping laurel in check. I think you're right about the fencing making it easier to keep trimmed. It would certainly give you a template for the thickness.
    That little evergreen is sweet but I have no idea what it is either.
    I love that older CMU fifties! I wanted to put in a fancy CMU garden wall for privacy but I found out it was prohibitively expensive for us to have done.
    I'll look forward to the rest of the pictures tomorrow - wasn't it just the perfect weekend for any kind of outdoor tour, hike, lounging, whatever?!

  3. Sorry, no idea on the dwarf variegated conifer but looks like you got an ID on that weird pink-stemmed rose. Looks like it could add some spicy hot color to the Danger Garden! I love all of these takes but looked particularly closely at the kid garden, since I'm working on one at the moment but kind of stuck. Nasturtiums seem like they could get squashed by little feet - maybe the kids know to stay on the sand pit level? The netting is a great idea - I have been using coffee bags and it's kind of a funky/trashy look. I've seen that wacky monk head thing before, I forget the company that makes them - saw it in a Craftsman Bungalow mag or something similar. I wanted their owl doorbell but it was $50 years ago - too spendy for me! Nice tour, can't wait to see more.

  4. You're so good about going to these event things. I saw the notice about it, but seemed like a lot of trouble. I love the wingthorn rose, although sometimes they get messy looking. I'm not sure what the conifer is, but I like it. And I love the chapel pub, great neighborhood spot.

  5. I don't know what any of your mystery plants are, but the tour must have been fun. Like you, I'm always up for seeing other people's gardens. BTW, I answered your question about our watering restrictions on my post.

  6. eeldip, whoda thought! I find a rose that I actually really like. That is kinda scary and funny, I'm sure the rest of the world picked up on the fact that it was a rose right away. Me nope.

    Jane, I've heard laurel horror stories! I have a friend who is talking about reproducing old CMU patterns, could be cheaper for you if she actually does it! This weekends weather was wonderful and it looks like we might hang on to it over the holiday, although warmer. Love it!

    Karen, the other thing about this garden was that the lawn was very sculpted so that there were like 8 squid legs, each one had TALL grasses (zebra grass, others as tall) on each side so the kids could run and hide. I couldn't get a good picture of it. They also had an old wash barrel that was full of water with little boats in it. Cute but it looked more like a designers idea of kids playing than the real thing. My husband thought the monk head was by Ferrow, but we couldn't find anything on it online. The antique lighting company where we worked together years ago had a huge light fixture with those faces all the way around it, it was an antique VERY cool.

    Megan, I really wanted to go last year but we had guests that are not garden inclined. This year different guests that were so inclined, so it all worked out. I don't know if I'll do it again next year. I think it's so funny that I've fallen for a rose...crazy. I like the Chapel Pub expect they don't have a pizza oven so I can't get my fav McMenamins meal!

    Pam, I read your answer and it makes me feel a little better. I do not have irrigation so I can appreciate the allowances. I do know people who live in condo communities here and they have to disconnect the auto irrigation because it is to intense and waters too much! That is just wrong.

  7. Oh and DQF if you are reading - thank you for the specific rose name and I appreciate your comments but can't publish them because your "user name" is just a little too out there for me and my blog. I would like everyone to be able to read my blog at their work place during lunches (which is when I read most blogs) and not have the site blocked for certain words. I COMPLETELY appreciate that you visit and comment!

  8. Paul Barden's website has the info on rosa serica.

  9. I see you've already gotten an i.d. on the rose. I first saw it growing in Sean Hogan's front garden and was blown away: Some plants are simply too luscious to describe. I've written about it, but your detail pic captures it best!
    I'll be in Portland soon so I'm crafting a full-on itinerary. Hoping to see new places/landscapes/foodie haunts/et al.
    If you have any secrets or favs, DG, please visit BayAreaTendrils and link to my email. Thanks!

  10. Patrick, thanks! Do you grow it? Was the show successful for you?

    BATGT...ok I've got my tour guide cap on and I'll try to come up with some ideas for you!

  11. Sorry, late to this discussion, but I didn't see an ID for the conifer in the comments... I think it is a dwarf Japanese cypress 'Sekkansugi.'

    1. No, not cypress - I meant Cryptomeria...


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