Thursday, August 19, 2010

Garden viewing, from the sidewalk

I recently took the opportunity to do a little garden spying, all from a safe distance away of course, no trespassing occurred! These pictures were all taken around North Portland and the St John’s area.

This fabulous combination of colors and textures was a happy discovery after parking to walk back and take another picture. Look at the agave nestled in there like a crown.
This scene was what I originally parked to photograph; the black chain link fence with black wooden slats makes a great backdrop for the tropical border.
And of course the chunky plaster columns do a great job of visually anchoring the whole scene.
Another happy discovery walking back to my car. These trees were absolutely glowing!
Being tree-ignorant I have no idea what they are. I’m sure someone can educate me, please?
Another garden…look at that bamboo!
And the parking strip grasses are lovely.
So many fabulous textures in this next garden.
A bit further down the street I found palms, a monkey puzzle tree and yuccas…a parking strip after my own heart.
The simple front garden of the same house (note the monkey puzzle tree reflected in the window).
Just down the street…wow…look at these opuntia! I’m jealous.
In the same garden…an entire front lawn that isn’t lawn, pretty cool don’t you think?
Moving on…what initially caught my eye in this garden is a monster tetrapanax.
Unfortunately I couldn’t get a shot that accurately captured what my eye could see. Luckily once I was up close there were plenty of other fabulous plants to photograph.
And the last garden is a color filled lush banana jungle.
I love garden spying, even if I have to do it from the sidewalk.


  1. I think I passed that last photo, the house,with the huge bananas-was it off Alberta?

  2. Linda, yes it was! Good eye.

  3. The trees look like Pacific Madrone-

  4. Beautiful! You live in a great area, if there are this many front yard gardeners sharing their joy!

  5. I wish we had neighbors who gardened like that. Is your mystery tree an Arbutus of some kind?

  6. The tree is Arbutus menziesii or Pacific Madrone.

    Great photos! I haven't traveled that neck of the woods -- pretty cool.

  7. It's almost strange looking through these pictures and seeing something like a Daylily. When everything else is so exotic it's a little startling to see something so common in the middle of it all.

    Also - I wish I had anything near me so interesting to look at as any of the gardens in this post.

  8. Nice sidewalk viewing!

    Earlier commenters got it - your GORGEOUS mystery trees are madrones. I want that tree in my garden so much I ache! We planted one that's doing well at our last house. Like most arctostaphylos, they need excellent drainage and no summer water. I would have one in a minute if I had the drainage or a slope for it now.

  9. An opuntia hedge! What a unique idea. You do seem to ferret out the strange and wonderful wherever you go.

  10. the yellow house is so great. I love this post. Merci beaucoup !

  11. So many beautious gardens! I love the opuntia border.

  12. PGG, thank you!

    Laura, I do live in a great area, no doubt. But just so you don't think every yard looks like these there are still plenty of golden grass (dormant) lawns full of weeds with no style what-so-ever.

    Les, that does seem to be the consensus on the tree. And I wish these people were my direct neighbors! God what a street that would be!

    gh1, I should have mentioned that I spotted some of these on my way to Cistus....what a beautiful garden filled day!

    Andrew, you've got a great eye....I had to really hunt for the day-lily!

    MulchMaid, it must have been hard to leave that tree behind!

    ricki, there are so many strange and wonderful things out there to see!

    Delphine, you are so welcome...and thank you for the mention of plant lust on your blog!!!

    Megan, me too. If mine make it through the winter I'm going crazy with them next year!


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