Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Two styles of gardening and landscaping your Portland ranch-style home

I heard there were Yuccas blooming in my favorite "ranch-land" neighborhood garden so of course I had to go see for myself. I think these are Yucca whipplei, but don’t take me to court over that. I’m glad to have visited when I did as I’ve ever seen this garden so in bloom! I’ve shared pictures of this garden over and over, are you getting tired of it yet? I know I’m not.
And now for something completely different…

Just down the street is another brick ranch-style home, this one for sale. The garden could not be more different…warning shocking shrubbery! One of my fellow plant lust’ers recently looked at this house as a prospective buyer, so these pictures from the back yard are hers. I was hoping for an open house last weekend so I‘d have the opportunity to a little extra snooping myself. No such luck. While it’s obvious which of these two gardens I prefer, I do love the fact that they can peacefully coexist in the same neighborhood, no HOA rules here!


  1. although neither one fits my own style (or lack thereof) I like them both!

  2. The first one is just fab and the second a riot! Actually the second could be a beautiful Asian stylised garden if the selectively pruned and trained rather than "cupcake" everything. The plantings look impressive and expensive, its just a puzzle why the do the boxes and cupcakes

  3. The first house - always like seeing it. The yucca looks like some Y. glauca or even more like the Abq-native Y. baileyi ssp. intermedia. It is a natural intergrade from Soaptree to Bailey's Yucca of the Colo Plateau.

    The 2nd house - very Edward Scissorhands. But time to start over!

  4. Now THAT is a commitment to pruning! (at least that's what I say out loud every time I see this kind of pruning.) Wow! Love that you have photos of the back, too.

  5. Is it wrong that these days I first consider the cost of remodeling the yard? That one would have been expensive--just to get the decades-old shrubbery out. No way to save it, and I kept expecting some to yell "off with their heads." I have to admit, though, had fabulous possibility, and such a good neighborhood!

  6. Okay, I'll be the (so far) lone dissenter: I LOVE the retro quality of this crazy shrubbery! Not, you understand, that I would want it for myself or my garden, but it has so much kitsch it feels completely authentic.

    That said, my personal planting vote would definitely go to our Arazona-esque gardeners - it's looking wonderful!

  7. What a lot of maintenance! Makes my back hurt just to look at all that trimming...

  8. Tired of it? never! Garden #2: over-the-top wacky wonderful.
    I just signed up for your HPSO workshop. Finally I will get to see your garden in real life! I'm stoked!

  9. Perhaps the latter was a geometry professor? (Wonder what it looks like from the sky!) Me being lazy, that level of work ain't anywhere on my horizon.

  10. I love these follow-ups...really gives you an appreciation for the different moods of the garden as the year progresses. I actually think they more linear, architectural plants are even more effective now, contrasted with the billowing gold and silvers or their softer counterparts. I have to admit, I'm creeped out by topiary...although I've seen a few that were AMAZING.

  11. I should have clarified, Loree. I'm not fond of yellow in my own garden. In other gardens, such as yours, it works and looks great. There now, on to your post. I like both styles even though neither is what I have. Did you ever get to meet the homeowners/gardeners of garden number one? Definitely a kindred spirit lives there. :)

  12. I love the plants in the first garden. As to the second...I don't like plants slammed up against the house like an army ready to do battle with the neighborhood. With that said, hedges, box balls, and pruning shears have made some great gardens.

  13. I can't stop laughing....warning, extreme pruning ahead...haha!
    As a landscaper, it makes me cough, to think of all the 2-cycle engine fumes it takes to keep that up..hack hack..

    Wyatt's Mom

  14. Ryan, I would definitely rather see someone go pruning crazy than just not care. The "not care" yards are the worst.

    Nicole, "boxes and cupcakes" is what I'm calling that house from now on.

    DD, so many little garden space! Yes, evidently Edward has gotten bored here as he is selling the house and moving on to bigger and better shrubs.

    LeLo, I wish I would have seen it the week before it went on the market, you know to see if they did a "spruce up" or if everything is always that crisp.

    Patricia, I would say that you've got your priorities in order if your looking at the garden first! (of course I may be biased).

    MulchMaid, agreed, on both accounts.

    Jenn, oh but if you did it DAILY it would only be a sprig or two.

    ricki, isn't the name a little over the top? I think instead of "success with succulents" it should have been "a few things I've figured out about succulents" or maybe "how to tip the succulent balance in your favor...51% live and 49% die". But then I guess those are a bit wordy. I hope (you and the others) will feel it was worthwhile. In the mean-time I guess I better go buy some more plants to get the garden looking good!

    RBell, perfect! And he had class field trips to his garden right?

    scott, if you ever see Kate around the office ask her about her topiary!!

    Grace, oh yes...I was even invited on a tour (last May). And that's how I knew the Yucca were blooming...the homeowner told me.

    Denise, "plants slammed up against the house like an army ready to do battle with the neighborhood" sound like my husband, he wanted to remove all of our foundation plantings. I think that's great if you've got an architecturally interesting house, but ours is just a box. Best to camouflage and soften it a bit.

    Wyatt, yikes...I wasn't even thinking about power tools! You are probably right.


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