Monday, August 22, 2011

A big day in the danger garden...

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of talking with a group of Hardy Plant Society of Portland (HPSO) members interested in learning more about growing succulents. The workshop was held in my garden, the closest thing to an open garden event that I’ve had. I wondered if we would all fit (my garden is small, and there were 17 people plus me!), and most importantly what would they think of my garden! I shouldn’t have worried though, everyone was wonderful and if they saw things that horrified them they kept it to themselves. So after I conquered the garden fears my main concern (besides the whole “public speaking” thing) was; would I be able to share any information with these gardeners that they don’t already know? (the workshop wasn’t my idea, I was asked to do it by a friend at the HPSO). They had all registered in advance and paid a small sum of money to spend a sunny Saturday morning in August listening to me carry on; I’d better make it worth their while right? Then inspiration hit! I figured if I wasn’t able to impart any worthwhile knowledge I could at least make sure they left with a gift. So I started with Timber Press and asked if they would consider donating a copy of Debra Lee Baldwins “Succulent Container Gardens,” and they did! So now I was on a roll and not about to stop...what about plants? I should give away some succulents! I contacted Garden Fever, Cistus Design Nursery, Rare Plant Research and Digs Inside & Out…guess what, they all gave me plants for the workshop participants, many of them more than one, everyone knows gardeners are generous people; turns out nursery owners are too! Unfortunately the morning of the workshop I was running around tidying up, cutting lemons for ice water and generally stressing out so I forgot to take a picture of all the plants I had to give away. Dumb me! There were some real treasures (secretly I was hoping maybe a couple people who registered wouldn’t show up and I’d get to keep the leftovers, but that didn’t happen). A big THANK YOU to all that donated…our locally owned Portland Nurseries are the best! The pictures throughout this post are of my garden, taken this weekend. Knowing that other gardeners are going to be wandering through your garden is a great motivator to tidy up! Unfortunately the pictures are posted in a completely random fashion as I didn’t have time to put them in any order. I should also give Mother Nature a little credit for a gorgeous day in the garden, the morning started with clear blue skies and just the slightest breeze, perfect! Later that afternoon Portland finally reached the 90 degree mark (96 to be exact) for the first time this summer! As you might imagine the plants were all lovin the heat. A big thank you to everyone who showed up on Saturday, I only wish that all of you that read my blog could have been here! We could have all squeezed onto the patio, right?


  1. I'm glad it was successful. What generous gifts you received to give to your participants. Your garden is just beautiful.

  2. I'm sure they were just bowled over by your garden. I know I would be and I have only seen the pictures. I 'm sure you inspired every one of them. I'm just thinking how lush and wonderful everything is looking and how sad some of mine are after my horrible abandonment this summer. I have that wonderful book Succulent Container Gardens. I just love looking at the pictures whether or not I can grow them the plants that well. What a great job you did. Well done.

  3. I seriously considered taking the class just to get a look at your garden in summer. It is looking absolutely wonderful. Don't you just love high summer?

    As for the class, I feel sure the participants learned a lot... as organized and focused as your approach is, they would have left with their heads full of knowledge and their hands full of goodies!

  4. Hooray for you, Loree, for taking on such a challenge and then involving your local hort. community to make it a success. I'm sure everyone was thrilled, whether they gave or got. Can you do it again next summer, please, just in case I'm in the area...

  5. What a great day it must have been. Kudos to the donors! Outstanding photos, Loree. I'm sure each and every participant was thrilled to be there!

  6. I really should join the HPSO , sounds like a great day out.

  7. Don't you just love it when a plan comes together.

  8. I was one of the lucky HPSO members that got to see your garden Saturday. I really enjoyed the tips you shared with us and headed right over to Garden Fever for a bag of chicken grit. Thank you Loree!

  9. As everyone has said, I am sure everyone had a great time. And great that people were so willing for supply a few presents for you to distribute.

  10. Loree,
    Your garden would knock the socks off of any gardener, especially ones interested in growing succulents! How generous of Timber press and the nurseries and how thoughtful of you to have procured gifts for your guests! Since there was no report of anyone putting an eye out, the event must have been a huge success due to your beautiful setting, great planning, and knowledge of the subject matter! Good for you!!
    P.S. I'm sure you'll want to bring in a ton of hanging petunia baskets before your next soire:)

  11. How awesome! So glad it was a success (and how very cool that those nurseries donated some goodies)! I love how your patio looks like it is in the middle of an oasis of green...just lovely!

  12. Yeah!!!! LOREE!!! Congratulations and thank you for sharing your knowledge with HPSO members - I'm SURE everyone loved spending the morning with you!

  13. Thanks Deb!

    Darla, speaking of generous gifts thank you SO MUCH for the ones you sent me!

    Lancashire rose, thank you! And I regret not knowing you were passing through Portland otherwise you would have been invited over for a cool beverage on the patio!

    MulchMaid, yes I do love high summer, I feel as if it is a reward for January - March! And you should know you are welcome here anytime, class or no class!!!

    Denise, really? You might be here next summer!? That would be great...and yes just for you I might consider a version two, although I think we would all want to learn from you!

    Grace, did I mention how much I wanted to keep some of the plants!?

    Linda, yes actually you should! Do it before the Fall sale and I think you get a coupon so spend at the sale!

    Les, yes sir!

    Lorrene, next to not taking a photo of the plants my biggest regret was that I got a little overwhelmed when you all showed up and didn't meet everyone personally (just the first few). That was wrong and I regret not having you all introduce yourselves before I started blabbering. I am as horrible at people names as plant names though so who knows if I could have remembered all of you! Thank you for coming.

    Spiky O, I put your blog name on my resource list, maybe you'll be getting a few more readers from Portland!

    Peter, better yet maybe I'll talk about Petunia topiary!!!

    Scott, really we are so spoiled here in Portland with all of our fabulous nurseries!

    Lauren, thank you! I've been thinking of you...hope your summer is going well post birthday month!

  14. Hi Loree, a bit late to the party but glad to hear it went well, and the generosity of nurseries (and timber press)was great. Well done in coming up with the idea of trying to have give aways in the first place :)

    The garden is looking pristine and superb btw!

  15. Congrats on your success! A giveaway was a great idea, but I'm sure everyone would have been delighted with your garden even without it. I bet they learned a lot from you too.

  16. Your garden looks fabulous and I know everyone was inspired! Hopefully you are now brave enough to open for Hardy Plant on
    tour :-)
    I don't know about chicken grit - is it a substitute for pumice?
    Thanks for your dedication to blogging - it's my "portland fix" after moving to Denver 2 years ago.

  17. Extremely belated thanks for sharing your garden on that 90 degree day that now seems like a dim memory.

    I was lucky enough to draw the first raffle ticket, and am very happy with my agave ovatifolia. It seems happy, too. Thank you Cistus, and thank you, Loree.


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