Monday, November 14, 2011

Another neighborhood walk-about

Last Thursday was gorgeous here in Portland…sunny skies and a warm (in the sun) 60 degrees. Naturally this called for a long afternoon walk, and I wasn’t the only one that felt that way, I saw more people out on the sidewalks than I had in months!

I thought this was a great inexpensive way to protect your (small) tender plants. They simply cut the bottom out of a black plastic pot (who doesn’t have plenty of those), set the pot over the plant and then stuffed it full of leaves. While it’s not the most attractive thing it also is relatively inoffensive. I have always wondered what the story is with this house. Why would you place your home so far back from the street? There is no backyard, everything is out front. Just a big ole unused patch of lawn.

This house however has always been a favorite, small but so cute in a “cottage-y” way. Something here is not like the others… Another one of the things I covet as I walk around the neighborhood. The Airstream? Yes. But also the cement blocks! You just don’t find great geometric shapes like that anymore. Someone who loves ornamental grasses lives here! I counted 6 different types, and there were multiples of each. I call this one “buzz cut with tuna cans” Eventually I ended up here, a garden many of you will recognize from past visits. There have been a lot of changes in the garden…new plants, more rocks…and as always I’m loving it. Of course there is plenty of spiky danger, like this Cylindropuntia just inches from the sidewalk... Agaves And spiky pointy bits… Oh pointy! That reminds me to tell you about the makelike design Pointy Poster! Isn’t it fabulous? The person behind this spiky garden is also one of the creative individuals at makelike design, the company behind this limited edition “pointy” poster available from Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Company. You can see the corner of the poster in the upper right hand corner of this shot... (Yes that’s a strategically placed link designed get you to check out the new Schoolhouse website, why? Because my husband is the Operations Manager at Schoolhouse and I’m very proud of him, and excited about what they’re up to) Walking on…such a happy Lewisia! And big red berries. This neighbor has the happiest Euphorbia rigida in town. I’ll be watching and if these live through the winter I’ll be ready to try them again next year. It just breaks my heart that my plant died. Same neighbors lovely succulents. I must have walked by these dusty blue/silver leaves countless times but never noticed them until today. Poncirus trifoliata I love this concrete block house and think it’s wonderful that it’s managed to escape the paintbrush since it was built in 1949. I’ve never actually seen them in the act of trimming their Horsetail Rush but they must do it quite often. It doesn’t naturally grow in such a flat even way… Back home I take a peek in the back garden…I mowed the lawn yesterday, maybe for the last time this year? And the patio looks so empty without all the containers…it’s probably time to put the wooden furniture under cover too, not many more 60 degree sunny days left this year.


  1. Is there a gardener out there who doesn't give a critique of or a comment about a garden as they walk by. I certainly do. Do you think the horsetail is real? You need to sneak up there one day and check it out. Incredible how you grow those succulents in such a wet climate, although maybe you aren't as wet as I think. Your garden is lovely. I can see you are like Ms Digging and you don't allow all those little germinators any room. I on the other hand.....

  2. Such a sharp eye you have for cool garden sites in your neighborhood. Like you, I would take both the Airstream and the CMUs if offered. Love the new wares of all types from Schoolhouse - the Egg Press lampshades were featured on Design Sponge (I think) last week, too. Those dusty silver leaves almost look like young sage seeedlings, but are likely something a bit more choice!

  3. I think I'll take a walk in your neighborhood one of these days...but then you always seem to come up with great plants that I have missed at the sales, so maybe I'll just let you do the walking.

  4. I've had euphorbia rigida in my garden for the last 3 years. Sometimes it gets a bit sloppy and I chop it back a bit and it flushed out. Great photos!

  5. A very enjoyable stroll round your neighbourhood. I envy you your milder winters. All those succulents! We might have to wrassle you over who gets the Airstream.

  6. What a pleasant stroll around your neighbourhood, and thanks for taking us along again! I find it fascinating thinking about the individual personalities that live within each houses, and how they come about choosing the look of each particular again. The house that's set back looks like a person that likes extra seclusion. And those geometric bricks, it seems most of them have been banished as too retro but I bet they will make a comeback :)

  7. Lovely walk, I still believe your garden/yard is the prettiest in your neighborhood!

  8. I love these "sidewalk" fascinating to see all the different styles around PDX. Of course, I love the cottagey charming...and, of course, the grasses!

  9. Lancashire rose, yes the horsetail is real. It used to be much more sparse and I've watched it fill in over the years. Plus there was the time it was vandalized and I followed a trail of it down the street (Grrr!). As for the succulent (I think it's Sedum palmeri - for the life of me I couldn't remember that name when I was writing the post!) I've got a couple of them too, and lost others last winter. Sedum are tough! And yes, we are that wet.

    MulchMaid, I think they've got the Airstream set up as a guest room, or maybe an office. I love that it's used rather than just sitting there. Glad you noticed the Schoolhouse blurb on Design Sponge! Grace has been a big supporter of Schoolhouse for years, love that!

    ricki, and it seems you noticed a lot of Mississippi Ave cool spots that I miss!

    Nat, good to know! I thought mine was going to make a rebound late this spring but then it literally just disappeared!

    Helen, I need to appreciate our mild weather more, instead of just pining away for Southern California weather!

    Mark and Gaz, I felt the same way about the "way back" house...but then why don't they plant a bunch of trees or evergreen shrubs out front? They are secluded but yet exposed. It's a mystery.

    Darla, you are very kind!

    Scott, ah yes...of course I thought of you when I saw the grasses. Knowing it wasn't your house I wondered if it wasn't a co-worker whom had been influenced by you and your grass loving ways.


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