Friday, May 18, 2012

Look at those leaves! (s c r e e c h…she slams on the brakes)...


Does it make me an unsafe driver that I’m usually scanning the yards of the houses I drive by? Often when I mention a remarkable plant on my husband’s usual path to and from work it turns out he won’t have noticed it. When I sound surprised he’ll remind me that he was driving, you know “eyes on the road” …pshaw I say! Didn’t we all learn in drivers ed the importance of scanning? You know, to watch for kids with soccer balls emerging between parked cars, anyway….I digress…look at those leaves!

Somehow the camera reduces their impact; in “real life” they seemed so much bigger.

I believe they’re Petasites japonicas…and I love them. In fact the whole garden was pretty sweet. No lawn to go dormant over the summer and turn golden, just lots of plants (I wish even more Portlanders would go this route).

36 comments:

  1. Amazing....love those...and that garden is fabulous! I was at a restaurant in SW recently where they had a huge patch of Petasites in front...although I don't think they were quite that big.

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    1. I should have probably tried to get better overall shots of the garden but there was guy in there tearing out kitchen cabinets and I wasn't in a mood to answer questions about why I was taking pictures of the house.

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  2. Be afraid, be very afraid...

    Is this one of those naughty Petasites that likes to run, or should I say sprint everywhere?

    The rest of the garden is cool as well. Good mix of colour, shape and form. I actually like a lawn and they never go summer dormant over here in Scotland, drowning or being choked to death by moss is a more common problem here! LOL

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    1. Damn, beaten to first spot on your blog yet again, grrr! lol

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    2. Once upon a time I had the variegated version of Petasites growing behind the Bamboo stock tanks in the back garden. I didn't realize how much water they needed so I let them eventually die away but before then, WOW! Those babies could cover some ground!

      I'm with you on liking a patch of lawn...it just gets boring when that's all you see. Especially because around here the are gold from June (or late May) through November...UGLY! See that's a climate advantage you do have!

      (haha, I had no idea there was a competition!)

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    3. You make me smile Loree in a good way :)

      The story about being "firsty" on a blog/forum, for me, comes from watching the series "Lost". I loved Lost, it brought together so many things I would love to have in a tv show and delivered it.

      I religiously watched each episode of Lost and then in early season 5 I discovered www.avforums.com and they had a really good blog and subsequent discussion of each episode afterwards and I learned so much it was great.

      You guys in the US used to view it a few days before us in the UK and I used to discipline myself to wait those few days, watch the programme and then read the comments. There were a lot of regular contributors who added a lot to the post-show digest and towards the end I could see that there was a competition about who could post first.

      So that's my honest answer about this "firsty" thing ;)

      PS. The weather models are now saying that we are due a BIG weather pattern change and it is due to settle down. Hooray!

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    4. Oh very fun, thank you for the back story! I'm sure I would have loved Lost has I gotten in at the beginning and remembered to watch it every week. As it was I never did...I'm not a very good TV watcher.

      Yay for your new weather...hope it is grand!

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  3. Beautiful! I had that planted at my former garden, in a wet spot. It took over, they love the wet! I wonder how they look in August? That is a great looking garden.

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    1. I'll try and do a drive by and see what August brings, I'd guess maybe they let them die back but to have an established huge clump like that it kinda seems like they're taking care of them.

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  4. WOW. I always scan people's yards while I'm driving, too. What if a child was hiding behind that plant? Thank god you were looking at it!

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    1. I appreciate that you understand the importance of being aware of your surroundings. You probably aced drivers ed.

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    2. You saw me run over your neighbor's lawn and then almost hit your house, so I'll assume you're joking. ;)

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  5. Yes! those are so very beautiful. And I so understand the screech! I agree with you, scanning is important! you never know when a beautiful plant ... I mean soccer ball is going to jump out in front of you. Here's another one for you, "I'm just testing the brakes." Then again, whats the point in pretending.

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    1. Ya especially when I then get out of the car with my camera.

      My mom and I were in SF for a vaca several years back and I drove around taking pictures of houses and gardens for an hour or so. I thought she was totally into it but later heard she complained to my dad about how boring that was and we could have been doing something else...some people just don't get it!

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  6. Portland has the nicest looking gardens! Great find. Like the house, too.

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    1. You're right of course...there are many. I probably shouldn't complain about the ones that still believe turf is the way to go...

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    2. I think we have many more lawn-only properties than you do.

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  7. Lovely garden, I can see why you would stop for that one.

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    1. Glad to hear you agree.

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    2. p.s. even there though there isn't anything spiky there...

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  8. I hear you on that foliage, but I can tell by the size of the windows, you are not joking on the size of that foliage! Not bad, considering there are no agaves, opuntias, etc...

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    1. Oh yes...way to use other elements for scale, you've done this before!

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  9. Great post! I am continually amazed by the number of gorgeous plants that go unnoticed on the college campus where I work and people are WALKING!!!

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    1. Exactly...so many people have no desire to plug into the natural world around them.

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  10. My wife is unsympathetic also. I have to bribe her to stop so I can take a photo.

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    1. Good that you've figured out how to get your way!

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  11. I have been abusing my iPhone like crazy on my walks. If I walked 15 miles so far this week you can only imagine. It's really bad. This has allowed me at least to become a slightly safer driver since now I walk back to see whatever it was I saw from the driver's seat while flying past. Oh, what is wrong with us...

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    1. 15 miles!? Good job! I've taken a few pics with the iPhone and ended up not loving them. My camera isn't anything fancy but I'm finding it's still better than the iPhone.

      Wrong? What? Nothing is wrong...we are right!

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  12. That's a beautiful yard. Looks good with the rock, a nice contrast to the plants.

    I'm terrible about gawking at plants instead of watching the road, so I don't go far, lest I get into an accident. Dear Husband is so patient about pulling over so I can take photos.

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    1. Yay for patient husbands...aren't they the best?

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  13. That's a very well maintained 'clump' of Petasites, and the entire garden looks really lovely too! The rhizomes are superficial enough to easily keep it in check but has to be done regularly so it won't colonise beyond control.

    I think that garden is very much worth a side glance whilst driving. Even better you stopped to take photos :)

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    1. This is good news (easy to keep in check) because I love those leaves and would like to grow this plant again some day.

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  14. Beats the people in movies who are always having long conversations (with eye contact) while supposedly driving down the road. I would feel safer with you.

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    1. Ah yes...that does drive (hehe) me crazy. I also love the ones who are headed down a straight road but the whole time they are moving their hands on the wheel as though to emphasize that they are indeed "driving"...

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  15. I always keep my eyes on the road while driving ;) I never stop to take a peek or sneak photos ;) ;) And never have a asked people about their yards or to take photos of it :) OK... maybe once or twice. It's kind of thrilling to get the courage up to talk to people though! Danger garden, you are my hero! And I'm yearning to plant up our yard like this. We're on a hill on a very busy street and I want to reverse our garden - plants on the hill and grass on the flat part. It'd be so nice to have a secret yard to have a picnic in.

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