Friday, August 31, 2012

A story of inspiration; a blog, a garden and a stop at Thicket...

Inspiration comes from many different places; this story starts with a visit to Growing with Plants, the blog of Matt Mattus. Specifically it was the post “My Container Motif: Inspired by Galvanized Metal and Black” that got me dreaming. There were several drool-worthy photos in that post…

I pinned a couple to my Pinterest board “sexy plants” and couldn’t stop thinking about the idea of planting up a whole group of containers to carry this color theme that Matt describes as “Galvanized metal, slate, black iron combine with silver and black leaved plants.” After all these are some of my favorite plants and colors!

(these three photo collages are from Matt’s blog…used with his permission)

While I was inspired by Matt’s combinations I hadn’t exactly jumped to emulate them.

Next stop is another Hardy Plant Society of Oregon open garden (a visit which I have not yet posted about) where I saw this collection…

The color scheme took me back to Matt's post and I vowed to do something soon!

However as far as I got was moving my Manfreda undulata ‘Chocolate Chips’ from a shady spot in a yucky container to a much more sunny spot and a lovely chocolate brown container. Hoping that mine will eventually look as good as theirs...

So that’s where my motivation to act stalled. Well, until I visited Thicket again…

My first visit was back in mid-July, they had just opened and I was quite impressed.

Great blog posts at Plantwise, Bell and Star, and Sprig to Twig all tell the tale of this hot new garden shop just off Alberta in NE Portland…I saw no need add my voice to the mix.

But damn! So many fabulous vignettes just begged to be photographed? How could I not oblige?

Inspiration everywhere!

And the plant selection is pretty great too…

How lucky are we here in NE Portland?! We’ve got Garden Fever, Digs, and now Thicket just blocks apart.

I am curious what they’ll morph into come winter. There is only one actual building, seen in the distance here…(on the left)

And again here (also on the left)...

A peek inside the building…

Oh, so back to that inspiration thing…there were several of these small metal containers, three different sizes, all inexpensive. I loved their recycled look and was considering the purchase when it hit me…they’re silver; I could do a small version of the color scheme I had been obsessing about.

I even found a spot in my garden that worked perfect for them, what with the corresponding colors of nearby plants...

I’m not sure how successful I was, but the important thing is I got it out of my system, had fun doing it and these will serve as a visual reminder to sometimes be more intentional in my plant and container pairings. (I'm also pretty excited I learned how to make a photo collage with Picasa, I've missed having Adobe InDesign to play with!)...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Having fun with the Farwest Show

When looking through a catalogue it seems I'm always interested in the thing that's not for sale. The vase on the shelf in a furniture catalogue, the shoes on the model when they actually want me to be looking at the dress, things like that. So naturally when invited to look at the plants in the Farwest Show New Varieties Showcase I couldn't stop taking pictures of these fabulous creations...

Amazing! The dresses were built by Amy Whitworth (landscape designer) and Ann Murphy (OAN). The dress ornamentations were designed by Linda Beutler, Rogerson Clematis Collection.

This one, dubbed "Sunny Girl," was my favorite. They had plant lists available, should you want to recreate this look for yourself...
  • Large-flowered hybrid Clematis seed heads
  • Mullein (Verbascum bombyceferum ‘Artic Summer’
  • Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia x catesbaei)
  • Red Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’)
  • Sedum confusum
  • Other Sedums and Sempervivums

"Shady Mary"

She's wearing a fine gown made of...
  • Alaska Fern
  • Canadian Hemlock
  • Kenilworth Ivy
  • Euonymous ‘Blondy’
  • Hosta cultivars
  • Maidenhair Fern
  • Heavenly Bamboo
  • Thuja ‘Zebrina’
  • Variegated Japanese Forest Grass

The details were perfect, what a talented group of ladies!

This is Eliza – plants (Wooly Thyme and Variegated Creeping Charlie) provided by Little Prince of Oregon Nursery.

She even has a moss covered bow on the back of her dress.

I've taken pictures of the lovely succulent displays at the Proven Winners booth for 3 years running. This year instead of just sticking a single plant in the middle of their succulent covered pillars they got a little creative and planted up a small container.

The tall Kalanchoe in the back has always intrigued me and here it looks fabulous!

Yesterday I shared an overall picture of the T&L Nursery booth but this succulent chair and ottoman deserves special mention. It was very hard to get a photo of, but it looked amazing in person.

In the same booth we have another take on the plants-in-the-table dining experience. I thought their use of terra cotta saucers as plates was a fun touch.

Burl at the Rare Plant Research booth admitted right up front that he should have taken the time to replant these with fuller, happier looking plants. But as a busy small nursery owner he hadn't had the time, still I'm glad he brought them. I thought the use of terra cotta tiles to create different layers of plantings was a good idea.
One I just might "steal" somehow...

I leave you with a question (and an image of Darcy Daniels (Bloomtown Gardens) channeling her inner fairy princess), succulents are enjoying a very long run as the "it" plant...I'm not complaining, I love the increased availability that this popularity allows. But what's next? When do succulents become "yesterday" and what will the new thing be? I'd love to hear your thoughts....