Thursday, October 18, 2012

Go by train...

I really appreciate a city that puts its best horticultural foot forward for arriving visitors, whether they come via airplane, or train. Back in 2006, when we walked off the train in Florence, Italy, seeing this beautiful clump of Palm trees certainly put a smile on my face (although I was in Italy after all, practically everything put a smile on my face!).

When we arrived at the Kew Gardens stop in London these Phormium along with the Palms certainly set the tone for our adventure.

Perhaps these palms just outside the Portland train station do the same for folks arriving here?

Up until last week the only time I’d spent at Union Station was when quickly I’d dropped off and picked up a couple of traveling friends. However after a conversation with Sean Hogan about the plants in the landscape here (yes, this is a Cistus installation) I knew I needed to check it out, up close.

Like the Cordylines in my garden these (on the right) had achieved considerable height, before being knocked back by a cold hard winter. And again, like mine, these have resprouted from the ground and are once again gaining stature although now they’re multi-trunked.

Fall blooming Yucca have a special place in my heart.

As do Yucca rostrata (of course)...

I wonder if the Boxwood (along with the short decorative fence) is a calculated ne'er-do-well blocker?

This Y. rostrata is achieving some height! Does anyone know what the silver/grey leaved pants next to and in front of it are? When Jane posted about the Union Station plantings in February of 2011 I believe she thought they might be an Echium of some sort, and I agreed. But now when the leaves aren't shriveled up by the cold they look different.

More multi-trunked Cordylines...

And lest you think it's all about the foliage there are flowers too!

Beautiful blushing-buttery Cannas

Colchicum

And yes, there are Roses, this is Portland after all...

So while our train service here in the U.S. certainly can't compare to what I've experienced in Italy and England at least when you arrive in Portland you're greeted with garden style!

19 comments:

  1. I honestly thought every town had a pretty train station like Portland. Then I rode into Seattle and got the shock of my life. We are very, very lucky.

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    1. You know even though I lived within a few miles of the Seattle train station for years I've never had reason to go there. Too bad it's not a better welcome to such a beautiful city.

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  2. That is stunning! Looks like a planting after my own heart. I can't wait to meet mr Sean Hogan one of these days!!! Again you are enticing me down to Portland!

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    1. I'd say you should take the train from Vancouver (one of the better routes I hear) down to Portland but then you would be loosing out on the ability to take a back a car full of plants!

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  3. It says a lot about a town/destination when they bother to landscape their local train station. The planting at Union Station beats the other two hands down I must say!

    Hopefully no more nasty winters that can cut down cordylines. Those multi trunked specimens (and yours) will look even better than the original plant in the years to come.

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    1. Your right of course about the Cordy's. And silly me went and planted around line not realizing they would someday come back in force.

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  4. The silver plant you thought might be an Echium is probably "Stock Flower" - Matthiola incana. Matthiola has long seed pods and silvery foliage.

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    1. Well everyone agrees on the fact that it's Stock, a Matthiola of some sort, and I do see those long seed pods. Thank you for commenting Matthew, I'm glad to learn of another Portland garden blogger!

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  5. I do know what that silver/grey leaved pant is next to the Rostrata - Mattholia fruticulosa, from Xera no less! It's related to stock and has clear white flowers. I bought one this summer and just stuck it in the ground in a holding-position. I nearly lost it twice due to heat waves and moving it around to different holding places in the yard (it was an impulse buy and still doesn't have a permanent spot). I'm happy to see a picture of how it will look someday. And more importantly, I'm happy to see that it is a chosen-Cistus-installation plant.

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    1. Perhaps you should consider planting it near your Y. rostrata? They look great together!

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  6. The plantings look so much more lush right now, even after their dry summer. And it's interesting to see how some of the plants have gained size just in a year-plus since my post. I kind of like the boxwood parterre effect for a public place like this. But the funny little fence? Maybe it's protecting the plantings from suitcases being dragged behind oblivious travelers...

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    1. I thought they looked a lot larger too Jane, and I think you're right about the fence. I saw several oblivious people slam their bags into it. Of course I also saw someone put a (way too heavy) bag down on top of the Boxwood...

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  7. The Portland train station is gorgeous! Ours is not so lovely as they use our restored and beautiful Union Station is used as a federal courthouse while the train station is now a less than wonderful place.

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    1. Really? I always assumed that beautiful building was the train station!

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  8. Your silver foliage plant looks more like a Matthiola arborescens otherwise known as a tree stock. I got one last autumn and successfully overwintered it in an unheated greenhouse. Has the statue of a euphorbia with sweetly scented flowers in spring & summer. Hear it grows easily from seed. Thanks for letting me tag along on your overseas visit.

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    1. I am still not sure how I feel about this "Stock" revelation. I am really attracted to the plants but the idea of such an old lady flower...I just don't know!

      (looking forward to your Huntington Gardens post!)

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  9. This is slightly off topic for garden bloggers but if your train service is worse than the over priced and over crowded shambles that we experience in the UK then I am worried for the people of Portland!

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  10. Train stations always project an aura of romance for me...glad to see ours being well taken care of.

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