Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The 9th Annual Designers Garden Tour from the ANLD...

Last week I joined fellow garden writers and designers, for a pre-tour of the ANLD Garden Tour. I wonder, do other cities have the same wealth of opportunities to explore gardens that we do here in Portland? The HPSO publishes a book for members of each other’s open gardens, there’s the Garden Conservancy Tour, and it seems 2 or 3 sponsored tours (like this one) almost every weekend!

This tour features 7 gardens designed by members of the Association of Northwest Landscape Designers (and in at least one case the designer is the homeowner). Some are gardens for gardeners; some are gardens for homeowners who just want a place to spend time outdoors, but all of them had design ideas worth "stealing." Below are a few of my favorite ideas, take the tour (this Saturday the 22nd of June, tickets available here) to discover your own favorites...

We started at the The Common Ground Garden, home to local personality Vern Nelson ("professional photographer, illustrator, and garden columnist, (who) has been educating Oregonians for almost 25 years"). I loved the raised planters in this garden, they were about 70% wood with the remaining 30% (a corner, or more), of concrete. However en-route to take a photo of the planters I saw people I knew and started chatting, and stopped snapping. I did however get a couple shots of this patio and path. Talk about personality! I got the feeling it had been built over time, as new (old) materials were available.

The Floramagoria Garden was next on our route. This garden is one I visited last year as part of the HPSO Open Gardens program. I believe you could visit this garden every week and see something new, but as it was the owners and designer Laura Crockett have changed things up a bit since my last visit...they added a semi-enclosed room. I like this particular photo because you can see the mash-up of old distressed wood and rusty metal with new blue glass(?). I love it! A mix of unexpected materials can be a very good thing.

Here's the room from the other side...

An other idea I'd steal if I could afford it are the different colored walls layered throughout this garden.

They add structure and a feeling of repetition (even though they are different colors) which counterbalances the crazy collectors plant palette...

Green, blue, orange...they all work well together. I'd love to see this garden in the winter, the walls must be at center stage after many of the plants have died back for the season.

Also part of the Floramagoria Garden this narrow side yard takes advantage of it's exposure to become a vegetable garden. These days people are squeezing veggies in where ever they can, this one follows the same idea as my driveway veggie patch but looks oh so much better!

An Elemental Garden (Lori Scott, designer) featured this succulent planting on a pedestal (which I believe is actually a tall container topped with a cement square). The interesting thing is it's hidden from the street by that partial wall (which  I think would make a nice fence pattern too).

It's a view only for people coming and going from the house...

The same garden utilized concrete slabs surrounded by ground-cover to ease the transition from patio to the lawn beyond (where I'm standing to take the photo). I did this (on a much smaller, less grand scale) in my last garden and loved it.

You can guess what caught my eye at the Cedar Mill Garden (Debbie Brookes, designer)..

I love the yellow sail/awning, so much nicer than a wooden or plastic roof over the deck.

I believe the homeowners said it was cleaned once a year by the company that did the installation, and just recently had been completely taken down for an additional thorough cleaning...

Under the sail was an outdoor kitchen that put my indoor one to shame. I was particularly enamored with this material...

Moving on...we enjoyed lunch in the Pequeno Paraiso Garden (Izzy Baptista, designer). You know you're in a large garden when 50ish people can stop to eat and not be the slightest bit crowded. I appreciated how a casual sidewalk of gravel was put in where there would have not otherwise been one. I'm sure walkers in the neighborhood (where there are no sidewalks) appreciate it too.

The rusty planter box caught my eye first, but then I noticed the vine trailing down from above.

Love this! The passion flower is growing along a thin wire threaded through eye hooks....

Have a tight space but need a little something keep the soil back from a small basement window? How about half a planting container?

The final idea I want to share from this garden is this small drainage screen in front of a side door. Such a simple thing done well, and yes in fact it had rained while we were in the garden. Fortunately not enough to see how the water flowed into the drain.

Now were at the Plant Passion Garden (designer and homeowner Adriana Berry). This garden was on a much smaller lot than the previous ones and obviously belonged to a plant lover.

Here paving slabs are surrounded by Leptinella x 'Platt's Black' to take you around the side of the house to the back garden, where the action is.

There were so many things here I wish I could do in my garden. I love the metal edging and planters surrounded by different sized and colored gravel. I was also instantly drawn to the focal point at the end. Do you see it? No not the eucalyptus tree, although it's lovely too...

It only got better the closer I got.

Look at this combination! The colors, leaf shapes, texture. I swoon, and swoon again.

Another look at the metal edges and tidy lines...

The final garden of the tour was the Leon Garden (designed by Alyse Lansing, staff designer at Joy Creek Nursery). This was the smallest garden of the tour but the remarkable thing was I'd been in the garden for awhile before I became aware there were taller buildings all around me looking down on me.

Alyse, the designer, said the homeowners paid her a huge compliment when they said they actually spent time outdoors now, something they hadn't previously done. This garden serves as a fine example of how to make a space feel private when it's anything but.

So that's my quick tour of the 7 gardens which make up this years Designers Garden Tour. Once again the tour is this Saturday, the 22nd of June. For more information here's the link.

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

30 comments:

  1. You did such a nice job of synthesizing the tour. You caught so many nice details that I missed--I think I was too distracted by that Blue Glow.

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    1. Agaves will do that to a person, trust me...I've been there.

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  2. Wow, what a fabulous taster of some fine gardens there. And yes you're right, you can 'steal' several ideas there...

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    1. I wanted to say borrow rather than steal but since we won't be giving them back I went with steal...

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  3. Great gardens. It is always good to see well designed gardens that you can take insperation from.

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    1. Indeed! And I will never tire of spying on other peoples backyards.

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  4. So many great gardens and gems to be found there! The winding pathway through the Pequeno Paraiso Garden with the mexican feather grass is such a wonderful idea and gesture! That has struck me as one of the most wonderful things I have seen in quite some time. And the casual feel provided by the grasses certainly adds to the effect. And I'm with you on those clean lines and gravel with metal edges. Stunning!

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    1. Do you have any mexican feather grass in your garden Louis? I'm finally starting to see the babies popping up here and there from mine and my neighbors plants. I'm taking a page from my plant lust partner Patricia's book and just pulling and replanting where I want them.

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  5. You are lucky to have so many fantastic gardens available to tour and steal ideas from! While I know we have a many interesting gardens in San Antonio, it is rare to see them on tour and even rarer to have the collection of quality you showed on this preview.

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    1. I thought of you when I was writing up this post, and all the wonderful gardens you've toured. Quite a few!

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  6. What a compendium of ideas. Loved the mixed paving!

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    1. Just think of all the fun things you could work in there!

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  7. So many great ideas here! I love that succulent bowl on top of the pedestal, which is really another container with a cement top, that's brilliant. I know there are nowhere near as many garden tours in New England as we have here in the PNW. You probably know from reading mine and Peter's blogs that there are way more garden tours than anyone can keep up with here in the Seattle/Tacoma area.

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    1. And we all thank you guys for taking us along with you, on the ones you do make it to.

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  8. I can't imagine a garden tour opportunity every weekend! These are all incredible. They are all wonderful. That awning! wow

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    1. And they used such a happy color too, guaranteed to brighten up even the grayest Portland winter.

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  9. We have a similar embarrassment of riches up this way. We have to choose which tours we can and cannot attend! I particularly liked the creative path/patio in the first garden and everything in the second garden that you've featured before. I'm in love with that one and want to move there. Do you think the owners would mind? Lots of great stuff in all the gardens and that new structure with the blue glass wall is pretty swell! Thanks for the teaser!

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    1. The owners seem like great guys and I bet they'd be okay with it as long as you dressed to match the color scheme.

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  10. I was sorry I had to pass up the pre-tour, but after this delightful taste, I know I'll be loving the "official" tour all the more!

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    1. Glad to hear you'll get to see it Jane, and the weather (so far at least) looks to be good on Saturday!

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  11. I'm amazed at all the things you showed that I totally missed!

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    1. Are you big picture while I'm details?

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  12. In answer to your first question, my locale definitely does NOT offer garden tours on par with Portland's. Local tours (which are mostly pricey to begin with) tend to focus more on architecture and less on gardens. I haven't seen the same level of creativity and innovation in garden design down this way either. People like to say that SoCal is a gardener's paradise but I'd say that honor should go to Portland. Thanks for the tour highlights!

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    1. Oh Kris, I'm sorry your region isn't giving you the tour possibilities, and I wish I had more time to take advantage of our riches!

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  13. Wonderful synopsis. It seemed to me that leptinella growing around pavers, tall dramatic pots (often in threes along a narrow pathway) & veggie gardens tucked in somewhere were unifying themes.

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  14. As a rust hound, this post made me salivate! So exuberantly fun! And the yellow sail and the colorful walls are to die for. Thanks Loree for a great post!

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  15. That shade is to die for!

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  16. Fantastic preview! I just came from Scott's preview post and am sold on several of these gardens. But your post shows other features and perspectives, making me wish even more that I could be there for the tour.

    To answer your question, Austin is also blessed with an abundance of garden tours. But if you have 2-3 such tours each weekend, well, then Portland wins, hands down. I'm envious!

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  17. Wow! Wish I could have gone to this. Looks amazing!

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  18. These are great! Mind if I snag a few pics for personal use? I really need to get to work on one side of the house. Lots of ideas here. Thanks for posting!

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