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.