Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It’s time to tour the garden...

Every summer I try and do a comprehensive photo tour of the garden. It’s great for me because it provides a record of the garden each year, and (I hope) helps you get an idea of the overall garden layout, since I tend to focus on close-ups pretty regularly. We’ll start this tour in the front garden, as though you were just stepping out of your car for a visit…

Right away your intrigued by the tetrapanax (or at least I hope you would be) and need to walk over for a closer look...

But then you come around to our driveway to see things from this angle...

Before heading back to the front to get a closer look.

That darn tetrapanax again...

And the north side of our house. I had a visitor comment recently this part of the garden feels noticeably under-planted, when compared to the other parts (which are crammed full). Yes, and it's taken great self control! I want to plant more but our houses are so close in this part of town and I'm trying to be considerate of the neighbors. They shouldn't have to fight back a jungle to get out of their car (right?).

So let's take the same path the mail man does, that's why there's such an expanse of open space here.

This is the area recetnly freed from Bishops Weed and a pair of old Pieris japonica. I am absolutely in love with the Feijoa sellowiana (Pineapple Guava) in the large container (there's another one at the far corner, which you can't see here)...

As well as this combo...

And the Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Nanjing Gold with it's big leaves. It completely hides our a/c unit this time of year!

A final glance back over your shoulder before heading around to the south side of the house...

...and the driveway veggie garden. Right to left the containers are full of rosemary and basil, cucumbers and pole beans (lush...but not a single darn bean), and the stock tank on the far end has a trio of tomatoes.

The Agave weberi had almost disappeared under a mass of ginger-mint, but I cut it back a week or so ago.

The large black container, on the far left, also holds a tomato plant.

I'm very disappointed in my tomatoes this year. Such silly short little plants (2 out of 3 in this container). Thankfully several friends have been unloading their extra tomatoes on us so we're not going without.

Okay time to enter our private paradise, the back garden...

On your left Fatsia polycarpa 'Needham's Lace'...

On your right a "totally wrong for the spot but I'm loving it as long as it's alive" Acacia pravissima. It's grown at least 3-feet this year alone...

Let's just walk straight down to the patio, we can come back and look at the rest of the garden later.

It's tempting to head over to the shade pavilion, but since it's such an over cast day (all the better for photogrphy) let's not.

After all there's so much to see on the patio!

I was seriously considering a post called "overplanted" and shots like this would have been included. I am afraid I've got to start editing or else I'll be losing some of these!

The Gunnera (big leaves, dead center) hasn't put on a lot of growth this year, but what it has produced has managed to stay green and upright (instead of crispy brown and flopped over) so I'm thankful for that.

Ready to check out the upper garden?

Ya, that's a lot of plants crammed in a small space, I know.

The Trachycarpus fortunei is starting to look like it just might become a real palm (you know, with some height)...I hope so! (and look, the sun is starting to break through the clouds).

Those large bright green leaves to the left of the orange circle pot belong to Bocconia frutescens (Tree Poppy).

As do these fabulous little berries.

Looking towards the back of the house and the new area planted up just this spring.

Of course it's already becoming a mashed together riot of plants...and such is my garden! Thanks for coming along on the tour! (the end)

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

43 comments:

  1. I don't even know where to begin so I'll be brief: I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR GARDEN. The shapes, the textures, the colors, the unexpected juxtapositions. All so beautiful and exciting. I could lose myself in it. And since you took these photos on an overcast day, they look truly three-dimensional--it's as if I could step right through my monitor into your garden.

    And does your garden always look this pristine or did you do some major cleaning just for this photo shoot? I'm so envious. My garden is full of leaves, spiderwebs, what have you.

    And finally, is the slope in your front yard really as steep as the third and fourth photo suggest?

    I must plan a trip to Portland this fall to visit you and see your garden in person.

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    1. Thank you Gerhard, and I would love to see you in Portland this fall! (next summer for the Fling too).

      I'm thrilled you think it looks pristine, as I didn't do a clean up before taking the pictures. I knew I'd get better shots if I took advantage of an overcast morning and decided to just do it and hope you couldn't see the messes, I guess it worked! Regarding the slope,yes, it is. I took a couple of other shots I didn't use that made it look almost flat, and that strip next to the sidewalk where there are few plants looked huge (when in reality it's not). The slope is hard to accurately capture but works well for allowing the plants to be seen well, like bleachers for plants!

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  2. Thanks for the tour! Everything still looks so lush. I have some crispy spots, and still plenty of soil showing. But I really should do a similar post. I'm jealous of your big Gunnera leaves. And your pots are all so colorful and stylish. A lot of my Agaves and other succulents are still in plastic nursery pots. It's so hard to choose what to plant them in, and I'm not sure how matchy-matchy I want to be.

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    1. I spent a good deal of time yesterday pulling out crispy things which were there but you just don't notice in the photos. I hope you will do a similar post!

      I've been collecting containers for years, but try to stick to a few common colors so it's not too crazy and out of hand. The oranges are tricky because in "real life" they all go together much better than when photographed, when some of them look really red!

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  3. What a fabulous garden. I really love the tetrapanax. Wish I could grow that here. So many unusual and interesting plants. I love the orange and chartreuse pots in the back gardens. They provide such a great pop of color. Many thanks for taking the time to take us on your tour! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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    1. I wish you could too...it's a fabulous plant (well as long as the indumentum doesn't get in your eyes). Thank you for coming along, I wish you could be here in person!

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  4. Ooooh, things are looking lush for August! I love the contrast of your Chocolate (umm, albizia julibrissin?) to all the green. And what is that yummy orange-tinged something (aloe? agave?) in the square metal pot on the left side of the shot of the rectangular pots on the east side of the patio - gorgeous!

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    1. I think you're asking about the Fire Ranch Aloe (A. vaotsanda x divaricata). I bought that years ago at the Smith & Hawken closing sale, poor thing has been in that container ever since.

      I'm loving the Albizia Julibrissin too, just hoping it feels no need to bloom anytime soon...

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  5. I always enjoy a Danger Garden tour, especially when I can't be there in person. Lots of changes since I visited two years ago!

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    1. There have been a lot of changes, and it's hard to believe it was just 2 years ago...it seems longer!

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  6. how beautiful!!! we are planning to get rid of our lawn in the backyard and your tour is tempting me more so with all the interesting plants, leaves and colors! do u have a garden tour (in person :) ) planned for this year??

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    1. Bye bye lawn! I love the little patch we've kept (everything used to be lawn...front and back even where the patio is) but yes interesting plants are so much better, do it! Sorry no in person tours planned for this year. Sounds odd to say since photos are all over the internet but we're actually pretty private people.

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  7. Nice tour! It's always fun to get the whole layout from time to time and especially nice to see the newly reworked areas front and back in context. It's been a while since we've seen all those containers in one post too.

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    1. The containers do look more numerous when all posted like this. It kind of scares me, cause as you know come fall they all (or most rather) get moved!

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  8. You have an artist's eyes, exquisite plant lust, and magnificent execution. It's a pleasure knowing you, Ma'am.

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  9. I love how your new beds look like they've always been there. Everything looks amazing! Brava, lady.

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    1. Ah that's a huge compliment, thank you. For a bit they were bothering me because everything seemed too small (like they screamed "new!") but thankfully everything has really taken off.

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  10. WOW! WOW! WOW! It gets more beautiful every time I see it. Your evolving garden is an inspiration! You've so successfully combined your great design/color sense with your healthy plant lust. Your garden is not overplanted, it's planted with the exuberance of a plant addict. Love every inch of your place but especially your private paradise! Thanks for sharing your garden joys and frustrations with us all for nearly five (can it have been that long?) years now!

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    1. Four and a half years, hard to believe huh? Thank you for the kind words and I'm going to start using the phrase "planted with exuberance"...I like it!

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  11. Great photo tour Loree.

    Your back garden has one of the highest plant per square metre values I have ever seen! ;)

    You have such a lovely well-balanced collection of plants.

    What are you going to do when they all double in size? :eeek:

    One thing that I would love to do is join you on your patio one warm summer's evening for a drink and talk about your garden and the many gardens and nurseries you have visited. That would be a great evening I reckon!

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    1. "highest plant per square metre values I have ever seen"...oh my! And just wait until the privet comes out next spring and I get to plant up that area.

      As for the double in size part, some will have to be removed for sure...

      I really do wish you could join me on the patio, that would be a lot of fun!

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  12. So many lovely plants. Particularly like the 3 agaves (guessing parryi) in the silver pot on the patio.

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    1. Yes those are 'parryi'...see the 2 in the green pot to the right front of that one? Those used to be in there too, I pulled them out this spring. When I first planted all 7 in there I added some sempervivum to help fill up the empty space. My how they've grown!

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  13. Thank you for posting the wide shots...I love seeing how everything falls into place/relates to one another...and I admire your restraint in allowing space for your neighbors...you are a stronger gardener than I ;-)

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    1. It probably helps that I don't see that side of the house all that often, so I can forget how much usable space I'm letting go to waste!

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  14. fifi la fontaineAugust 21, 2013

    Drool,drool,drool! So fabulous. It helps so much to see these pics because I am having trouble composing things in my yard. I've ripped all the ungainly overgrown photinias out and now suddenly there's so much more space. Yikes. Thanks for the tour!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it fifi, and how hand that you've got more space right when there's a 30% off sale at Cistus!

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  15. I love the restraint you have used (up) in collecting pots with a limited palette. All restraint then goes out the window when it comes to plants. I can still see way too much bare ground here. Guess I will just have to accept that things will need to be moved around as they begin to crowd one another and start cramming. Sure works for you.

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    1. Since about 20 of my garden would fit in yours it definitely calls for a different approach. You've got so much space!!!

      Let's just hope I'm not fooling myself with the notion I can keep things under control with my move it, trim it, loose it (eventually) approach. There might come the day I surrender and beg for help...

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  16. What a wonderful tour of your garden Loree, its looking so beautiful and definitely at its prime! A plantsmans paradise!

    As you enter the private area where the lawn is I like the colour pop of orange provided by the pots, and then echoed by the shade pavilion. Very stylish placement of bright colours :)

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    1. Thank you...I still want some height in the upper garden (more of an enclosed feel) but I'm liking it more and more. I'm also bracing myself for the shock I'll feel when the privet goes away. Talk about doing the opposite of increasing the enclosed feel!

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  17. Wonderful tour of your gardens and so many plants in pots. The front garden is beautiful.

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  18. I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog since I came across it several weeks ago. I look forward each day to the inspiration it provides. I especially loved seeing your whole garden today. It is beautiful. Your patio and walkway are exactly what I was looking for, but unable to find. Did you find the squares as pavers or did you pour them, they appear to be concrete, that is what I had in mind. I hope you don't mind the inquiry, I absolutely love the look you achieved and the diverse selection of plants you incorporated.

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    1. I never mind an inquiry like this and please always feel free to ask about anything! The slabs (24" x 24" concrete and heavy at 90 lbs each) came from Mutual Materials, they've got several locations in the Pacific Northwest.

      Thanks saying the blog inspires, I love hearing that!!!

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  19. I think if this was my garden I would be perfectly content. I love the shot looking towards the closed umbrella. All is neatness and order. And everything is in tip top shape. Have you ever counted the number of plants you have? It is a collection but admirably displayed. Surely we will see your garden next year!

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    1. Knowing what a gorgeous garden you've created that is a huge compliment, thank you! No counting allowed, I think it would terrify me...

      I'm starting to come to terms with the idea that my garden might be part of the Fling next year...so yes Jenny, if you come to Portland!

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  20. wow!! have I ever said to you that I LOVE your garden?? naa, I don't think so, hehe. Your garden is one of the most amazing gardens I've ever seen and I enjoy so much when you put pictures of it... everything is so lush and pretty. Thanks for sharing. I feel like I'm always flattering but I never find other things to say as everything is so interesting and beautiful. i hope you wont get tired of flatters, hehehe.

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    1. How could one ever get tired of comments like this? Seriously, thank you Lisa. I'd love to have you here in person someday...

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    2. Thanks Loree! that would be awesome...

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  21. Fabulous! thank you for the tour, you have lots of beautiful plants!

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    1. Thank you Clive, as do you...of course.

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  22. Loree - your garden is nothing short of amazing, and the plants fabulous, but as a color gal I really have to complement you on that orange shade pavilion and the pops of color the orange pots provide. They lift all those blue agaves, yuccas etc., up even more, and kicks it all up another few notches. Ingenious, and absolutely delicious - all against the luscious dark brown of the house! I truly hope to see it all in person some day.

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