Monday, September 30, 2013

The Garden of Sampson and Beasley (it’s a real place!)

I’ve been a fan of Pink Martini since seeing them perform at Seattle’s Crocodile Cafe in the late 90’s and yes, I do own everyone of their cd’s. I’d always assumed the garden in “The Gardens of Sampson & Beasley” (click on the link to listen) was a fantasy, or maybe a combination of several real gardens along with a bit of poetic license. So imagine my surprise when I found out that it is a real place right here in Oregon and I got to visit!

As we chatted with Geof (the Beasley half of the ownership) someone pointed out a pug face peering out from inside the house. It didn’t take much encouragement from the group for the pugs to be let out to play. Ah yes this was shaping up to be a very good garden visit indeed…

The thing you may not realize looking at these pictures is this is a very large garden, perhaps the largest private garden I’ve ever visited. Each distinct area is as big or bigger than your average garden, one could easily get lost (on purpose) here. What I’m showing you is only a teaser…

I was wearing flip-flops (of course) so I braved walking across the bottles. I'm not sure it would have been a good idea in heels.

Walk a few feet and the look of the garden completely changes.

A stream follows next to a pathway, through all sorts of recycled, rusty flotsam and jetsam.

And after walking through a shady bit you're thrust out into the sun...

Okay, I found these chairs a little spooky. Imagine being out here alone on a dark stormy evening at dusk. Out of the corner of your eye you see someone, sitting there...

And you turn to look and they're gone. But you know they were there...

Moving on...

Tires!

I'm glad I saw this after successfully climbing up the somewhat steep slope, with loose soil and pebbles, in flip-flops. You see I have a reputation as a bit of a klutz...

This garden has so many fabulous vignettes, if you don't hear something speak to you...

Well you're just not listening!

I wish the bat was in focus, but you see it was moving (as bat's do)...

And just like that we come to a rather abrupt end to a post that could have went on for another 100 or so photos, a girl has to draw the line somewhere! As a dessert course I offer this title: Eden on Their Minds, available used on Amazon for under $5. I was telling my friend Patricia about this visit and she remembered the garden, and Mr Beasley, were profiled in it's pages. It's a wonderful book full of beautiful photos and stories of gardens and their creators, I've only just begun to read through but can highly recommend it. Of the 20+ different gardens there are couple of other names I recognize (Linda Cochran, Marcia Donahue) and so many I can't wait to discover!

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

27 comments:

  1. Incredible garden and wonderful share.

    How lucky you are to visit this amazing place. I love this and I'll likely go through your post again and again to find all the details.

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    1. Thank you Shirley, I'm glad you enjoyed the photos!

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  2. As is so often the case, you've shown me a whole new way to enjoy and understand a place I have seen before. It is indeed a lyrical garden!

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    1. You are very kind Jane. BTW I wanted to include the pug shot with your blue/green toe polish but the dogs didn't look as crazy in that shot...

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  3. Great tour of an extraordinary garden. I like the bottle pathway - I wonder if they planted the whole bottle or just the bottoms? I actually own the book you mention so I'll have to pull it out and take another look.

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    1. I bet it was the whole bottles, they don't seem like the type to do anything half way!

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  4. Right, so I skipped the plant sales... too painful for upstate NY. But this is really inspiring! How lucky to visit it, and how lucky we are to see photos. What is that red and green trunk?

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    1. It's a madrone (http://plantlust.com/plants/arbutus-menziesii/), the namesake plant of the garden by the way. Gorgeous!

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  5. Thank you for showing this garden to us. I love the nonchalant mystery and whimsy which contains a certain elegance nonetheless. It give me increasing courage to do the unusual in my own little yard.

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  6. Love both this garden and Pink Martini! My niece just sent me their new c.d. "Get Happy" which is as wonderful as all of their others! A friend who'd visited the garden without taking pictures described it to me but your pictures are great. Looks fun and plantcentric! Thanks for the preview!

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    1. I haven't yet bought 'Get Happy'...suppose I better get on that!

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  7. What a great garden, so much wonderful stuff to see. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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    1. There was so so so much to see! We had to move through at a pretty good clip too, I'm sure I missed a ton.

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  8. Ok Loree, so please tell me this was a preview visit for Fling ?

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    1. Oh you are a smart one. Yes we were checking it out for the fling, so many gardens, so little time...

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  9. I've loved that song since it came out, and knew it referenced a real garden. Now I have some images to bolster the evocative lyrics.

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  10. Oh wow. It's even better than the pictures in the book suggest. Good one, Loree.

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    1. Loving the book too, thanks for the tip!

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  11. I totally had no idea what everyone was talking about when they kept saying "the garden in that song"...I just kind of smiled and nodded..haha! It's amazing how many of those things I've already forgotten about...having all that space certainly gives you the opportunity to indulge...sigh :-)

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    1. Indeed, space like that is a crazy concept for a garden.

      So I'm wondering, what kind of music do you like?

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  12. I'm glad to know about the book. It's one I haven't heard of. Also, this garden is so fabulous. Those gateway arches through the woods! The repurposed garden art! The plants on pedestals wherever you look!

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    1. You'd be on a picture taking high here Pam, so many wonderful vignettes to photograph!

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  13. Wow, the place looks so dreamy and absolutely stunning! So many things to inspire you and so many things about it worth noting that it's difficult where to start. One of your many posts that is bookmark worthy as it is so inspiring and a delight to read again especially in the winter. Wonderful!

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    1. Thanks guys! Winter, I suppose it is coming isn't it? *sigh*

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  14. AnonymousJune 07, 2015

    what a terrific blog....The Gardens of Sampson and Beasley brought me in (I love the Pink Martini song so much that I did a search to find out if they really existed), and I was thoroughly enchanted by everything I saw. Thanks for sharing such beauty.

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