Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Cowboy’s Garden

When last we joined the early September/Kitsap Peninsula adventures of my garden blogging friends and me we had just left Celestial Dream Gardens. The plan was to journey on to WeHoP (Western Horticultural Products). We’d called our hostess to let her know we were on our way, but then an interesting opportunity presented itself. As my friend Peter said “So, There was This Good Looking Cowboy Standing by the Side of the Road.” Truth be told we’d noticed him, his truck full of plants, and “Rare Plant Sale” sign, alongside the road on our way into Heronswood. We agreed a quick stop wouldn’t be a bad thing…

Well as you may have read on the blogs of my travel companions that cowboy was Shanye Chandler a plant nut who has been plant-exploring with Dan Hinkley and designs and maintains gardens for a living. He invited us back to see his garden…this was either going to end very badly or…

Very good!

You just never know when someone offers to share their garden with you. Is it going to be a petunia and plastic chair wonderland, or this...

We got lucky.

Not only was the garden amazing but our unexpected host could not have been more gracious. He answered every question we had (sometimes twice or three times when different members of our party happened upon a cool plant) and seemed to really be enjoying himself too.

I snuck a peak at the tag of this one, cleaverly hidden just inside the pot, Puya venusta, and it looks like it flowered...

So many fabulous plants, and we're just starting to realize this is a very big garden.

That hebe again...

And some of my group in the distance along with Shayne, in the cowboy hat (of course)...

The garden is both contained by, and extended by, the huge old growth evergreens beyond what is cultivated.

This picture cracks me up. I've just caught sight of the biggest Schefflera delavayi I've ever seen and yet these three are looking at the ground!!!

It was majestic!

As were the multiple palms...

And if I remember correctly the big leafed plants are baby magnolias.

That dark leafed creature caught my eye immediately.

It's a rhododendron right? Anybody able to give me a name? (I was too overwhelmed to think to ask while there)

I thought that pathway would lead back around to where we started and that would be the end, but no! There is another leg you can't see here which doubled back and took us to another section of the garden.

Ah my oak! (Quercus dentata 'Pinnatifida')

I am 90% in love with Trochodendron aralioides (Wheel Tree) but there is a little part of me that just isn't so sure. I think it's because the leaves are so glossy, they look a little plastic.

There were several echium, E. pininana I believe.

And of course an agave collection!

I loved the arching grass behind the agaves, acting as a graceful backdrop.

The agave collection was just off the side of this party pavilion. What a nice place to spend a warm, but rainy day.

And there was an onsite nursery of sorts, it was hard to resist the urge to go poking around through all the plants. I behaved myself, no doubt many of these treasures were destined for a garden nearby.

I believe this is the same dark leaved rhody (?) as in the earlier photo?

Another schefflera...

We're back up on the other side of the house now and things are about to come to an end.

It was hard to tear ourselves away.

What a lucky group we were to be invited to tour this amazing private garden. Thank you Shayne!

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

24 comments:

  1. What a fun surprise that garden was! "petunia and plastic chair paradise" You crack me up! I think the rhododendron is 'Ebony Pearl.' Happy Monday pal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the rhody name, I think I might have to break down and get one...why does it have to bloom pink!?!

      Delete
  2. Fantastic! Yes, when you get an invitation to see someone's garden, you never know but you should always go. At least that's my mantra. And, what, no closeups of Shayne so we can admire his cuteness?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't want to embarrass the guy!

      Delete
  3. Thanks so much for taking me back to that wonderful, exciting day! I don't even remember now what we were looking at on the ground. Undoubtedly, some little understory low-growing plant. There was one garden tour this past summer where Peter and I kept seeing a dark-leaved Rhodie. I don't know if it was 'Ebony Pearl,' but it certainly was remarkable and definitely drool-worthy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to know you've been seeing it (the rhody) around. I've only seen one that I can remember (besides this one) and I'm not even sure that's what it was! Looks like it should be reliably hardy.

      Delete
  4. sweet garden goodness! Oh my goodness! First off, CORDYLINE INDIVISA (the real thing) radar is going off! That is amazing. I've only ever seen one in the flesh and am smitten. In fact I was just talking about them already this morning and how much I dream of first finding one (really multiples) and then planting them all over! But seriously, that garden is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Louis I wish you could have been with us, you would have LOVED it.

      Delete
  5. That looks amazing! fabulous plants! you did make me laugh when you said about how people invite you to see their garden and it is a petunia and plastic chair wonderland..so true!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True and pretty much my worse nightmare. How do you find nice things to say?

      Delete
  6. Very good, and very lucky indeed! A stunning garden full of tasteful plants that are up our street. 'Ebony Pearl' - I've jotted it down...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Race you! (to find 'Ebony Pearl' I mean...

      Delete
  7. I love this garden, perfect. Paradise. What a lucky group :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed we were, and he's invited us to tour some of the gardens he's designed too!

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. "Serendipity means a "happy accident" or "pleasant surprise"; a fortunate mistake. Specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it"...yes!

      Delete
  9. That garden gets the thumbs up from me!

    The 'Ebony Pearl' Rhododendron looks great, but unfortunately I have ran out of space even if I manage to track one down.

    I would love to have a party pavillion like the one up above. That would be cool. However, given my climate I doubt that I would spend much time sat out there enjoying the view.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah come on...in a container? There's always room for one more plant...

      Delete
  10. Designers and keepers of gardens like this must live for this kind of an audience. Had it turned out to be that other kind of garden you could have gotten some valuable practice in tact and diplomacy.
    My daughter and I drove across Wyoming hoping for cowboy sightings. Looks like we were driving through the wrong part of the country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you saying I need to be more tactful and diplomatic? (yes actually I probably could)

      Delete
  11. Such a gorgeous varied assortment of plants. I marvel that they don't seem plagued with the Himalayan and R. ursinus native blackberries that haunt my yard. But my mother's property in the Olympic peninsula doesn't seem to have them either. It is mostly conifers, Madrona, Salal, Huckleberries and Bracken ferns. It's interesting to see all the exotic species that can be grown.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quite the collectors garden hidden away behind the tall old growth conifers...

      Delete
  12. Well, wow, just wow.
    My kind of garden entirely. The cowboy seems like quite the expert when it comes to plant choice and combinations.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!