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.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Plant Sales! (not to be missed)…

With my sincere apologies to anyone not within driving distance to Portland, Oregon, I simply must share my excitement about the plant sales going on here right now (or very soon)!!!

Starting Tuesday, October 1st and running through the end of the month it’s the annual Cistus Nursery Tough Love/Parking Lot sale. This sale brings out the treasure hunter in me. You know that person on Antiques Roadshow who finds a lost Pollock or Van Gough painting at a thrift shop for $2 and then later discovers what they really have? Well that’s how I feel after visiting this sale, you should go! (but not until Wednesday so we don’t fight over anything)

The details: "Returning by popular demand is our annual Parking Lot Sale, or the Cistus Tough Love Sale. Tough Love is our major clearance sale of the year, and it always brings out the serious gardeners along with hunters of crazy bargains. Plants staged in the parking lot will be discounted by as much as 90%! Some plants are in need of some love. Others are just excess stock that we want you to have in your garden. Either way, it's your chance to get rock-bottom prices just in time for fall planting. At the same time, we will be offering a promotion during October to help you get a jump on your holiday shopping. What could be a better stocking stuffer than a gift certificate to Cistus? During the month of October, the first 100 people to spend $100 or more will get a $25 gift certificate for free!" Photo from last year’s Tough Love sale, Oct, 2012...


Going on right now (actually started Thursday the 26th) is the (now) annual Fall Sale and Open House at Xera Plants. The details: "Thursday Sept. 26th - Sunday Sept. 29th, Thursday Oct 3rd - Sunday Oct. 6th, 10:00 - 6:00 all days! 30% OFF ALL PLANTS!! We'll be restocking thru the sale...an excellent selection, not just leftovers!" Xera’s roommate Contained Exuberance is joining in the fun with the same 30% off on their pots and plants (danger!). Photo from my visit to Xera in June, 2013...


Next up Sebright Gardens (Oregon's premier selection of Hostas) is offering 10% off. I visited Sebright for the first time a couple of weeks ago (post coming up next week) and wow...if you think a nursery full of hostas sounds boring you are so wrong! Plus it isn't all hostas, they've got some lovely ferns and a few other things to tempt you, along with a gorgeous display garden. Here's their schedule for the rest of the season: "open Thursday through Monday from 10 am to 5 pm the rest of September.  We are extending our days open for the first two Friday, Saturdays and Sundays of October (4,5,6,11,12 & 13th).  Last day open for the season will be October 13th.  We will re open the nursery early April next year." Photo from my visit to Sebright in early September 2013, I wonder why I was attracted to this one?...



And finally Thicket on Alberta is getting ready to close down for the season and offering 25% off all plants! Photo from my visit to Thicket in Aug, 2012...


Whew...that's a lot of great plant deals to be had!

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

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Organic Mechanics

This garden was the first stop for my group during the San Francisco Garden Bloggers Fling. I felt a little like I was visiting my parallel life, what my gardening endeavors may have looked like had I moved to San Francisco in the early 2000’s (I came close) instead of Portland, Oregon in 2004. Had I moved I most certainly would have lived in the city, and of course wouldn't have been able to afford land. I would have gardened on my windowsill or balcony, or if I was really lucky somewhere like this...

Our bus pulled up in front of an apartment building and we entered...

After walking down long hallways and narrow staircases we emerged into a small light shaft.

And at the end of the hallway...green!

I think we all breathed a small sigh of relief to see there really was a garden!

This lush, quirky, space is the creation of Sean Stout and James Pettigrew, also known as the Organic Mechanics; a garden design, build and maintenance firm. They share this courtyard garden with the many residents of the multi-story buildings which surround it.

This was a very personal garden, with repurposed elements throughout.

And old, faded, advertising...

Being in an urban courtyard setting their plant choices could push all the boundaries.

I kept finding myself looking up in this garden, more than usual. I think it was knowing I was surrounded by tall buildings, but not quite believing it.

I'm not sure Vicki got a chance to look at the garden as her new friend didn't want to leave her side, err shoulder...

That's either Sean or James, sadly I missed his talk about the garden (to busy gawking and yacking with other "flingers").

This point was sort of a pass-through to the sunnier side of things.

I know what this is, I really do. I just can't remember its name right at the moment. Someone will tell me! The trunk...

And the top!

So perfect...

I do feel a connection to those who garden in containers, whether from necessity or love.

The early morning light fell on the Leucadendron argenteum perfectly.

I took more photos of it than I would have thought possible, you only have to see two.

Of course there were more Leucadendron to see...

And love.

It was Alison who asked if I'd been up to the roof to look down on the garden (I think she noticed I kept looking up).

I hadn't! So she told me how to get there and off I went, just a little concerned the group would leave without me. What a view!

Here's a neighbor who yearns for the outdoors but doesn't have a green thumb, or maybe the landlords permission to garden?

I could see the group was still there so I felt okay hanging out for a few more minutes and imagining "what if..."

Eventually it was time to leave and I spotted the Mechanics truck in front of the building. Here's their info, in case you're in need of their services!

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