Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The movable garden...


You never know where a chance meeting might lead. Lila and I paid a visit to Cistus Nursery awhile back, if I remember correctly it was early spring of 2013. While there we made the acquaintance of a new employee, Eric, and his dog, Rusty. Rusty took a liking to Lila, in a way she wasn’t entirely comfortable with. Once we put an end to that Eric and I got to chatting. He’s since left Cistus but we’ve managed to run into each other a couple of times since and now, months and months later, here I am standing in his garden with my mouth hanging open in awe…

I cannot believe I’m still in Portland. This is amazing.

Even more so when I start asking about all the specimens which surround me. Eric’s got a story about each one, and these stories are much more interesting than “oh I bought that at (some local) nursery”

There’s mention of Craigslist, trips to Seattle, Los Angeles, the Bay Area. These plants have been curated from far and near and are now all together in SE Portland. What’s more Eric’s currently renting while he searches for the home in which he’ll put down roots. Hence the title of this post, this is very much a moveable garden.

Most of it in containers…

All of it amazing.

Oh and we can’t forget Rusty, how cute is that little face?

So did you find yourself thinking "But what does he do with all these plants in the winter? This is Portland after all and it can get cold and it's wet!"...this is the answer...

It's the most fabulous garage greenhouse!

Amazing right? How happy these plants must be to get to spend their winter under glass, stylishly.

Here's a sad truth, Eric acknowledges he might be running out of space in the greenhouse.

How will he chose what gets to inside?

There's one less plant that will be calling for space, the white (although it looks a little green in this photo) echeveria in the front, to the left of center came home with me. It's big sister appears six photos down (it's blooming)...

This is looking back up the side of the house with the garage greenhouse behind me.

Now we've returned to the back garden...

How beautiful is that ghostly echeveria? I can't believe I got to take it's little sister home...

This is just beyond cool right? The steamer trunks are seating...

And that gorgeous brugmansia was just one of many throughout the garden, of course they're all going in the greenhouse over the winter.

It's dripping with flowers...

I'm not sure if that yellow bloomer on the left is Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi' or not, but I can tell you I did come home with a start off one of the resident 'Charles' (yes that's two fabulous plants that left with me!)...

I neglected to get a picture of the overall vine, but this passion flower covered the entire side of the garage greenhouse. It was amazing.

Okay, time to head home. I didn't get any photos of the small front garden on my way in, of course I wanted to stop and take pictures but that would have been rude! So I took a couple on the way out...

Wow, right?

There was a pair of these amazing verbascum, along with a million other things I didn't manage to photograph, what a smorgasbord of plant goodness! Thank you Eric for letting me spend a sunny evening in your garden, it's magical.

51 comments:

  1. Wow! is right! I'm not sure where to begin. Since I know how much you like containers, I can see that this garden was after your own heart. I love everything about it too. I can only hope my Brugs are that big and full of flowers some day. That garage greenhouse is the bomb (Peter is going to be salivating over it.) Poor Lila, how well I remember the days (long ago now) of unwanted attention from males in bars.

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    1. I bet your brugmansia will be every bit as lovely, after all they have that fancy-pants greenhouse to over-winter in!

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  2. It's amazing how many plants a collector can find room for. I like the punctuation of silvery plants spaced throughout.

    You came home with some great plants to add to your collection.

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    1. Didn't I? Such a generous gardener.

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  3. I'm agog. This is fabulous. And I should toss it out, if he needs to over-winter anything that doesn't fit--I could probably find room.

    Also, I need a greenhouse.

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    1. I'll make sure he knows Patricia, and yes you do.

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  4. Huh? This is Portland? Unbelievable and very inspiring. Hmm....that greenhouse is fab, I wonder how to recreate it...time to consult my grounds supervisor David for thoughts on that. Wow wow wow.

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    1. Grounds supervisor, I like that!

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  5. This a fabulous potted garden and the greenhouse is really so gorgeous

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  6. Wow! what an outstanding collection. I loved the corks on the spikes from the big agave. Clever. It looks like a slice of tropics. Love it

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    1. Those corks are so much nicer than cutting off the spikes, I hate it when people do that. I should probably keep a few corks on hand for just such a need.

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  7. I really like the vibe of this garden. And what a great garage/greenhouse!

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  8. This is truly a wow garden. Exactly my style. Everything is fantastic, from the steamer trunks and brick fireplace to the plants. This garden would be stunning ANYWHERE, even in a climate more conducive to tropical flora. In Portland, it's got to be one of a kind.

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    1. You're making me think of a book...The Unlikely Gardens of Portland.

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  9. Amazing garden. I know how they feel having to have everything inpots waiting for a permenant home, although they can obviosuly water unlike me as the brugs and other lush plants all lookin perfect condition.
    Your take home echeveria is lovely could it be echeveria cante

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    1. Oh yes, as dry and hot as it's been this summer watering has definitely happened. Why can't you water?

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    2. Yes it is Echeveria Cante. It is my new favorite and they get huge!

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  10. Although I can't imagine leaving that amazing garage/greenhouse conversion, I hope Eric finds his home and garden soon. I well remember that rental, pre-garden frustration.

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    1. Me too, I think I had more plants crammed on my window sills than some people have in their gardens.

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  11. Wow, fabulous, stylish, and very tasteful choices of pots! And to think his garden now is only temporary, I can just imagine how cool his garden would be once he found the one!

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    1. I know right? It's going to be amazing. He has that same "I can build that" attitude that you guys do so there's no telling what fantastic things he'll create.

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    2. I think at my permanent home I am going to build a huge victorian style glass conservatory with a beautiful dome top.

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  12. Now that's my idea of a garage remodel. Surprising that more gardeners haven't gone this way...and having seen this, perhaps more will. Great garden, and I find its very portability to be part of its charm.

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    1. I have to admit when I came home after my visit I stood looking at our garage and wondering...

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    2. I have to admit... I only used the garage once. We moved into the house the night before Christmas Eve and we did it in a rush. There was over a ton of trash in the house and the dump was closed. We had family coming to visit for the holidays so we cleaned out the house and filled the old garage up to the roof with trash from the house. Since converting it to the current greenhouse that it is I have gotten way more use out of the structure..

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  13. Wow indeed. I bet he gets quite the work out every spring and fall! But it's definitely well worth it, I'd say.

    We rent as well, which is why quite a few of my plants are in ever larger pots and the raised beds are fairly easy to dismantle. Thankfully we have the type of landlord that says, go for it, do what you want to the yard. Of course, we've also been here 15 years. Heh.

    That garage is an idea I'm tucking away in the back of my mind for when we finally start looking for a house of our own in the next couple of years, it' a great idea for overwintering potted plants or even getting a head start on the next season's vegetable garden.

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    1. 15 years! Wow, I bet you have made it your own. Landlords like that are rare, of course I guess so are tenants that actually improve things.

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    2. Oh yes, our awesome landlords are the main reason we stayed so long! Everything we do, we do with an eye towards improving the property for them as well as the next tenants, whenever that may be.}:) It's a win-win situation all around!

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    3. My spine hurts when I think about moving all of those pots. I have been very fortunate to have a great landlord that lets me do what I want.

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    4. Great landlords are awesome and a rare find.}:P

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  14. Dreaming about having a huge, beautiful greenhouse now...

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  15. Obviously pot[s] is still legal on Portland! What a stunning collection of plants Loree and your camera has done them and this amazing property stunning justice. Odd how those of us who work in the industry never seem to have enough space for all of the plants that somehow make their way home with us every year! His permanent garden will be magical...... sort of like that converted garage!

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    1. Ha! Actually only for the card carrying, medically necessary. At least until the next election when, no doubt, that will change.

      You are kind Barry, the space was way more intriguing than my camera shows!

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  16. Now there's a person with a green thumb! Wow! And I love, love that greenhouse/garage. Good for Eric! I'm impressed!

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    1. I think his whole hand is green.

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  17. As remarkable as the plant collection is, I'm stupified that his place is a rental! I can't say I've ever seen a rental with a greenhouse-garage like that.

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    1. It certainly didn't come like that (with the greenhouse), that Eric is clever. I hope the next tenant is able to use it. That could be a huge "selling point" when renting it out.

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    2. This garage came with 4 layers of siding and 3 layers of roofing. Hopefully I can buy it or make something even greater than this. We built the fireplace as well.

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  18. Awesome garden in so many ways - a collectors delight but arranged beautifully and with cool stuff like the trunk seats! How lucky you were to have made a friend of this great gardener and to have seen this masterpiece of a garden in person! Alison was right, I'm salivating over that fabulous garage greenhouse and hoping that mine will look half as good! (The guy that Charlie's Greenhouses recommended Is coming next week to look at the garage, make a list of what will be needed and schedule a time to do the project. I'm super excited and hope it'll be done by the time we do the plant swap!

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    1. Of course I was thinking of you as soon as I saw that garage greenhouse. I intended to email you a couple of photos but, well, you know how it goes. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with!

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    2. I used those old sliding glass doors that were big in the 80's. You just need to take a few screws out and the frame pops right off. And you'll be shocked at how much silicone you can go through creating the worlds largest aquarium.

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  19. Fabulous, gorgeous garden - I am currently an itinerant gardener myself with an itinerant garden.
    Nice to see others doing it so well - inspiring.

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    1. Those of us who need to garden will always find a way.

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  20. Just thought I know a way to decide on what to protect and what it leave outside, i also involves blogger friends.

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  21. Geof BeasleyAugust 14, 2014

    I have been lucky to visit Eric and Robert's wonderful experiment many times, and readily concur with your ecstatic appraisal!

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    1. "Wonderful experiment"...what a great way to put it. And thank you for the reminder that Robert has a guiding hand in this as well, I was wrong to not include him.

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  22. Wow indeed!! Geeeez. So many great plants. The agave and pot combo in the photo above cute little Rusty is divine. Best greenhouse, too! I'm tired already thinking about moving house with all of those pots, but at least he's got them forever.

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