Monday, September 22, 2014

Lunch (and a stroll) in the Pearl…

Earlier in the year my gardening friend, and former neighbor, Bridget, moved to Portland’s Pearl District. “The Pearl” is known for its restaurants, art galleries, shopping and condos. What about gardens? Yes, if you know where to look there are a few of those too. After a lovely lunch Bridget shared one her favorites with me…

I suppose calling it a garden is a bit of a misnomer, after all it’s more of a planted walkway between two buildings. However there are enough interesting plants to keep a pair of plant lovers gawking. I think this is Osmanthus 'Jim Porter'…

Metapanax delavayi

Schefflera delavayi

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? These are all plants taken from the Cistus catalogue. I wonder if it’s a Cistus Design project? Here we have Aspidistra under-planted with Trachelospermum asiaticum 'Theta.’ The Aspidistra is looking a little rough around the edges, lack of water? Winter damage?

I’m still not a fan of pots jammed full of multiple plants, but these are quite attractive. Sort of mini-gardens.

Mahonia eurybracteata, likely ‘Soft Caress’

The walkway opens out on to Jamison Square, the first park in the Pearl and a popular one with kids due to its fountain and wading pool.

But instead of joining the kids we turned left and walked by the Ecotrust Building…

And on to explore the rain garden at 10th @ Hoyt. A visit to this space was the second post I did on this blog when I started back in 2009. The building was designed by the architecture firm I used to work at and this space really captured my imagination.

The landscape design was done by KLA Architecture, if you’re interested there are better photos and a nice write up on their website, here. The concrete and rusted forms come alive in a rainfall, something we haven't had in a couple of months.

The older photos, on my blog and their website, show the gunnera at a much more impressive size. I wonder what happened?

Hope you enjoyed this urban garden adventure...

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

35 comments:

  1. I´ve enjoyed it a lot! I think it looks great.

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  2. Good call Loree. I believe that is indeed a Cistus project - run by the homeowner association I believe. Or heavily influenced by them :)
    It's always fun strolling around there checking out the plantings and various water features. I think Portland has really done a nice job on the public spaces.

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    1. Tanner Springs Park is another that figures large in my memory and imagination. I should make a point of getting back there sometime soon.

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    2. Exactly what I was thinkng too and that little row of townhouses with the little patios and gardens out front - love walking by that place

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  3. The amount of hardscaping (concrete) really makes these plants shine even more than they would in a true garden setting. Contrast is key!

    Gunnera shrinkage: drought damage?

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    1. Good to know I'm not the only hardscape admirer. And you could be on to something with the drought issue, although what was there looked happy, usually when they're too dry the don't.

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  4. Very much so, and yes even before you got to it Cistus was already jumping to my mind. The plant under planted with the jasmin could be a rohdea rather than aspidistra perhaps?

    I remember reading about the Pearl district in Portland on the guide we bought and did pondered on exploring. Alas lack of time prevented that but your post was a very nice taster for perhaps next time :)

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    1. Time is always such a nuisance isn't it? I think you must be right because Julie of PortlandTreeTour asked the same (Rhodea japonica).

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  5. Looks great!

    I wish there were similar kind of plantings in our towns/cities over here.

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    1. I remember on one of our early trips to Portland, way before we had even considered the move here, I was captivated by the plantings in this part of town.

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  6. Lovely stroll, but it left me wondering if Bridget is satisfied with vicarious gardening or itching to get her hands in the dirt.

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    1. Well after reading Bridget's reply below it looks like I need to get some gardening tasks lined up for her (in my garden) can't let all that energy and expertise go to waste...

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    2. Bridget can come over to my house! We live close by ;)
      It's a great walk from the pearl - I used to do it every Sunday when I lived there!

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  7. Cool! I love these little lush urban retreats. I would love to see the small pedestrian areas around Lovejoy Fountain similarly spruced up. Are you sure that's Aspidistra? Could possibly be Rhodea japonica...

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    1. Julie I'm not ever sure of anything! I thought that Bridget called it aspidistra so that's what I went with, thanks for the correction!

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  8. It was a great day, Loree! And Ricki is right, I am itching to get my hands in some dirt :) -Bridget

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    1. Okay, I'm working on a project list...come on over!

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  9. Ps ::: where did you lunch? Any place worthy of note?

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    1. Lovejoy Bakery, it was delicious!

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  10. Beautiful urban gardens! It's always a sweet surprise when commercial properties have great plants instead of the same old same old!

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    1. I'm pleasantly surprised how often I discover them here in Portland.

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  11. To me, not only is this leftover space - now public space - a garden, but everything, from the ephemeral water feature, to plantings, to hardscape, blows away most similar spaces I've seen just about anywhere.

    Now, I'm imagining this in the high desert and with generous use of our plants.......

    Though I'm in not living in much more of a horticultural culture than I was, maybe the greater welcoming here will allow such work? I can try... Thanks for this.

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    1. David your version would be wonderful, I hope you get the chance!

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  12. Great photos! The plants looked pretty good considering how hot and dry it has been. I love taking a stroll through the pearl. Good food, great plants to stroll by, great shopping opportunities, although I think they need more garden stores! Thanks for the tour.

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    1. More garden stores is always a good thing!

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  13. I have to say, I'm certain the aforementioned plants are Aspidistra. I am familiar with Rohdea, having grown it before, and I'm sure these are not. -Bridget

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  14. Nice gardens, it makes me sorry I don't get over there. I like the large container gardens with all the colorful plants the most. And I'm in love with Mahonia 'Soft Caress'.

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    1. It seems that mahonia looks different almost everywhere it's planted, and always good.

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  15. Always love when you share walks through/near your area, thanks! I don't mind a few different plants in one container but that is taking it to another level - however, I think it looks good despite it not being my cup of tea.

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    1. Maybe it's the over-the-top exuberance that we're both responding to?

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  16. The juxtaposition between hard and softscape, the straight, hard lines, with the soft, fluffy textures is indeed captivating. Kudos to the designers.

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    1. Captivating is fitting praise Grace.

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  17. Well folks, upon further investigation (my morning walk with the dog), I took a closer look at the plants in question and realized that there is indeed Rohdea AND Aspidistra in said planter. I guess I only ever really noticed the Aspidistra. Thanks for opening my eyes, everyone :)
    -Bridget

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