Monday, October 27, 2014

Greg's dry garden...

This is not what most people picture when you mention a "Portland garden"...heck there isn't a single rose, rhododendron or doug fir in sight!

These plants don't belong in "rainy Portland!"

Oh but they do...you'd be surprised how many people think Portland is a rainy, grey place 365 days a year. It's just not true. Our summers are dry, very dry. The joke is that the sprinkler gets turned off on July 5th and it's not far from the truth.

This garden belongs to Greg Shepard, co-owner of Xera Plants. Xera is a local wholesale (and retail) nursery that grows "climate adapted plants for gardeners in the PNW"...

As you might imagine the garden is planted up with Xera plants, although don't head over there to pick up one of these, as Greg tells me they sadly have no Agave bracteosa at this time.

Since planting and getting things established Greg has provided no summer irrigation.

Perfect location for that Caesalpinia gilliesii, don't ya think?

That's Greg's dog Polly, it was a long, hot day.

The backyard garden...

I've ever seen a dudleya look this good in the summer, mine always go semi-dormant.

And there was a pair!

Did you spot that silver patch of goodness just beyond the dudleya? It's Lupinus albifrons, I was thrilled to see it here, and it was in the ground through last winter.

Oh what's that!? Pachystegia insignis, and I just happened to score one recently at Xera, after ogling a huge one at their shop for years, and then this little guy.

This one (Cynara baetica var. moroccana) I've loved and lost - and really should plant again.

Rounding the corner of the path I was (I'll admit) a little startled by the stick. I thought it was a snake.

We all agreed the subtle screening along the back fence with Azara microphylla was genius.

But I've saved the best for last and we're heading back out front. The parking strip was probably my favorite part of this garden. It's just so perfect. Colorful, spiky, and crammed full of plants.

I actually fell pretty hard for this grass, if I remember right it's Schizachyrium scoparium 'The Blues'...

Yucca linearifolia, I believe...

It's just all so wonderful, thanks Greg for sharing your garden!

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

34 comments:

  1. I'm always curious about the gardens of prominent plants persons, and this one does not disappoint.

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    1. Indeed, and one of my favorite things about it was that it's so "doable" but the rest of us mere mortals.

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  2. Thank you Loree - I had meant to go to Greg's and Paul's when they opened their gardens but got stuck out of town that day, so a HUGE thank you for sharing his Xera wonderland. That grass I also thought looks great then I realized - hey...I bought that at Xera last month! See, confessions of a plant addict. P.S. Greg, would love to see your garden sometime :)

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    1. Hopefully they'll both open again next year (hint hint). I really wanted to post about Paul's again too (I did visit in 2013, link below) but it was such a sunny day and the harsh shadows from his taller plants just made it impossible to take a decent photo. They're both great and very different.

      http://dangergarden.blogspot.com/2013/06/visiting-garden-of-paul-bonine.html

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  3. I love it! I was surprised to find out about your long dry summers. That is a real challenge and people like you and Greg have risen too it in the most interesting and exciting way : )

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    1. It is such a change from the cool wet winters every one associates us with! (thank you for the compliment!)

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  4. Pam in TaosOctober 27, 2014

    Yes, yes, I love this garden.

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    1. I wish I would have stood back and got a great overall shot of it, ah well - maybe I'll do a drive by this winter.

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  6. Sounds like he's hit on the right plants for not having to irrigate in the summer. Does he take any special measures to keep the garden happy in the cooler, wetter months?

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    1. I don't believe so, other than having built up the soil to improve drainage.

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  7. greg's garden has the look of one you might find in Texas although some of the plants would not survive here. Except of course for the A. bracteosa. I could certainly supply his nursery with that plant having pulled out many last week. They grow like weeds here. Thanks for the visit.

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    1. Oh you're killing me! I can just imagine a nice big box-o-bracteosa arriving in the mail...

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  8. It does look like the garden was located in Southern California or even Arizona but its in lush Portland! Based on our short experience your summers there are far from grey :)

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    1. And I'm missing that blue sky horribly.

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  9. Thank you for a trip around this interesting garden, which has some great planting combinations.

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  10. Love it...Schizachyrium is my favoritest grass ever :-)

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    1. Guess I need to see about buying some.

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  11. An awesome garden! Glad I got to see it and all the Xera plants. Greg was such a gracious host too.

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    1. Oh my yes, I forgot to mention the best part - that within 5 minutes of arriving I had a glass of wine in my hand!

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  12. Fantastic garden! I love all the blues, silvers, and greys. It might be possible that I love that group of colors more than plants with dark foliage. That Schizachyrium scoparium 'The Blues' is really something. I'd fall for it, too! The hell-strip is gorgeous. I love the silver-greys combined with the orange Carex. I'd been wondering how one would use that plant in the landscape, not really sure how the color would play out. Now I love it!

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    1. It does seem more at home there than just about anyway I've seen it planted.

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  13. Nice tour of this lovly garden and that parking strip...sigh!

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    1. So very different from your lush jungley garden!

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  14. You were right to fall in love with that grass, it's incredible! What an awesome garden. No summer irrigation out the front - that's impressive.

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    1. No summer irrigation period, pretty amazing.

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  15. Looks great. Not California though. Distinctly Portland. Love that silver Lupine, must find that.

    So I guess the sprinkler is back on now?

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    1. I got my silver lupines at Annies, and yes, the sprinkler is back on with force. So much for easing into it...

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  16. Other than the house style and some extra foliage, I thought I was visiting an early xeriscape...in Albuquerque! The pair of Dudleya in those containers is amazing...must have something like that.

    (here's to Santa delivering a box of disgarded bracteosas to PDX)

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    1. I hope you get your dudleya...and I like your version of Santa!

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  17. How will we know if this yard is open for a tour next year? It is great!

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    1. Stop by the Xera shop and sign up for their newsletter (if they have one, I'm not sure) and follow their Facebook page. Also if you're in the Xera shop ask Greg if he's gonna open his garden again. A little pressure is always a good thing!

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