Last September, after visiting The Dry Garden, my next stop was the personal garden of artist Marcia Donahue.
I'd done my research and knew where her garden was and what days/hours she was open for visitors.
Or so I thought. As I approached a fellow came out of the house headed for a car out front. He saw my camera and said "Marcia's not here, the garden isn't open today"...
But...but...I started to cry. Ha, no, not really. But I'm sure I looked pretty sad as I muttered "but I'm here from Portland, I won't be here next week. I really wanted to see her garden ...(sniff)"
He barely hesitated a second before saying, "oh go ahead, but be careful - Marcia usually cleans up after the chickens and pens them before the garden is open, we haven't done that." Not a problem!
Do you know Marcia's work? I can't remember where I first heard of her, but I am familiar with what she does from one of the gardens at Cornerstone, John Greenlee's garden at a San Francisco Flower & Garden Show and pieces worked into Portland's Floramagoria.
This is very reminiscent of what you see at Floramagoria...
Plant shapes and bowling balls, it works somehow.
The chickens! I'd seen "evidence" of their moving around the garden but this was the first I saw of them.
Which way to go? Follow that path off to my left or keep moving straight?
I went straight.
Her studio I'm presuming? No I didn't peek inside, I wanted to, but just didn't feel right doing so when I was already in the garden on the kindness of another.
I had mixed emotions the entire time I was wandering. I would have loved to meet Marcia, to hear about the development of her garden, and her work. Then again I had this very magical place all to myself. No expectations, as much time as I wanted to stand there and soak it up, and see it for what it meant to me.
The garden is small, and very densely planted. It's personal, but not so much that I didn't instantly feel at home there.
I think I've seen these same bulbs in Sean Hogan's home...
I was not expecting this...
It was fabulous.
And I was reminded, from time to time, that I was not completely alone.
As I uploaded my photos for this post I realized how many I took which were oriented vertically. Usually I lean towards the horizontal. I think I went vertical simply because of how the space felt like it was closing in on me from the sides. Not a bad thing!
Something else I realized while standing here, soaking it all in. While I've been rather vocal about my dislike of "ART" in the garden, I love artists gardens! Shirley Watts, Keeyla Meadows - two other ladies with intense gardens that I loved. I could go on and on about this aha moment but I'm sure it's much more fascinating to me than to you.
Logs with lichens?
Of course not, well sort of.
This may have been the plant that grabbed me the most, I decided right then and there that I must plant one in my garden.
I later visited East Bay Nursery where I saw a similar bloom. I think it may be Michelia champaca 'Alba'...intensely fragrant and hardy to Zone 11. Damn.
Looking back at where I was when I had to choose which path to follow (ya, there's something deep in that sentence...)
And back at where I'd just been.
I think I'm building up to a begonia crush...
Look familiar? If you've been reading regularly it must (from this, and this)
Now I'm backtracking. There was a side gate but I wasn't sure I should open it.
Back out front, about to leave but looking at the side garden.
Metal trunks mixed with the real thing. I hope you hung in there until the very end (which is now), I know this has been a long and photo heavy post, but I just couldn't edit my 170 photos down any further than this. What a garden!
All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.