A long day on the phone and at the computer, I needed a break. A slight drizzle was falling, just enough that I didn’t feel like working in the garden. Then it hit me, I needed to take a walk so I could participate in the annual "Winter Walk-Off" hosted on the The Tidewater Gardener. Out the door, and heading southwest…
If you're not familiar this is an annual event where Les (who blogs at A Tidewater Gardener) encourages us all to get up, get out, and walk. Oh...and take pictures, post them and leave a link on his blog. While the point is to walk-off winter you'll see winter left my part of the country a long time ago...
He says these posts don't have to be garden related, although of course mine always are. This year I've included a lot of NE Portland residential architecture examples along with the plants and gardens, they kind of go hand in hand don't you think? Oh and my walk ended up being a long one, so is this post...
The extra-wide front door on this house grabbed my attention, perhaps a baby-grand piano needed to come inside? I also love that snug little sitting area tucked up against the hedge. Private, yet social.
This is a hellstrip after my own heart!
I love that they've given the arctostaphylos/manzanita room to really strut their stuff.
"X" marks the spot...
I could very easily have taken this entire post and turned it into a rant on some of the infill development happening in NE Portland, and the city in general. Older homes, with their inherent smaller size, bought by developers (who often swoop in with cash) and then torn down - replaced by lot-filling McMansions or subdivided into two lots with "skinny houses" on each. Another phenomenon is when an older home exists on what's deemed a lot and a half. They sell that half lot and a skinny house is built next door. What I can't stand is how these homes tower over the rest of the neighborhood and are often completely out of context.
Here's an example of the size difference, at least this builder tried to blend the skinny house stylistically. This is one of the better examples I've seen.
Deep breath...let's look at a pretty camellia shall we?
Sometimes I miss the camellia which was growing in front of our house when we moved in. Then I remember the brown blooms that fell and covered everything for a month and I don't miss it as much.
Love this tiny little side garden...
Love the old commercial building, turned residence, it belongs to even more.
Pow! Orange accents hit a home-run. Love the peep-hole in the mailbox and that fabulous metal railing.
Such a tiny house, with a very tidy landscape plan. Grasses, a couple trees, conifers (?) and lots of manzanita.
I have a crush on this style of home, can you imagine how wonderful it would be to hang out in that window surrounded room? It's probably a breakfast nook but would become my office.
Another beautiful Convolvulus cneorum. That's two in a row I've spotted on walks, both grown well. I might just have to give this one another chance.
Something about this metal edged landscape just isn't working for me. It needs more plants. There's too much order!
How's this for contrast? Crazy gardener on the left, minimalist on the right.
I say crazy gardener with nothing but the highest admiration. In fact this particular house and garden have a bit of a prominent status with my plant lust partners and I. We'd all noticed it independently and then later talked about it, and it's out of control planting style, knowing that we were all headed in the same direction. When I first discovered it, probably around 2007, I remember thinking it was a little too much of a good thing. But you know what? Walking it (for the first time, previous visits had just been drive-by) I was totally blown away by the plant choices. There are so many cool plants here, combined really well. It's a collectors garden and yes, I would be proud to become the "crazy-plant-lady" someday (or maybe I already am??)
Anyway...I couldn't help but notice this poor rhody pulled from it's planting spot. Or maybe the gardener was interrupted while planting? I was tempted to right the wrong but also didn't want to look like I was stealing the plant...
Curious. Fresh mulch piled up around what look to be rose canes, all surrounded by paper bags. What's up with that?
I don't know squat about camellias but I know I like the shape of this one, and those big serrated leaves.
It's that berberis I always forget I want until I see it blooming in someone's garden.
I recently professed my love for the magnolias, the star magnolias aren't ones I identify as favorites but when I see them up close like this they're pretty sweet.
Looking back down one of the sidewalks, this intense garden is on a corner, both sidewalks look like this.
On the street looking at the hellstrip. The soil has been built up and up and up. And it's showing...
Okay, I tore myself away and walked on...
And to think we were worried about making a statement painting our house dark brown.
Painted rocks are always head scratchers.
Daffodils. They're a little to "churchy" for me, but this color combo is striking.
This spring has been such that everything seems to be blooming earlier and faster than normal. Like these iris...
This is one I'm hoping someone can identify for me. I have a suspicion I probably caught it at it's best and once it's in bloom those wavy leaves won't be quite so prominent.
Still I'd love to know, anybody?
Your house must be something special when it has a matching corner wall announcing the address.
How wonderful that they've let these yucca just get a little crazy...
Wow, how's this for something different?
Lights strung for entertaining...
And I love the attention to detail on the metal edging. Rather than just a thin edge they've capped it. Perfect. That gnarly eucalyptus (?) is pretty sweet too.
Now I'm crossing Alberta Street, if I'd been thinking I would have walked the length from 33rd to 15th, maybe that will be next years Winter Walk-off post. Alberta is a very entertaining street. The sign below reads: "#AlbertaArtWorks - This is a rare time in the history of Portland and most importantly the comunity (sic) of NE Alberta if we respect each other as well as respect the buildings and neibors (sic) and when this is all over all we can take home are the pictures and the memories of how we treat each other...Dr.OXO'99" Alberta Street has a "last Thursday" artists festival in the summer months, the street closes to vehicle traffic and it can become a free for all. The neighbors and businesses have complained about things getting out of hand.
In warmer times those palms are dwarfed by huge bananas.
Creative wall treatment. I like how it works with the planters flanking the front steps.
Next door is this sweet stair and railing.
I've shared photos of the landscaping around this condo before.
But those euphorbia! They deserved a photo.
And flowering quince always deserves a little love.
The emerging foliage of the Hydrangea quercifolia is pretty darn fabulous...
Oh thank god! I thought this walk was going to end without discovering an agave. That would have been sad.
Speaking of sad...
Oh, but this one looks happy. We've got an agave, I guess I can end here.
All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.