If I were a smarter blogger I would have positioned myself at the back of the room, where I could have taken photos of the speakers slides without annoying those around me. Instead I sat where (short) me could easily see the screen and thus took not a single photo. However because a blog post with no photos would be boring, I snapped a few during the post-seminar reception held at Contained Exuberance and Xera Plants.
|The entrance to Contained Exuberance|
The printed program for the day’s events featured this quote from keynote speaker Patrick Cullina: “Cities across the country and abroad are seeking revitalization through innovative landscape initiatives that make them more vibrant and livable. Today’s program explores a range of strategies that overlay environmental interests on cultural experiences and examines impacts that creative uses of plants can have on urban life.”
|Someone warned "that is not a bench!"|
The thought of someone mistaking it for such made me laugh...ouch!
Here's where I admit I attended the program not all that excited about Mr. Cullina's presentation. "The High Line" blah blah blah. No! I was wrong. His presentation was fabulous. If you think you've already heard all about The High Line you're wrong. If you think "but that's New York, it's not applicable to ___ (fill in the blank)" you're wrong.
|I think that's Agave 'Cream Spike'|
Mr. Patrick Cullina is an excellent speaker and if you ever have the chance to hear him speak about The High Line, or the urban landscape in general, you should be there.
|Surrounded by several sempervivum and sedum.|
His slides were not just of the High Line, or from New York, but instead featured urban projects both small and large from locations across the country. He also spoke about the importance of revitalization occuring in such a way that the history of the space is still visible. Gas Works Park on Lake Union in Seattle comes to mind. The space wouldn't be nearly so compelling if the old structures had all been removed, by leaving them the space became so much more than just another park.
|Bob Hyland, owner/designer at Contained Exuberance popping open a bottle of sparkles courtesy of|
Chris Cullina, Argyle Winery
The next speaker was Karla Dakin, co-author of the book "The Professional Design Guide to Green Roofs" - talk about plant design porn! Her slide show had many beautiful images, including local green roofs designed by Sean Hogan/Cistus Nursery who just happened to be the next speaker.
|My scotch-moss never looks that good.|
Sean's plant images never disappoint and he provided a lengthy list of wonderful plants suitable for green roofs and urban plantings.
|Here's the crowd gathered next door at Xera. |
In the blue jacket on the left is Evelyn Hadden, seminar speaker and author of Hellstrip Gardening.
If you think the Xera sign is a bit wonky it's because I put the words on it. In "real life" the back of the sign is blank.
The most interesting green roof plant Sean mentioned? Trunking Yucca rostrata, on a green roof! Growing in just 11" of soil. Can you imagine? Sean also discussed the importance of using our native sedums (Sedum oblanceolatum , Sedum obtusatum, Sedum spathulifolium) since they're adapted to our summer-dry climate.
|Sean Hogan, seminar speaker and owner of Cistus Nursery chats with garden writer Kate Bryant.|
You may have noticed them in the distance of the photo above.
The afternoon program kicked off with Lorene Edwards Forkner (editor at Pacific Horticulture) who spoke about collaborating with nature in the garden. Specifically planting in such a way that you're attracting, and working with, pollinators.
Lorene's talk included subjects such as: planting a layered landscape, maintaining permeable surfaces, considering the climate (plant for where you live!), minimizing inputs (don't love your garden to death) and supporting the pollinators.
|Artemisia versicolor 'Seafoam' just getting started for the season.|
After Lorene came Evelyn Hadden who, by the way, will be back in Portland in June to speak at the HPSO Study Weekend. Evelyn is full of passion for urban plantings, hellstrips in particular but any bit of land that you could squeeze a plant into. (*I had to add this link, even though her post went up after I published my wrap-up. Evelyn has a much more detailed write up on the event here: There’s Hope for Urban Design*)
|I think that colorful plant in the lower left hand corner is Trachelospermum asiaticum 'Ogon Nishiki'.|
Next up was Maurice Horn, of Joy Creek Nursery. Maurice spoke about the hellstrip he planted at his last home, a planting of entirely Columbia River Gorge natives.
|Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Purpureus' I was so tempted, coulda shoulda wouda. Wonder if they still have it?|
Some of the plants Maurice highlighted were Eriogonum umbellatum (Buckwheat), Lomatium Columbiana (Desert Parsley), several of penstemon and again Sedum spathulifolium.
|In the blue shirt, back jacket is Jim Rondone, past President of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon. |
To his right is Kate Bryant (again - she gets around...)
A big part of my enjoyment of the day was being surrounded by like-minded individuals. But what about those folks who don't ever stop to think about the need for nature in our cities? Or more importantly those folks who have never experienced nature? Mr. Cullina told a story about a father and son on The High Line who were trying to figure out where the trigger was for the cricket soundtrack was located. They couldn't comprehend that there were actual crickets and the "soundtrack" was natural. Not in the city!
I make a habit of walking through the nursery department at our local "everything" store each week when I grocery shop. There are frequently must-have surprises. Yesterday as I was checking out the cashier, obviously taken with the plants the guy in front of me was buying, said "I'm not a gardener, it's my first day out here, but this is really exciting, seeing everything people are buying!" He took the time to talk about what he was buying and encourage her, as did I. One person at a time.
|The shade plantings along their fence are looking lush!|
Want to get involved? The Pacific Horticulture website lists upcoming events here and the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon has a list here.
|In the background, on the left, is Greg Shepard, co-owner at Xera.|
There's a fun blog that chronicles the guerrilla gardening efforts of a group in SoCal, maybe we all need to start a little guerrilla gardening effort? Be it giving plants to a neighbor, planting up (and caring for) a round-about at the end of the street, or being part of your city's effort to provide green-space for inner-city kids. We need more plants, and plant people. Spread the love.
|And I had to share this, the "safety wrap" on an opuntia, Xera style.|
All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.