Thursday, August 13, 2015

A blessed exception in a sea of excess...

What is with that bizarre title? This was the second to last stop on the 2015 Garden Bloggers Fling, it was a private garden. As the bus worked its way through the neighborhood my feeling of dread grew more and more severe, let me explain...in Portland we're currently experiencing a run of older homes being torn down and replaced with huge new construction. A small 2-bedroom, 1-bath (or 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath) is replaced by a 5 bedroom, 3 bath monstrosity that hugs the property lines, towers over the neighbors, and leaves little to no room for a garden. A Toronto version of that tragedy was unfolding all around as we drove to our destination. Moderate sized mid-century modern homes (excellent examples of the style) were interspersed with mock Tuscan villas, Tudor mansions and homes that Donald Trump might consider as a crash pad. My fingers were crossed that we'd stop in front of one of the older homes, rather than one of the new ones.

We stopped next to this. Fortunately, with the construction fence in place, I was pretty sure it was not our destination (I was also happy to see they'd left the trees).

Ahh...this was our garden!

Even more surprising is the fact this too is new construction, but unlike the neighbors these folks didn't need to prove their wealth and value by building a home that could be mistaken for a hotel.

Well, and they're gardeners too of course!

And at least one of them must be an artist? Or maybe they're collectors.

Variegated Lily of the Valley?

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)?

Calycanthus foliage...

And flower...

The rare Twiganthius hyacintho (the Google monster said blue in Latin was hyacintho)

More Ligularia!

I noticed this on the front porch too, serious railings!

And a great fence/entry gate.

Really I think every gardener in Toronto has a patch of Pulsatilla vulgaris.

It's that weedy Euphorbia that I lust after (but never seem to find except for in other people's gardens!).

Heading back around the opposite side of the house I was thrilled to discover a little desert-ish planted patch next to the driveway - taking advantage of the reflected heat.

Come on little guy, you can make it!

Yep, these people are a treasure.

I hope their neighbors appreciate the wildlife they bring to the neighborhood.

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

24 comments:

  1. Beautiful home and some nice plantings too -- love the front garden! The orange/grey artwork is *perfect* there, just perfect!

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    1. I wonder if it stays out year round?

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  2. Lovely, and just the right amount of quirkiness in the art. So forward-thinking of them to leave themselves room to garden. When we looked for a house here in Washington, the garden space was as important, if not more important, than the house.

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    1. Naturally the garden space/layout/feel was rather important for me too. In fact a couple of decent homes were rejected because there either wasn't enough garden space or it just didn't feel right.

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  3. i'm guessing the folks building that monstrosity will look across the street at this gorgeous garden and complain about the wild and unkempt property. People who'd do a tear down like this giant house haven't a clue about nature or beauty.

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    1. Yikes! I hope you're wrong, but sadly...probably not.

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  4. I love this rare Twiganthius hyacintho

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    1. I bet if you look really hard you could find one for your garden!

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  5. I remember feeling intensely jealous of the dry stream bed here. A great garden. And I share your loathing of all those McMansions.

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    1. And I was jealous of all the "Flingers" that had the guts to climb the ladder to see the roof garden.

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  6. Mansionization has been going on here for years. I'm happiest when the owners hide themselves and their monstrosities behind tall fences or solid hedges. The garden fit the house you toured perfectly. I rather like that blue tree, which is something of a surprise.

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    1. Hopefully you've seen a photo or two of that blue tree on other blogs? Everyone else seems to have gotten a better photo of it than I did.

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  7. I've never understood the need some people have for huge houses. So much wasted space. It's like wearing clothes two or three sizes too big. I'd rather have something that fits. That smaller house is so much nicer. I especially like the darker stone at the front. And the garden is lovely!

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    1. But without a huge house how will everyone know how stinken rich you are?

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  8. Replies
    1. Have you ever considered attending a "Fling" Mindy? You'd have a blast!

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  9. Sheesh! Monstrosity is the right word. That place could house Parliament. And their families! Such a nice contrast across the street. No slugs in Canada. That Ligularia is fabulous. I should save a bunch of that weedy euphorbia for you. :)

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    1. Yes please! (weedy Euphorbia). While our house is small (850 sq ft up, same in an unfinished basement below) it's just fine for Andrew and I. I can't imagine having all that space!!! (although when I learned that one of our homes previous owners raised 3 daughters here (1 bathroom!) I was a little shocked)

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  10. Hats off to the folks who chose this house style/size and made the swell garden!

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  11. Megamansions too shall pass. I thought Canadians had more sense than us.

    Wonderful home and garden: thanks for the tour. The use of reflected heat is clever. The Pulsatilla puffs are like the seed heads of Clematis.

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  12. At least the Faux-Cal / Tuscan home saved those trees :-)

    The desert corner, yes - "hang in there, you're going to be OK". I would happily send the news media's "high pressure over New Mexico frying the southwest" to Toronto, and help that cholla, except it's not listening that I'm in TX. And their yucca might not like it.

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  13. So many wonderful leaf shapes in this garden: that's what stands out to me.

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  14. You got much better images from this garden than I did. I liked it, but I was kind of played out by the time we got here. I liked that dry stream and the garden art and didn't notice much else. Oh and that nice front porch.

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