Thursday, October 8, 2015

So that's what's on the other side of the wall!

I've written about this garden a couple of times, most recently last April when I did an unexpected drive-by and took these photos and several others.

Wondering what exactly goes on behind that wall has been a big question. Is there a pool back there? A private jungle?

Well, now I know! Whenever we're at Powell's I buy the latest issue of Atomic Ranch magazine, I recently grabbed the Fall 2015 issue without even really looking at it. Later that night when I picked it up and looked at the cover my first thought was..."hey, wait a minute, can it really be?"...

And the answer is yes, yes it is! This is what's behind the wall...
photo from Atomic Ranch, Jim Brown photographer


The magazine is always a great read, and this article doesn't disappoint. The owners bought the house 10 years ago and did a lot of work inside before thinking about what they wanted outside.
photo from Atomic Ranch, Jim Brown photographer
photo from Atomic Ranch, Jim Brown photographer
photo from Atomic Ranch, Jim Brown photographer

Evidently the rusted vegetable planters came first and inspired the material and design of the wall.
photo from Atomic Ranch, Jim Brown photographer

Which during the construction of, according to Bromley Davenport - the author of the article, one passer-by commented "You just ruined a perfectly good house"...that must have been confidence inspiring. The owners did some of the construction themselves and rusted the COR-TEN in place by sanding off any oil coating and spraying the metal down with "a warm saltwater solution."
photo from Atomic Ranch, Jim Brown photographer
photo from Atomic Ranch, Jim Brown photographer

More from behind the wall...
photo from Atomic Ranch, Jim Brown photographer
photo from Atomic Ranch, Jim Brown photographer

A peek at the outdoor dining table beyond the cutout...
photo from Atomic Ranch, Jim Brown photographer


So the moral of the story is that sometimes you do get to find out what's behind the wall...if you buy the magazine...
photo from Atomic Ranch, Jim Brown photographer

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

38 comments:

  1. And a second moral is -- most passerbys are asshats. Not you, of course. It's wonderful to see how well the garden and the industrial touches go with the mid-century modern house.

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    1. True. Especially the ones that steal a round orange pot with an Agave in it.

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    2. Yes! That particular passerby was most definitely an asshat!

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  2. There's that multicolored gravel again with the gray pavers... ;)

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  3. Not enough succulents for my taste, but otherwise...PERFECTION. I'm such a sucker for CORTEN.

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    1. I don't think the average Portland gardener is quite ready for the work most succulents require in our climate.

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  4. The way the Clematis armandii spills over the wall...the shadows on the cor-ten...the reflecting pool tucked privately behind grasses...well, everything: it's all quite wonderful. And I love that serendipity rules yet again.

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    1. It's gotten better and better over time (since I first saw it), but then again what garden doesn't right?

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    2. Well, maybe the well-conceived garden that gets installed and then ignored?

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    3. Was wondering what that fantastic looking plant growing on top of the wall was. Thanks for answering my question! I love the combination of the two.

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  5. Oh my, so stylish inside, well executed garden! You just need to bag an invite now for a visit....

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    1. Maybe an agave pup with a note will do the trick.

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  6. I love, love, love corten and it's found a perfect home with this mid-century modern house. A few spikes would have made the design just right... but all those grasses aren't half bad! So cool to peek behind the walls.

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    1. The article mentioned the walls weren't technically to code, but the homeowners decided to take the "do it, then ask for forgiveness" route. I'm glad they did.

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  7. Yep, that's all pretty flawless.

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    1. Glad you can see that even with my crappy scans!

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  8. I love the indoor/outdoor-ness of that last picture.

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    1. If you want to see more of the inside you should pick up this issue of the magazine. They included several great indoor shots as well.

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  9. I subscribe to Atomic Ranch, and I ate that article up! I loved the homeowners' creative, fun and beautiful design, although I was surprised and a little disappointed at their (and their contractors') slightly cavalier attitude about securing the proper permits beforehand. You'd think by now people would know to at least check with the city... But a fabulous result, for sure!

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    1. I wonder why I've never subscribed? Hmm, must think about that. So did you recognize the house? Have you seen it in person? I have mixed emotions about the permit thing. It seems like all the people doing good, positive things are penalized (or told no) while all the people destructing the things we love about the city are given the green light.

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  10. I don't need to say much about that garden. Gorgeous.

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  11. The garden has a wonderful cohesive feel (unlike that surrounding my own mid-century modern house).

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    1. Ah...Kris you're underestimating your garden and your design chops.

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  12. OK, made me look. And now I will go out and scoop up that issue of AR. Screw the person who said that about ruining the house. I like in a similar one, built in '59. If I had $10 for every joker who told me I needed to keep the pink sinks/toilets/tub and refrigerator (owner had the freezer and the separate refrigerator custom painted to match), well...I could have paid for the remodel. I put that stuff on the corner and not one of those smart asses came back to get it!

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    1. Ha, we looked at a fabulous mid-century house during our home-hunt. If featured a perfect period bathroom, all pink. It was nauseating.

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  13. Wow how fabulous. beautiful garden and house. What a surprise that must have been when you saw it in the magazine!

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  14. A great garden and home! I agree with Alison's sentiment regarding most passersby. Hope that a code enforcement officer doesn't come by, take pictures and tell them to modify or remove their violation! Sometimes living in the city sucks (red potted agave thieves) but at least we don't have to worry about wildlife like deer and bear. Oh wait, you've got that too. Damn! Is there a way to lock the agave gate?

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  15. Are the translucent panels plexiglas? I *love* the effect.

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  16. Have totally seen this house and (shamelessly) photographed it from the street. No, truly, I embarrassed myself. It's so stunning. I couldn't stop! So, I've often wondered about it, as you did! LOVE that you found it in the magazine! Thanks for this share.

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  17. Yet another reason this blog is such a terrific resource: Atomic Ranch was not on my radar, and now I'm headed to the nearest B & N to look for a copy. Wonderful garden, and I love the steel like crazy! White vinegar for rust (with a little salt), says my local welder -- gonna give it a try with some salvage this weekend...

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  18. What a great garden! And I like the wall, too, rust and all. I'd love to take a closer look at all those plants.

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  19. What a great surprise - and to see those stunning photographs of it all at its very best, too. I cannot imagine how they must have felt upon hearing that they’d “ruined" the garden. Oh, no, wait, I do know how it feels to have someone call your garden “hideous!” It’s beautiful -thanks for sharing.

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  20. Nice! And isn't it funny/sad what some people will say to their neighbors when an artistic vision is underway?

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  21. Love it thanks for sharing

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