Back on October 23rd I took advantage of a beautiful day and paid a visit to Leach Botanical Gardens. My first visit was back in 2010, I was excited to become reacquainted.
Leach Botanical Gardens is set on nearly 17 acres in Southeast Portland. The former estate of John and Lilla Leach, it opened to the public in 1983 - through a partnership between Leach Garden Friends and Portland Parks and Recreation.
I remember taking nearly this same photo on my first visit. What an excellent illustration of why, if you can, you should be growing an Arctostaphylos (Manzanita). That bark!
You can see that same Manzanita in the distance here. I've walked further along the trail and turned back. The roof on the left is part of the home/gift shop complex, it's the plantings up near the roof that I'm currently interested in.
There were no labels that I could see, so I can't tell you which Agave these are.
This one, no problem. It's an unusual one to see planted out here in Portland, I grew A. toumeyana in the ground for a few years but a particularly wet and cold winter did it in.
At first glance it looks like that huge sloped roof would drain right into this planting bed. Of course there's a gutter that carries the rain away.
Dasylirion wheeleri I presume.
Further along the path you can look down on a small patio off the kitchen. The tree fern on the far right is a Balantium antarcticum, the fern just to it's left is a Woodwardia radicans.
Later when I was down in that patio area a couple scouting wedding locations was being toured through. As long as the weather cooperated this would be a lovely venue for a wedding.
Further up the winding trail...
This is interesting! A newish planting of Pachystegia insignis (Marlborough Rock Daisy). I have one a little bigger than these, from Xera Plants (they've got an impressive specimen growing at their retail nursery).
I've not planted mine out, due to concerns about it's hardiness. I think next spring I will.
The supposedly Xeric plantings left a lot to be desired.
Besides the Yucca there wasn't really anything to see.
But when I turned around I saw this. It was breathtaking in person, the leaves lit by a bit of sun, the tall blue conifer, it doesn't translate so well in a photo.
There were a few of these in the upper garden. Perhaps at one time it was fenced?
In an out-of-the-way corner a large area is given over to propagation, no doubt for both the gardens and the spring plant sale.
It was only after wandering though, snapping photos, that I saw the sign that says "STAFF ONLY"...oh well.
Several of the trough planters were empty, I wonder who tends them?
This section is definitely new since I first visited. Too bad the paths aren't graveled, it would look so much nicer.
This one's acting as host to a Euphorbia seedling.
Cheilanthes intertexta (Myriopteris intertexta), native to rocky habitats in parts of southern Oregon and western Nevada.
There is no shortage of tall trees here.
Or big Rhododendrons.
Even a few Cyclamen.
Now I've wandered completely though the upper garden (north of the home) and I'm in the lower garden, along Johnson Creek (there is a trail map here, if you're interested).
Adiantum aleuticum (western maidenhair fern)
Dangerous (on a trail), but beautiful.
Looking up towards the house.
And now on the wrap-around balcony of the house.
In front of the home is a small Bamboo grove with many of the canes marked, like this...
Dense vertical plantings.
No visit to Leach would be complete without walking to the south side of the creek and visiting the stone cabin and fireplace.
The Leachs spent summers here after buying the property, before the main home was completed in 1936.
Imagine lively dinners and discussions at this little outdoor table.
I need to visit here more than once every five years...
All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.