It was with anticipation and curiosity that I visited the garden of Jeffrey Bale here in Portland. I've seen several photos and imagined it to be a densely planted, colorful oasis. But truth be told, I was also a little apprehensive.
This garden was on tour last summer and I heard from many people who were disappointed. I was not, disappointed.
I visited on a rainy afternoon in May, which I think might just be the perfect time. The foliage was lush and dripping, the rocks extra colorful. Last summer's tour was in August after a long, hot, dry summer.
This metal arch frames the entry.
Rusted metal acts as a screen from the neighbors yard as well as a nice backdrop.
Arachniodes simplicior ‘Variegata’ looks great against the rust, and in the rain.
On the opposite side of the entry...
Jeffrey owns two houses next door to each other, so the gardens kind of run together.
Fabulous hell-strip Yucca!
This is the path leading around to the back garden, unfortunately I cut off part of the snakes head!
I guess I should have explained that Mr. Bale is a mosaic artist, as well as a garden designer. He recently gave a talk for our local Hardy Plant Society. Since I've read his blog for awhile now I thought the talk would be a good one and it was. The images he shared were absolutely gorgeous, I could have sat there and listened to him talk of his travels and garden-making for hours. This blog post of his talks a little about his garden and some of the others he's worked on.
I honestly didn't think I would like this wall as much as I did.
I captured just an edge of the tub, on the far right. There is hot water available for cool weather bathing and a cover is placed over it to convert to a bed when the need arises. The gravel is covered with rugs when it's not raining.
There is so much to see...
Here in this garden, as when I visited the gardens of Shirley Watts, Keeyla Meadows and Marcia Donahue, the extreme ornamentation doesn't detract from the garden...it is the garden. My negative feelings about "garden art" don't apply when what's on display is the work of the garden's creator.
I'm afraid that sounds horribly nonsensical and a little snobbish but there you have it.
I was lucky enough to see inside both houses too – and while there was a lot that I'd love to share – I'll limit it to just the creative tile work in this bathroom.
Pretty fabulous no?
Back out on the front porch it's time to bid farewell, and I must admit the layers of objects and strong colors had me worried my house and garden was going to feel mighty boring by comparison...
All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.