Most of you are probably familiar with the annual Garden Bloggers Fling, where 80 or so lucky bloggers spend 3 days touring private and public gardens, and nurseries, in the host city (this year is in Minneapolis). Here in the Pacific Northwest we have our own version, called Study Weekend. The location rotates between Portland, Eugene, Vancouver/Victoria (BC) and Seattle, the local Hardy Plant Society in each city organizes the events. Last year was in Portland, this year was scheduled to be in Eugene, Oregon, but the Olympic team track and field trials are being held there so the Salem HPS stepped up and hosted 400 people last weekend. Since I am not attending the Fling this year decided it was time to do a Study Weekend – it was great fun!
I'll start my SW coverage here, an an atrium/greenhouse/potting shed addition off the garage/guest house. Yes, this property was massive with views of the Willamette river and valley beyond. The driveway was lined with huge boulders peppered with plants, most people walked back up to view the garden proper, but I felt this little space needed exploring. It wasn't a garden prop but a real working space.
This was an aha moment! We have an old double laundry sink just like this, and it leaks. In fact when I got home from the weekend away Andrew happened to mention the need to replace it. I think my excitement at the idea may have alarmed him.
Can you imagine the luxury of a fixture like this? One side filled with potting soil, the other pea gravel, or pumice, or some other amendment. Yep, I'm already scheming on where in the garage it will go.
This disc planter must have been in for freshening.
That's the space I was in – under glass – above it is the guest house where the kind home/garden owners let us touring folk use the restroom, very much appreciated.
These steps lead up from the lower level to the garden/house proper.
On the left was a massive rock wall.
Talking with Sharon McKee she told of mentioning her wish for a rock wall to her husband. That Christmas she received a toy dump truck with a rock in it, her husband's way of saying he was going to make it happen.
It's quite the wall!
I saw several leggy Graptopetalum in the gardens we visited over the weekend. It's not a look I normally like but it's growing on me.
This is the best looking Kalanchoe thyrsiflora I've ever seen...
The first bed at the top of the stairs gives a slight hint of what you'll see when you turn to the right.
Suddenly I didn't feel like I was in Oregon any longer.
But I was soon pulled back into place.
The owners love of rocks, in all shapes and sizes is apparent.
But that love seems to extend to even old concrete and bricks. I loved the mix!
And the view.
We progress from open and sunny into the tall trees...
With a view of the conservatory attached to the house.
I must share one of my best overheard conversations of the weekend that took place under the trees: the ground was covered with crunchy hazelnut shells. A pair of older ladies found them particularly attractive and were discussing their merits. One of them mentioned she'd heard that "morals grow in the nut shells!" Now I'm the last person to comment on a grammatical error (I make many) but she clearly said "morals" – when I think she meant "morels". Silly fun but thinking about growing morals had me smiling for awhile.
The long driveway was bordered by nice big rocks like these, all planted up.
Here's the other side of the conservatory. The homeowners built an entire scale version from wood to make sure they liked how it looked before going forward with the addition. That's attention to detail.
Golden Robina seemed to be one of the signature trees of the area – there were many – all beautiful.
I don't know if this is a project in the making but I couldn't help but see this planted up with different Sedum or Sempervivum in the sections.
That concludes this visit, but we saw so many gardens. I've got a lot to share over the next few weeks!
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