Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The McKee Garden, a stop on the Salem Study Weekend

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.

Hello sunshine!

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!

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

18 comments:

  1. Looks like a spectacular garden. A greenhouse and a conservatory? How cool is that? It's so nice of folks to share their gardens and great to experience the study weekend vicariously through your posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The garden owners toured the other gardens on their "off" days. It was great to see them sharing in the fun.

      Delete
  2. That's a lot in one property/garden! Who doesn't love rocks? (Except those who have rocky soil I imagine...) Love the sink idea, but that potting mix will dry out quickly, so you'll want to consider how to overcome that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have one word for you: plastic.

      Delete
  3. Wow, I love everything especially the greenhouse! Great use of an old sink. Can't wait to see yours in action. I use metal trash cans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've seen a lot of folks use trashcans and like the look. Right now I'm using old metal buckets.

      Delete
  4. I love it! Our lot is flat, so I was drooling over the steps and walls. The plant material is fabulous! Thank you Loree!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't interesting what see each see based on our own experiences?

      Delete
  5. Love all that stonework. I'm intrigued by the possibilities of the work-in-progress. I have plans for redoing my gravel garden this winter, and I'm looking for ideas. It has been sadly neglected for too long, and has become very weedy and overgrown.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A winter gardening project? You never cease to amaze Alison.

      Delete
  6. Without question, the PNW has the best garden events. I'm scheming as to how I'm going to get an enhanced stone wall of my own on our front slope but I think I'm going to have to wait until the summer heat is behind us to push the topic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see it now Kris, it would be fabulous! Maybe just start amping up the gentle hints now and then start a full force offensive in the fall.

      Delete
  7. Not sure if this is a double comment, but I was saying that I can't believe you have a sink like that lying around. And can we Fling in Salem next, please?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well it's not really lying around, I mean the washing machine empties into it...so it's being used. And re: Fling in Salem...I'm trying to think of a Salem blogger, I don't think there's a single one!

      Delete
  8. Our brethren to the south obviously have a lot to offer. Looking forward to further reporting.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a grand garden. I loved see the Kalanchoe thyrsiflora in that big pot. I have a MUCH smaller version in my garden right now. Last fall/winter the mother plant bloomed and made all of these babies. I kept only 4. One I gave away and the other three I crammed into this little pot. They have liked being outside this summer. They are growing bigger. I was just thinking I should repot them separately but after seeing the wow of that big overplanted pot I think I will keep them together. I liked your "morals" story. We all should be usling nutshells if morals are the result.
    I can't wait to see more of your tour. It looks like great fun.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Morals grow in the nutshells, and virtue in the shredded pine bark. Wonderful garden. Love this garden, sounds like a trip to Eugene is in order.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice garden, fabulous potting shed. Happy I didn't miss this post.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!