As I arrived people were already gathering in the back, so I snapped a few quick photos of the front garden before joining them.
I'd previously visited in 2014, things have really filled in! Arctostaphylos, Hebe, Euphorbia and Agave...oh my!
That's Greg there, in the brown hoodie and baseball cap. We've all moved out to the drive (no worries, I'll share photos of the back garden in a bit) and are admiring the huge Caesalpinia gilliesii (Yellow Bird Of Paradise) against the house.
Greg was extremely generous with his knowledge and it was a great exchange of ideas between all who attended. I recall coming home afterwards and feeling like my garden was so empty (I know!). Greg does an amazing job of layering plants and completely covering the ground.
That mat-forming creeping cactus above is Maihuenia poeppigii. It's joined by several Euphorbia rigida and Agave bracteosa. Below center is Artemisia versicolor 'Seafoam'.
I hope mine will grow up to look like this someday.
Greg gave us all plant lists, and had I posted sooner after the visit I just might have remembered which Arctostaphylos this is. There are 9 different ones listed, I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess this is Arctostaphylos silvicola 'Ghostly'... (Greg confirmed, it is)...
Guessing again, I believe the grass in front is Schizachyrium scoparium 'The Blues'.
And the tiny Agave is A. toumeyana.
The third image of, basically, the same scene. Because it's just that beautiful! Greg certainly understands the importance of a limited color palette.
He mentioned "following the rules" (even if they were only self-imposed rules) and his desire to avoid a "garden where you plant everything you like and it becomes crazy in four years" (funny, he managed to say that without casting a knowing glance my way).
Juniperus communis 'Hoodview'
Yucca harrimaniae x nana
House, what house?
And this, the hellstrip. The most heavenly hellstrip EVER!
I wish I lived across from Greg and his partner Christian, can you imagine getting to see this everyday? (plus they're super nice guys too)...
Okay, heading back around for a look at the back garden.
But first! Hakea epiglottis on the left, with Opuntia ellisiana.
I'm even less sure of the plant ID out here. I believe the tall silvery guy with the brown bits is Ozothamnus 'Sussex Silver'.
Against the house I believe that's a pair of Mahonia eurybracteata silver on the left, Pittosporum illicioides in the middle, and a short Mahonia fortunei to its right.
Pachystegia insignis, mine is still in a container. Maybe I'll be brave enough to finally put it in the ground this spring.
Figs! (Ficus carica 'Petite Nigra')
Along the back fence...Azara microphylla on the far right.
Arctostaphylos silvicola 'Ghostly' (again)...
And this one. I've believe it's Pittosporum tobira...
I thought this was a genius way to add a trellis without attaching to the existing fence. Add your own (rustic) boards in front and attach to them.
I must also include a couple of links where you can see more of Greg's garden. First of all my friend Kate Bryant wrote an excellent story which appears in this month's Portland Monthly magazine, that's here. And my friend Anna, who was there with me that morning, put together a drool worthy blog post here.
Thank you Greg for an amazing morning in your garden! Now when does the Xera shop open for the season??? (word is Thursday, February 9th — assuming this insane winter lets go of us before then)
Weather Diary, January 5: Hi 35, Low 17 / Precip 0
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