Anyway, couple weeks ago Evan held an open garden for his blogging and gardening friends. Evan gardens on family land just north of Portland, near Castle Rock, WA, aka "the gateway to Mt. St. Helens." His garden is quite large by urban standards, about 2.5 acres of gardenable land inside the deer fence. The size and the location ("out in the country") had me a little worried about how it would resonate with me personally. Sometimes gardens on large, rural, parcels of land suffer from too much space — the empty space can be overwhelming and so the gardener spaces everything waaay out, in an attempt to fill it up. Thankfully Evan seems to like his plants touching. Exhibit A...
How beautiful is this? I've never seen Euphorbia Blackbird grown so well.
The rest of this island planting is just as lovely...
Seseli libanotis, aka moon carrot.
This raised, circular planting was originally completed as a senior project in high school. In the years that followed Evan has lived in many places around the country, and done time at well known public gardens and nurseries. He's since moved home and had the opportunity to rework the original (see some early drawings on his blog, here).
Isn't this just the perfect place for Stipa gigantea?
Up against the house is a seed grown Melianthus villosus (I know this because I am lucky enough to have one of my own, a gift from Evan).
And now moving out to the shady planting area to the left, as you turn down the driveway.
I'm insanely jealous of these glossy Farfugium leaves. Evan picked up a handful of plants recently on clearance at a great price.
Now crossing the drive we're starting into the meaty part of the garden, which due to its size — and the fabulous plants within — felt a little like a botanical garden. I believe that fabulous twisty grass is Carex comans.
I think this is Clethra barbinervis, but don't quote me on that.
Rubus lineatus, which I adore and used to grow...until suddenly I didn't any longer.
And my new Magnolia obsession,
Athyrium some something (love this fern)
And a gorgeous Woodwardia unigemmata...
Next to it is a petite bamboo that I instantly recognized, or at least I thought I did. I thought it was Sasa tsuboiana, which would have been a pass along from Alan in the St. Louis area — who blogs at It's Not Work It's Gardening — to me, to Anna (Flutter & Hum), to Evan. That would have been a well traveled plant! Instead it's Sasa veitchii forma minor, from Anna.
Also from Anna (who kindly gave me some years ago, but mine is now dead), Iris confusa.
Such stunning foliage.
This beauty is a Rhododendron, cut back (you can see the older branches) and putting out new foliage.
Mahonia eurybracteata 'Indianola Silver'
Every once and awhile I remembered to look up and take in the big picture...
But then of course was drawn right back down to marvel at the individual plants.
Mahonia confusa (?)
I may need to add an Alstroemeria or two.
I think Evan said his Tetrapanax are completing their second year in the ground? I love my tall plants but there's something very special about being able to look down at the leaves too.
Apart I'm not fond of either of these leaves, but together I really like them.
Oh ya! I was happy to see Araucaria araucana, aka monkey puzzle tree. Another cool tree I wish I had space for.
Evan is not a fan of spiky plants, but thankfully he's included two Agave bracteosa — the kind and gentle Agave — in the garden.
And a spineless Opuntia as well!
Being a genius at propagation Even brought a dozen or so of these seed-grown Lupinus sericatus to our last Blogger's plant swap, I came home with three. Two are dead and one is struggling. I am not allowed to try this plant again.
I was mildly infatuated with the dry stream bed and path around the house. Odd, because I usually don't like elements like this — it was done really well...
Heading around the opposite side of the house I spied a deck with what must be houseplants summering outside.
This tree-ferny thing caught my eye very quick like.
What a beauty!
And on a second pass, back at the beginning of the garden, Comptonia peregrina
Another pass-along plant I've received from Evan. I hope mine is this fabulous someday.
A different view of the "stream-bed"...
Grevillea x gaudichaudii
If you'd like to see more, Evan just did a comprehensive look at the garden over on his blog — complete with lots of "before and after" shots — see that here. Thanks for opening your garden to us all Evan, I am in awe of the plants and the artful way you've put them together, and in such a huge space! It all felt very cohesive and welcoming.
Weather Diary, Sept 18: Hi 61, Low 53/ Precip .5"
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