Friday, March 23, 2018

Garden visit follow-up (x2)...

When last we visited these two gardens I was on the sidewalk (here). This time around I've been invited into the private spaces of both, and I'm taking you along!

We start out in the back garden at my friend Anna's place (yes that Anna, of Flutter & HumThe Creative Flux and Optic Verve). It was March 1st when I visited, Anna was insistent that the garden wasn't in condition to be photographed, but let me do it anyway. Anna is usually working on other people's gardens, or at Joy Creek Nursery, so her own garden is a work in progress (the cobbler's children have no shoes).  I thought it was wonderful, there are great vignettes like this everywhere...

You may remember this one from her blog. Her photos were much better.

I miss the green patina of our old fence. These colors are magnificent.

Anna uses cement blocks to create wonderful raised planting areas...
...and many different materials to create smaller, open bottom, planters — with the goal of raising the plants up from the ground plane. Exhibit A...

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

There are also many fabulous vertical surfaces for plants to climb on.

Well, not just plants!

I can't remember now if she identified this as Metapanax delavayi or davidii. As you may remember that whole subject confuses the heck out of me.

I'm so glad her Eryngium proteiflorum bloom stuck around for me to see it. Both my plants made it through winter so fingers crossed I'll have blooms this summer.
Anna had a couple stunning fern tables. The height on this one was inspiring.

And the hungry metal sculptures looked right at home.
More Cycleman foliage for me to drool over.

I can't remember what this bright creature was, but doesn't it look fabulous against the red background?

Anna has been the source for Iris confusa for several Portland bloggers, check out the subtle variegation on this one, oh and that black Hellebore...
Before I knew it it was time to leave Anna's and...

Walk up the street to her neighbor Don's place.
Does this look familiar? You first saw Don's garden in photos my friend Louis took (here and here). Don could not have been more gracious in showing us around and letting me take photos.


Love this colorful Hebe, not sure which one it is.

The back garden has a very different feel from the front garden, much more PNW, at least in this section.

There were a couple patches of happy and healthy Fatshedera, doesn't it look fabulous against the house color? (which if I remember right Anna had a hand in helping to select)

These recently purchased desert and tropical accents will grace the garden for summer fun.

The back garden is a unique L shape, with this bit that extends on, beyond what would be a normal lot.

The banana grove must be a sight to see in the summertime.

Cordylines, and palms and umbrella pine, oh my! I really wish I had space for a Sciadopitys verticillata (the Japanese Umbrella Pine).

Looking back towards the house and the wonderful covered-patio space off the side of the garage.
Another view...

And the very back of the garden was this rusty raised planter Don designed.

He also laid the brickwork, pretty fabulous.

Thank you so much Anna and Don for sharing your gardens!

Weather Diary, March 22: Hi 50, Low 39/ Precip .33"

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Having laid brick walks and a patio, I agree that is impressive work — especially since he had to cut some quirky pieces to fit it together. Fabulous rusty metal bits in both gardens and great plants. When we first moved into our house we considered a red color but our neighbors next door and across the street both had red houses, so we dropped that idea. But green plants sure pop against the red.

    1. The house color is perfectly suited to showing off the plants, although I wouldn't call it red (but agree it comes across as red in some of the photos). My house in Spokane was barn red when I bought it. Not a great thing to come home to. This shade has a panache that straight red lacks.

  2. I enjoyed both tours. I love Anna's clever vignettes (those in the garden, as well as the photo vignettes posted on-line). And I bet that Fremontodendron looks fabulous blooming against the red background of Dan's house. I'm as impressed by the work that went into his back garden as I was by the front.

    1. Oh my, yes! Now you've got me obsessed with seeing that Fremontodendron blooming.

  3. I didn't realize until Anna showed a fern table recently on Instagram that she had such a talent for them. They're inspiring. I love the little men climbing on the metal bars! Lucky you getting to see both gardens in one day.

    1. It was truly an inspiring afternoon of garden touring, and I got to enjoy a glass of wine in Anna's beautiful house too!

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed their gardens. It is nice to see the bones of a garden. It always gives me ideas. I love Anna's raised platforms for her special plants, especially that fern display. I sure hope you return during the height of summer. I too like the green plants against the red house.

  5. Both wonderful gardens!
    That umbrella pine seemed so healthy. Did Don mention if it was a special cultivar? The needles looked wider than the species form.
    Thanks for the tour! Ted.

    1. If he did I didn't make note of it, I see what you mean though.

  6. A delightful two-fer. It was really nice to see more of both of these fab gardens!

  7. That brickwork! Wow. And Anna's fern tables, she did a great job. Nice seeing other people's gardens through your fabulous eyes.

  8. What a way to kick off the garden touring season...I'm ready to go, after these inspiring intros.

  9. Loved the tour, Loree! Great gardens and how I drooled over that extra piece of property Don has in his backyard. Very nice!

    1. You would be DANGEROUS with that much space...

  10. The tank backed by bamboo is really wonderful. So much to learn from these gardens.

  11. Great work with the bricks. I wonder what tool he used for cutting them.

    1. I think he may have told us, but I can't remember!

  12. I love the fern tables! I have no plans to create one of my own (too much to water already) but I do love to look at them. Anna's garden positively bursts with creativity. The rusty metal planters and brickwork are wonderful. The "bright creature" against the red pot is some form of Erica arborea. The contrast of the bright flower buds against the darker foliage is one of my favorite aspects of that plant. I would guess that Hebe is anomala 'Purpurea Nana'. You know, there are dwarf Sciadopitys. Just saying...

  13. Oh my... seeing my overwhelming mess through your eyes is sobering... Thank you for including so many closeups! Anyway, I DO hope you will return this summer, when I will hopefully have managed to finish at least SOME of my many half done projects, and cleaned the place up a little. Once it warms up, we'll have our wine in the garden. :) As for the plants you asked about - the Metapanax is a davidii - or that's at least what I think it is. (I'm as confused as anyone else about that genus.) Evan is right about the Erica - I just love that thing! I'm guessing the Hebe in Don's garden is 'Pretty in Pink'. It has those fab red leaves, and the size seems right too. I guess we'll find out when it decides to bloom... And I also think Evan is right about the Sciadopitys - it always seem to me like the dwarf version has fatter needles, but then again - maybe that's a confusion caused by the difference in scale... It was fun to have you visit - I'll let you know when it will be more worth your time!



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