If a lady named Ruby should happen to email you about speaking to the Evening Garden Club (of Corvallis) just go ahead and say yes. To resist is futile, she has powers. Strong powers — and that's why I was in Corvallis last Monday. Ruby toured me around three wonderful gardens that day, before I spoke to the enthusiastic group that night. Great fun! Even for someone who is not a "speaker"...
The gardeners (a husband and wife duo) of the first garden we visited were out of town. Can you imagine? It's March in the PNW, which is hardly prime garden touring time, and you're out of town. And yet you still let a stranger (me) walk around your garden? Such nice people!
The day was a beautiful sunny one, I felt blessed.
The garden had strong evergreen bones.
And several mossy brick, or stone, walls.
Getting an ID on this plant started quite the lively discussion on the Facebook Plant Idents page. I feel pretty comfortable saying it's Umbilicus rupestris.
Seeing it's fabulous flower spikes (here) only makes me more determined to find it, although I'm not sure I have a great place to plant it, like this wall...which it obviously loves.
Dracunculus vulgaris, I believe. What a nice clump...
Bulb on the loose!
A garden work-space with greenhouse attached! Be still my beating heart.
Lots of propagation going on here, Sally (the female half of the gardening duo) sells at local plant sales and seems to have passed along plenty of plants to her fellow gardeners (I heard her name mentioned several times throughout the day).
Those are the most tasteful compost bins I've ever seen, and that double wash basin!
The next garden we visited, Donna's, featured a stream with "waterfall leaves" made from Rhubarb growing in the garden.
The water wasn't running due to the season, which I appreciated because the leaves really stood out.
What a great feature...
The gate was custom made and matched a nearby watering station (hook up a hose) that I failed to get a decent photo of.
Of course I was missing Lila, this cutie helped ease the pain.
Donna gifted me a bag full too!
The garden itself was quite large, and beyond the garden proper more areas were being lightly cultivated. The rustic log "stepping stones" and branch edging is a clever reuse of materials on-site, and looks great too.
In the final garden-stop of the day this patch of Hellebores seemed to be glowing almost orange.
And the yellow Epimedium may have caused a small gasp (from me). Although Nancy (the owner of this garden) chalked the foliage color up to the fact they're last season's leaves. My old leaves aren't this pretty!
Trees all around the area seem to have extra fluffy lichen. I noticed it over and over. I wonder why?
I think it was a Clematis that would be climbing this curly urn-trellis later in the season.
The hardscape was laid-out in simple, but fabulous, patterns...
And Nancy has definitely conquered the art of gardening on a steep incline.
The area on the left of the pathway is raised beds, currently under renovation. They're getting framed out in cement, isn't that going to look fabulous?
I seem to be everywhere just before the Trillium flowers open.
And the gardening gods seem to be asking me "why don't you have a patch of Cyclamen foliage?" ...so why don't I?
Finally I would be remiss in not sharing just a tiny (tiny) bit of the bright Crocus blooming all over this garden. They were stunning.
The next morning, on the way back up to Portland, I managed to work in a stop at Garland Nursery. I stood and contemplated the purchase of these planters, they were pretty fabulous and $45 each, not including the pedestals, which I didn't want anyway. But I managed to walk away.
I also admired this 3-piece metal "gutter-style" planter, but at $98 it was too rich for me (plus my DIY tenancies were firing up).
Instead I bought a pack of Moluccella laevis (Bells of Ireland) seeds and headed home to see Lila.
Weather Diary, March 8: Hi 57, Low 43/ Precip .13"
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