Friday, March 9, 2018

Pictures from Corvallis, Oregon

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.

Saxifrage perfection...

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?" 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"

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


  1. It sounds like your talk went well! It must have been so much fun to tour a couple of gardens afterward. Those compost bins -- not just tasteful but tidy -- mine are a mess with ingredients waiting to be thrown in and piles of old pots sitting around. I have no doubt you could make a danger-style version of that gutter planter for much less money. Those concrete planters though -- you are being so uncharacteristically frugal this spring!

    1. Well as much as I'd like to thing you're right (uncharacteristically frugal) if you could read a recent email exchange between Peter and I, about a certain plant I'm considering purchasing, then you'd know that wasn't the case. Not frugal, just choosy.

  2. London, Paris, Corvalis...Where will you take us next? Really enjoyed seeing these three gardens that look really great for this time of year. As you know, mine's a mess. I got an Umbilicus rupestris from Judith Jones (Fancy Fronds) at a sale last year. It flowered and set seed & if there are seedlings, I'll be happy to share.

    1. Ha! I actually pointed out to Andrew the other day that his work took us to Paris, mine took us to Corvallis. Hmmm...(oh and your garden, not a mess!)

      I will definitely take you up on the offer of a seedling should you get them, thank you!

  3. Liking speaking and being good at it are 2 very different things and you're VERY good at it. I can't believe you mentioned leaves made from rhubarb and didn't elaborate. Love the Umbilicus and covet the greenhouse (despite my lath house).

    1. Ah thank you Kris! And sorry, I didn't mean to "leave" you hanging. I believe the concrete leaves were made from a technique like this:

  4. The lichen on trees in your area is just amazing to me. Nice to see what saxifrages really look like growing. Now quite how I pictured them.

    1. We've got good lichen in Portland but wow, ain't nothing compared to the Corvallis area.

  5. What fun to get to tour new (to you) gardens. I don't know how you passed up those beautiful concrete planters. I would have had to have them. I can see right now that if I travel to the PNW I need to drive, a uhaul truck.

    1. I just didn't have a great place for those planters. They seem to need a prominent place to display, and my garden doesn't have any more prominent places!

  6. Gosh girl. You were in my neck of the woods. I'm sorry we didn't meet. Yes, the trees are all like the one you photographed. Lots and lots of lichen. I've heard that it's supposed to be a sign of clean air. Now, go find yourself some Cyclamen! :) I've read that C. purpurascens is evergreen. I'm on the hunt for it now.

    1. Ya I was kind of hoping I'd see your face at the talk, and then after Garland Nursery we drove through Albany on our way to I-5 and I was regretting not getting in touch so I could get a garden tour...(next time)...

    2. p.s. Nancy pointed out a plant in her garden that she got from you, so you were there in spirit!

  7. Those mossy walls are fabulous. I love how Umbilicus rupestris looks tucked in the stones. The yellow Epimedium got my attention as well; the leafs on mine aren't that color either! I so wish they were.

    1. I really don't understand people who don't love moss. It's so fabulous!!!


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!