I've been reading Jennifer's blog, Rockrose, since meeting her at the Seattle Fling in 2011. In addition to photos of her own gorgeous garden, Jenny frequently writes about her, and her husband David's, travels. Those travelogues have gotten me through many a grey, wet, Portland winter day. To say that I was excited to finally see her garden in person is an understatement. Thankfully the intense rain that plagued us earlier in the day let up. Instead of a downpour of epic proportions, there was just a light rainy mist, like we frequently experience here in Portland.
The Agave-centric garden area that greeted us surprised me. Maybe Jenny spends more time talking about the plants inside her garden walls? Maybe I just missed the posts where she writes about this space? Maybe I just haven't been paying close enough attention?
Whatever the reason it didn't matter now, I just stood there taking it all in. A little jealous, and a lot in love.
Reading the information our kind Fling organizers provided us with I've been reminded that Jenny and David moved into their newly constructed home in 2001, for some reason I was thinking they'd been here longer.
In the printed material Jenny also gives credit to David for the the garden's success, she writes: "I am fortunate in that David has accepted the challenges that living with a gardener brings, and he as been an unfailing help in creating our gardens. He has always been ready to take on any project I suggest. This garden would never have happened without his constant help and support." How many of us remember to credit our partners for our garden's successes? I don't know that I do. While Andrew isn't out there digging, weeding, watering, etc, he never balks when I do need help lifting or cutting. The patio, paver-path, and the shade pavilion wouldn't exist if not for him.
Anyway...let's tour the garden! This is the entrance we took into the front courtyard garden, although I later learned that it's not the one they consider the formal entry. You'll see that in a bit.
Wow! Look at that garden...
But first, before you walk through that door, look to the left and note the stock-tank pond...
And the clever sliding window cover.
And the great wall-planter...
And the plaque that hangs above the doorway.
And then once you do step through the door be sure to look down to admire the planters (many of them Jenny made herself).
Okay now you can look up. And smile at the sight of rain-poncho covered Garden Bloggers.
Patience pays off with a few poncho-less photos.
Quoting Jenny's words: "the water feature in the front courtyard was once a footing for a post. We found it discarded in the back alley at our son's house in Dallas. I knew immediately that it would make a great water feature because it has the look of a millstone. It probably weighs just as much and took two people to load it onto our truck."
Jenny also writes that she relies heavily on self-seeding plants, and is more than willing to let them grow where they plant themselves. With much success I must add...
The various garden rooms (the house is surrounded by different walled spaces, see this post on Jenny's blog for a great overview) all feature a space to sit and enjoy the garden with a bit of tea.
And of course there were flawless Agaves everywhere you looked.
The front entry to the home.
Agave, Agaves, Agaves!
Such a curly A. bracteosa!
These photos are all just from the front courtyard garden. I knew I needed to tear myself away to see more, but it was just so beautiful.
Okay, finally we're about to walk out the main entrance...
The view to the left, outside the door...
I recal Jenny saying she was waiting to cut the dead Cycad fronds because she loved their look. I can understand that.
Looking towards the Agave garden that held me in awe, but from the opposite side. You can see the driveway in the distance. That's where I was standing when I took the first few photos.
The sidewalk to the front entrance...
And what you find if you walk to the right of the entrance, around the outside of the wall...
And just like that you're back inside a wall, and looking at another wall...with an Opuntia topper!
There's even a fantastically shaped Opuntia tree.
Another of Jenny's creations.
And now you're in the "English garden"... (Jenny is a transplanted English gardener making it work in Texas).
And we've caught up with the poncho people.
There are wonderful details and vignettes all throughout the garden. I walked through twice actually, hoping to see them all.
Now we're descending the stairs into the garden room with the pool.
One of the most beautiful pools I've ever seen.
There was a Yucca rostrata too, of course.
In another garden room this Confederate Rose Agave is sending up a bloom spike.
While the surrounding plants will live on after the centerpiece blooms it's still going to be bittersweet to watch the biggest one die.
The wall behind the Agave pillar.
And the veggie garden...
With it's fabulous stock-tank pond. Jenny made the floating planters herself (instructions here).
The rain did make for a few extra photogenic plants.
Looking back at the pond and the house.
And then I walked through the back gate and was outside the fence, in the parts of the garden that must be deer-proof.
Walking along the side of the house, back towards the driveway.
And once in the driveway a look back at where I'd just been.
I hope you enjoyed this photo-heavy post. I feel like I just barely touched on the magic of this garden. If you'd like to see a non-rainy overview check out this post Jenny did just after the Fling, on a much nicer day, here.
Weather Diary, June 18: Hi 83, Low 58 / Precip 0
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