As a member of Portland's Lan Su Chinese Garden I enjoy reciprocal admission to other local organizations throughout the year, it's a great program. For January this meant Andrew and I could visit the Oregon Zoo for free.
We've learned to stay away from zoos because we end up depressed after seeing animals that are slowly going out of their minds in tiny enclosures. However it was a rare sunny day in January and my curiosity about the plantings got the better of me, I wondered how the plants would compare to what I've seen at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium up in Tacoma?
I have no idea who gets to play on this, but doesn't it look fun?
Dangerous Animals! (says the sign)
Neither one of us had the slightest idea what this sculpture represented.
Some interpretive signage would have been appreciated.
If there were animals in this part of the zoo I don't remember them. It was all about the moss...
Am I right? Amazing!
I think this is Helleborus 'Ice 'n Roses'
There was a lot of construction happening at the zoo.
A huge chunk of the middle was torn up and behind temporary walls.
So while I admit I found the plantings at the Oregon Zoo disappointing, I also need to acknowledge I was not seeing things at their best. Plus it was January, so things like this ginkgo were nearly invisible in their dormancy.
This lushness hinted at what I was missing with the construction mess. There were some very friendly chimpanzees here, but seeing them behind glass made me very sad, so I didn't snap any photos.
There be bananas there...you know, in the summer.
The facilities for the Asian elephants at the zoo are supposed to be "world class"...this guy seemed pretty entertained making his rounds.
The Euphorbia rigida were among the rigidest.
I was happy to see phormium, until I saw they were just pots sunk into the ground. Ugh, at least sink them all the way!
Grevillea 'Neil Bell' from Xera Plants, tag still attached.
To my eye the dark cordylines never really look healthy, but I loved these paired with the bright chartreuse grass (not sure of the name).
WOW! Love this combo, Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress' with a super dark loropetalum. Hot!
I wish my loropetalum looked this good.
This ivy was just adjcent to the giraffe enclosure, it looks great on the mossy tree.
Araucaria araucana, monkey puzzle tree, on the left.
I was shocked to see we have flamingos at our zoo. I was cold looking at them. Shouldn't flamingos be somewhere warmer?
They were much lighter pink than the ones we saw at the San Diego Zoo.
The Trachycarpus fortunei look good.
It was interesting to see the old inflorescence structure laying flat against the trunk. I wonder if they somehow "break" them. Mine remain sticking out at a 90 degree angle to the trunk and I eventually have to cut them off. This is a good look.
Finally, inside the insectarium, I saw a couple desert plants. Do beetles eat opuntia pads?
And you've probably heard me say "there's always an agave, if you look hard enough", well that's true here too, I just didn't expect it to be fake.
Weather Diary, Feb 3: Hi 46, Low 30/ Precip .01
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