Monday, May 4, 2020

Lance Wright's Portland garden...

Early last September I visited the Portland garden of Lance Wright. Lance is a friend, a fellow garden blogger (at Garden Riots) and a talented plantsman. He also worked as a gardener for the City of Portland for many years and influenced countless people with his fantastic plantings (a few along the waterfront shown here).

I admired his daring, placing that potted agave on the edge of the deck surround.

Turns out it was later blown off by a wicked wind. Sadly it landed on a rock and the pot was shattered.

This cast-off is an Agave colorata, it was growing in a large container and bloomed, or at least started to, I'm not sure the flowers ever actually opened. The hazards of an agave flowering in the fall in the PNW.

I think this is Grevillea x juniperina 'Pink Pearl'.

Agave gentryi 'Jaws' perhaps? Growing with a lovely Echium wildpretii at the base of a Trachycarpus fortuneii... all in the hellstrip!

Looking further down the sidewalk, at the rest of the fantastic hellstrip plantings.

A missing section of fence allows wandering (and wondering) eyes into the back garden.

Looking from the street. That's an Agave montana and behind it a blooming oleander. Lance takes full advantage of his micro-climate in inner SW Portland.

Walking back up the sidewalk to the entrance to the back garden. Agave parryii Truncata and Beschorneria yuccoides ‘Flamingo Glow’ love the slope and the reflected heat of the sidewalk and the street-side.

Straight-on view...

Such a handsome agave...

Stepping inside the gate...

Lance is a fellow cramscaper.

Pyrrosia lingua

A fantastic restio, Rhodocoma capensis.

Foliage of a sago palm.

Such great foliage everywhere you turn!

Another cycad, Dioon spinulosum.

And in case you're wondering, no, they're not hardy here in Portland. Lance wrestled the containers into place for summer.

I believe that's a Metapanax delavayi behind the bromeliad.

The same area, camera pulled back.

Astelia, not sure which one.

Up on the deck there are many more potted specimens.

Including the ill-fated agave on the corner.

Come back tomorrow to see how Lance's Agave montanta (nicknamed Monte) looked just six weeks later, as it started to send up a bloom spike—and a look at what it's doing now. Monte's become something of a local celebrity...

Weather Diary, May 3: Hi 59, Low 45/ Precip .20

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Fabulous garden. I wish I could grow Oleander and Cycad. Love that low planter on a metal tripod. I'll be back tomorrow for more.

    1. Well you can grow a cycad in a container, right?

    2. Right. Except there is no space to over winter. Maybe you can rent out a spot? :-D

  2. So tropical looking. Yeah to cram-scaping!

  3. Lots of great plants but what grabbed my attention were those raised planters along the sidewalk. It has me wondering how I could raise the wall framing the succulent bed along our street (to do a better job keeping children and dogs out).

    1. Sounds like a lot of work, but your husband loves a project, right?

  4. Lots of interesting specimens. I often wonder what I would pick to grow if I lived in your planting zone? I'd need a coach!

    1. Or you could just have fun with one of everything!

  5. OMG, that hellstrip is amazing! The more I "visit" Portland garden blogs the more I realize what I missed out on when I couldn't attend the Portland Fling. I can't even remember why, at the time, but I really wanted to go. Anyway, all those agaves and palms and other interesting plants! I'm assuming that groundcover on the slope is a sedum? It looks great with that handsome agave. Very nice.

    1. We missed you for our Portland'll just have to come visit some time!

  6. Fabulous collector's garden. I remember this one from previous posts of yours. It's memorable.

    1. One we wish we could have included on the Fling itinerary.

  7. Will you please please please take me over to Lance's house the next time I'm in Portland?

  8. AnonymousMay 06, 2020

    So the halcyon days before you had to beat back the crowds.


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