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Thursday, July 16, 2020
West Linn garden visit, part one...
Last summer Mark Leichty, of Little Prince of Oregon Nursery, shared photos of a garden he'd visited. I loved what I saw and asked about visiting the garden in person—then forgot all about it. Fast forward to mid June of this year and I got a message from Megan Big John asking if I wanted to tour that very same garden. She's got some kind of memory right? Megan works for the City of Lake Oswego Parks Department and has done time at the Oregon Garden and Little Prince. Her husband, Mike Hicks, is the nursery manager/head grower at Little Prince. Not only were they inviting me to tour their garden, but I was welcome to invite the Portland garden bloggers gang too. Of course I said yes!
I said yes, but I had this little nagging voice asking "what was I thinking?" I couldn't remember anything about the garden, and yet I, and ten of my blogging friends, were showing up the garden in West Linn (10 miles south of Portland) at 10 am on a Friday morning. What if it was lame? What if it was a waste of everyone's time? But it wasn't! Oh boy it wasn't...
Just glancing across the corner of the front garden I was confident we were in for a great tour. Above are fronds of Woodwardia unigemmata and below are leaves of Metapanax davidii.
Sciadopitys verticillata, Japanese umbrella-pine
Throw a purple leaved oxalis under a trio of Mahonia eurybracteata and you've got my attention.
Is this expertly done cramscaping or what?
Megan and Mike have been gardening here for 11 years. The oldest trees in the garden were here when they moved in, but everything else you'll see is the result of their hard work.
Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica), Mahonia gracilipes...
And that eucomis! (maybe E. bicolor?)
This! My mouth fell open. Have you ever seen such a perfect Loropetalum? I thought back to the sickly looking thing in my front garden and vowed to put it out of it's misery ASAP.
Of course I haven't...but I did buy another and planted it in the back garden...maybe it will look this good someday? Not that I have room for these colorful companions that make the scene all the more electric.
There were several happy, healthy, abutilons in the garden, all covered in flowers.
To the right of the driveway is a tall, lush, dividing wall of bamboo. In front of the bamboo is a mini-grove of cannas and a veggie garden.
And another abutilon!
Pineapple guava (Acca sellowiana)
Every garden needs a pink flamingo, right? I meant to ask where the other one went to (they always travel in pairs), but I forgot.
One more look at the front garden...
And then we head along the side of the house into the back garden...and...yes! Those are tree ferns!!!
These beauties have been in the ground for 4 years! Every winter they wrap up the trunks, and most of the fronds, with foam wrap (used in nurseries to protect container stock) tying with string to hold it in place. They then "loosely" fill any air gaps around the crown with leaves and top whole thing with an empty 5 gallon nursery container.
Megan adds..."all it needs is button eyes, a carrot nose and a scarf to make it a winter foam snow man..." (maybe this is the year they'll do that too?)
Stepping into the back garden I momentarily focused on the wonderful rebar and wood barrier at the ground level...
...in front of the wire trellis/fence/fish combo...
...before looking up in awe at the
rest of the garden and the tetrapanax and bananas!
I mean wow! WOW!
Pretty fabulous, right? Come back tomorrow to see the rest of the back garden.
Weather Diary, July 15: Hi 87, Low 60/ Precip 0
Labels: other people's gardens