Friday, October 2, 2020

Sam's hellstrip...

This garden visit is another based on a tip from a friend, I'd driven nearby—just a street or two away—many times...but never seen this wonderful garden.
The action here is all in the extra-wide hellstrip, or well at least the action I was there to see.

The friend who tipped me to this garden discovered it when he was out biking around, he later ended up hiring Sam (the gardener, and metal worker) to make him one (maybe more than one?) of these fine containers.
The containers are suberb, but the plantings elevate them to another level.
As luck would have it Sam came out while I was taking photos and I was able to ask him about this agave, what species it is. Unfortunately he did not know. He's a gardener with a great eye, but plant names are not a priority.
Moving on... I timed it right to catch the opuntia in bloom!

This looks like a pathway in process, as the smaller rocks are put into place.

For some reason I wasn't expecting a palm.
There's equal room given to rusty circles, it's not just about the squares and rectangles.

I remember thinking this had to be the work of Portland's Jeffrey Bale, but forgot to ask when I had the chance.
Then as luck would have it when I started to edit down these photos Mr. Bale himself wrote a blog post on pathways which included images of these pavers. (see that post here)
Yucca linearifolia, I believe.

More planters, more yuccas, and a cordyline too.
A well protected opuntia.
Glancing back at the length of the hellstrip.

And just a couple more circle agaves...

And then it's time for me to admire this windswept looking evergreen... 

And head for home...

Weather Diary, Oct 1: Hi 77, Low 56/ Precip 0 

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


  1. That is one wonderful hellstrip! I love the containers, which have me thinking I need something similar in my street-side succulent bed where the soil is thin and crappy. Our neighborhood doesn't have hellstrips but that bed is a close equivalent.

    1. Those planters would look fabulous street-side in your garden.

  2. That's a wonderful garden-able space--can it be called a heavenstrip?

    Really well done, and a fine thing for the neighborhood. Especially pretty Opuntia flowers--so often they are yellow. The pink pairs so well with the foliage color.

    Wondering if the Agave is A. asperrima, a variable species but it will have that vertical look at about that size.

    1. I'd say you could be right about that agave, thanks for the possible ID!

  3. This is another beautiful garden, and a great idea for blog posts. How nice that you were able to talk with the gardener about his fabulous work.

    1. I could kind of tell he wasn't up for much conversation so I tried to keep it quick, but it was nice to chat with him.

  4. I've always been a little envious of those massive parking strips: what an opportunity to increase garden space into the street. The opuntia in bloom is magnificent. The windswept looking evergreen is cradling a plant in it's trunk's bend, fitting a post you did recently. Any chance you have a close up of that?
    Thanks for the link to Jeffrey Bale's post. We are in the middle of DIY stone path and I found it inspirational.

    1. I did not get a close up, I think it's just growth from/of the same plant. Like maybe a branch was pruned and so it put out fuzzy new growth?

  5. Wow, totally gorgeous! Imagine what our streets would look like if all the hell strips were planted like this instead of weedy grass.

  6. Wow. This is one of the best hellstrips ever.

  7. Beautiful work, he has a good eye for design.

  8. Love everything about this. Is that a baby Cholla cactus in the corner of one of his containers?


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