Friday, January 29, 2021

Acting on an agave tip...

It seems impossible that I was out taking these photos on September 21st. I would have thought it was late August. COVID time feels somewhat detached from reality, even in hindsight.

Anyway, I was out on a tip. A friend had told me about a pair of Agave ovatifolia that was worth seeing.

At first I was like "I thought he said there were two?"...

But eventually I saw the second—hiding back there. They are pretty spectacular.

As was the rock and sempervivum bed they're planted in.

I wonder how long this took them to put together? 

There is no bare ground. It's either rocks, or sempervivum.

I was also taken with the strong hedge framework that encompasses most of the front garden.

Do they have plans to plant in that space? Or do they like the negative space surrounded by a green wall?

Inquiring minds...

Meanwhile, there are more sempervivum...

Naturally I drove around a bit to see what else the neighborhood had to offer...

Bingo! Do you see it up there on the front porch?


There were also phormium and cordyline...

And a tall eucalyptus...

This lovely arctostaphylos was in the same garden.

A few blocks away I spied an opuntia...

I got out to snap a photo and happened to meet the homeowner/gardener returning from walking her dog. I know gardeners are the nicest people but I was completely unprepared for how generous this woman was. She invited me—a complete stranger—to walk her garden and snap pictures. She waited out front with her dog—COVID kindness.

Check out those Agave parryi!

And on the left a Dasylirion wheeleri.

More opuntia...

And more agaves!

It wasn't until I was walking through this garden that it really hit me how much I'd missed the casual garden visits that we get to do here in Portland, as part of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon.

There's a book of member open gardens we get every year and on any given weekend you have multiple gardens to visit. It really is an amazing program. 

The garden visits were all cancelled when COVID hit last spring, but then later in the summer some garden owners agreed to open on a case-by-case basis. I never did get around to taking any of them up on the offer. But here I was, visiting a garden with a lot of the plants I love, and it was all a simple accident of timing.

Yes, your eyes do spy even more agaves.

I hate that I cannot remember the name of the garden owner. Hopefully she'll see this post and know just how much her generous spirit meant to me.

Arriving back out in front of of the garden, she and I had another conversation about this beautiful Oregon white oak across the street. Thankfully the neighborhood recognizes its value and is doing their best to  make sure it gets to live—there's even a Facebook group to keep people informed, Friends of Overlook Bluff.

On the road back home I happened to drive right by this garden—check out that Yucca rostrata!—belonging to the Mulchmaid, looking good Jane!

Weather Diary, Jan 28: Hi 46, Low 40/ Precip .04" 

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Drawn to the decay

While I love a clean, modern garden defined by hard lines and significant hardscape I'm also a sucker for an overgrown plot, with years of use, that's fallen into decay. When we bought this garden there was a crumbling, unmortared wall that defined the upper and lower back garden, it was a mess, falling apart and sprouting weeds. Still, I loved it and I could have built a garden around it—minus the weeds. Thank goodness I didn't have to though, Andrew was the smarter half with a vision who knew we needed to tear it out and build a new wall and a large patio.

Still, I am drawn to the decay. I spotted this old fountain and overgrown garden on a walk. I wanted to get in there and sit surrounded by it all, see what there was to discover. But that would be wrong, so I walked on.

I found this greenhouse on a neighborhood walk. Looking up the property online I discovered it's part of an Alternative High School—a Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences Program. All of course abandoned since at least last spring, when COVID regulations went into effect. However it looks a little unloved for even longer than that.

It's locked, but there are cracks at the seams which I could put most of my arm through—plus all it contains are bags of soil, amendments and empty pots.

Someone put these bromeliads in a container, they're obviously not enjoying winter.

In fact they're officially rotten, but it was a nice try!

Just for trash? Or as planters? I hope the latter.

Nice bench to sit a spell and take it all in.

It's not everyday you see a wheelbarrow in a stock tank.

I looked for fishes in these, but didn't see any.

Just water and plants.

A wide-shot of sorts.

And a piece of metal tossed aside. I posted this image on Instagram and someone said it looked like Betty Rubble. Yep, I see that.

Weather Diary, Jan 27: Hi 45, Low 38/ Precip .10 

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.