Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Wednesday Vignette, "inspired by"

Back in 2012, I wrote a blog post about my friend Patricia's garden and called it "The garden where everything grows faster, bigger, and better than mine…." That was her old garden—since erased by new homeowners—but her "new" garden is definitely sticking with the theme. I recently visited, and one of several things I complimented her on was the amazing Symphytum × uplandicum 'Axminster Gold' she's growing...

She said it was inspired by my plant. You don't have to be a gardener to see there's a bit of a difference between the two. This is mine...



Ya. Who's inspired by who? Next year I vow to give my poor plant a little more water.

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Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum. All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Under the loquat; planting below a limbed-up tree

Every year I post a (fairly) comprehensive tour of both the front and back gardens. I was taking photos for those posts when it occurred to me that I still haven't shared images of two of the areas I reworked earlier this spring, under the loquat and where the ceanothus was removed. So, today we have... under the loquat.

First a couple shots to establish just where it is we're talking about. The tallest plant at the center of this image—taken as you walk into the back garden—is the loquat, aka Eriobotrya japonica.

Here's a closer image, one that first appeared in a post last April called "My own private Hortlandia"—in that post I detailed some major plant shopping I'd done and talked about where I'd planned to put my purchases. I focused on the bare ground under the loquat I'd recently limbed-up.

Those of you with eagle eyes might notice the Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress' already grouped on the right, under the loquat. They were early purchases, not yet planted.

And here's the same area as viewed from the other side, on the patio. The loquat—still at the center of the photo—looks taller here, since the patio is sunk down a couple of feet.

The new plantings (in place since late May) are most easily enjoyed from this angle, through the lower branches of the Stachyurus salicifolius.

Looking closer...

And closer...

You'd be right if you're thinking "that's a lot of pyrrosia"... I may have gone a little overboard.

And I couldn't be happier about it.

But it's not all pyrrosia! 

Let's have a look-see over there, north, towards the fence line.

Persicaria 'Painters Palette' with an arisaema I purchased from Xera plants earlier in the year (on the right), I can't remember it's name now.

Persicaria close-up.

You may have noticed this spiny epimedium in one of the above photos, Epimedium wushanense 'Sandy Claws'.

A group shot, one of the Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress', planted.

I think three, maybe four Asarum maximum 'Ling Ling' made it into the mix.

There's a single Blechnum spicant, aka the deer fern, and I think three Blechnum penna-marina, but no photos of them, sadly.

'Soft Caress' seems to have snuck into several images.

The tall strappy foliage is a long ago planted, orange-blooming, crocosmia. I left it wondering if just maybe there might be enough sun (since I limbed up the tree) to get it to bloom again. There was not, I'll be lifting and moving them this fall. There's another 'Ling Ling'...

And a nice chunk of aspidistra, aka cast iron plant, which helps to hide the awkward place where the fence meets the neighbor's garage—it was a gift from a Facebook friend.

Okay, I think it's time for some pyrrosia pics!

Pyrrosia lingua 'Variegata', the ground cover is Sedum tetractinum.

The pyrrosia is from Xera Plants, that subtle variegation just kills me!

Pyrrosia hastata, also from Xera Plants. They were rich with pyrrosia this spring and I did my very best to buy more than my fair share.

So good!

Am I right?

I also included a few straight Pyrrosia lingua...

Because why not?

As the loquat grows, and I get brave enough to limb it up even more, I might have to relocate a few of these shade lovers. For now though, I'm loving the new plantings!

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

Friday, September 24, 2021

Private Gardens of the Pacific Northwest, a book...

May of 2020 (in the midst of COVID lockdown), I received an email about scheduling a photo shoot in my garden, for a book. I had just finally cleared my calendar of all scheduled visits for the summer, and inviting strangers into my private space wasn't something I was particularly keen on doing. Plus I was hard at work with edits on my own book, which was not exclusively about my garden but certainly included lots of photos and details. Not a pair easily dismissed however, author Brian Coleman and photographer William Wright convinced me to invite them to visit and thus my garden is one of 20 included in the recently released Private Gardens of the Pacific Northwest.

Of those 20 gardens there are 4 here in Oregon, the other 16 are in Washington. I feel quite honored to be one of just 4 gardens chosen to represent my state! Two of the other Oregon gardens will be familiar to readers of my blog and book; one is John Kuzma and Kathleen Halme's Hummingbird Garden, the other Craig Quirk and Larry Neill's Floramagoria (where the cover shot, above, was taken). I've not yet visited the 4th garden, that of Gail Barnard and her husband Jon—judging by the photos in the book however I need to get myself over there soon!

Paging through the Washington gardens featured in the book there are a few I've visited (the Brindley's, Denise Lane, Lorene Edwards Forkner) and other's I know the owners of (thanks to social media) but haven't yet had the chance to visit. 

Here's the introduction from the publisher...
An exclusive retreat into the verdant, lush residential gardens of the Pacific Northwest. Private Gardens of the Pacific Northwest is a stunning exploration of 20 lush private gardens. These sprawling estates, small sanctuaries, and artful retreats capture the natural beauty of the verdant Pacific Northwest, each one splashed with hints of boldness, modernity, artistry, and exquisiteness. Capturing the personality of those who cultivate them, these gardens have their stories told through the words of renowned author Brian Coleman, who takes readers through the flourishing natural beauty that the northwestern coast has to offer.

And a photospread that will, no doubt, look familiar to many of you...

I'm thrilled with the coverage my small garden received (12 pages!), and if you're curious about the private gardens of Western Oregon and Washington I think you'll enjoy the book. Much thanks to Brian and William for including me in this photo-rich exploration of our area's diverse gardens!

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

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Ten years later, we meet up at another McMenamins

Blogging has produced many rewards over the years, chief among them the people I've met and friendships I've made. Ten years ago I met Peter (the Outlaw) when he and his then partner Tom paid a visit to my garden, it was Peter's birthday (a big round number) and they made a trip down to Portland. After a leisurely stroll and lots of chatting we then ventured over to McMenamins Kennedy School for lunch. I remember that afternoon like it was yesterday, and frankly I have a hard time accepting that it was ten years ago. But it was...

During our recent trip up the Tacoma/Seattle area we again met up with Peter to celebrate a big round number birthday of his, this time at McMenamins Elks Temple in downtown Tacoma. I regret that I didn't ask Andrew to take a photo of Peter and I, but c'est la vie. Instead I give you photos of the building and it's plantings...

Complete with a strange hungover kitty...

Andrew and I were the first to arrive. While he grabbed a table, I snapped a few photos, like this one of an underused lot next door which has been taken over as gardening space for McMenamins.

Veggies and a gravel walkway, which I suspect is under development.

The Elks Temple sits above Commencement Bay, home to Tacoma's working port.

I suspect this little parking lot (marked as not available for public parking) is for some staff, service vehicles and probably for the performers at the Elk's Temple—there was a band performing the night we were there. What really interested me in this photo were the steps up to the garden area I shared above. They seem to indicate this area will be even better utilized in the future.

I knew Peter would be arriving soon so I made my way back around to the front of the building to greet him, and of course to photograph the agaves...

Agave desmetiana 'Variegata' which is not hardy in my Portland garden but will probably be okay here in the city and near Puget Sound.

Then I hit pause on the photo taking while we ate and drank and caught up—but now we're back outside and checking out the backside of the building. The elk has some fancy new horns...

Sidewalk-side plantings below the elk...

The Spanish steps. As I understand it the steps are not technically part of the Elks Temple, however there is outside dining all along where ever a table can be squeezed in.

There are also more plants, and more agaves!

Agave bracteosa...

It was too dark to take photos of the plantings to the left of the steps, but I tried. 

In true McMenamins fashion there were plants in pots and hung on the railings. 
This is probably also a good spot for a "A Little History"... stolen directly from their website: "The Elks Temple was built in the second Renaissance Revival style in 1915-16 when fraternal organizations were an important part of the community and had the money to build beautiful buildings such as this one. It was designed by É. Frère Champney, a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places."

And..."The Spanish Steps: Climbing the hillside adjacent to the building is a stairway called the Spanish Steps. Modeled after the Scalinata di Spagna in Rome, Tacoma’s Spanish Steps were constructed in 1916 to connect a streetcar line on Broadway with City Hall on Commerce Street. The staircase fell into disrepair in the 1950s and continued to degrade until it was rehabilitated by the City of Tacoma in 2011."

A huge monkey puzzle tree—Araucaria araucana. Many in the Pacific Northwest can be traced back to the Chilean exhibition at Portland, Oregon's 1905 World's Fair, where they were given away as seedlings and planted throughout the area. 

Looking to where we'd just been, down towards the bay,,,

And now back at the front door our evening draws to a close...

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