Monday, March 20, 2023

Gardeners are the best people—Eugene version

My recent three day adventure in Eugene, Oregon, was definitely action packed. I gave two presentations at the local garden show, visited Gossler Farms Nursery, Northwest Garden Nursery, and two private gardens—as well as catching a few hours of sleep.

Today I'm sharing those two private gardens, they belong to Pam of The Walled Garden and her friend Bianca. We'll start at Pam's garden which we toured with a glass of wine in hand—after she kindly hauled me out to NW Garden Nursery and fed me lunch en route...

Pam and I had just finished commiserating over the fact the cold weather zapped the scent from our edgeworthias, when a couple walked by and commented on how lovely the scent was. Turns out maybe all we needed was a sunny day to restart the plant? (my hummingbirds aren't buying it—they're still ignoring mine)

I wish I would have got a better shot of these Iris reticulata, the color was phenomenal.

This interesting fence separated Pam's side garden and the neighbor to the south—I love the planting pockets!

Since Pam and I had just spent a couple hours at Northwest Garden Nursery (hellebore heaven) I was extra aware of the many hellebores in her garden, like this Helleborus argutifolius (Corsican hellebore).

I admit that I laughed out loud when I saw this, an agave wedged into a window well. Turns out it's not a crazy idea though—a little warmth and great drainage, exactly what an agave wants during a PNW winter.

I didn't get a great shot of this genius idea, but I'll share it anyway. This patio off the back of the house includes a dining table. Growing over the table on a hefty pergola is a wisteria—perfection! Unless it rains and your dinner is a wash out. So look at that! A roof built over the pergola, isn't it fabulous?

Pam created this pebble fern crosier, set into a small seating area at the far end of the back garden. I kinda want to steal this design, but I'm not sure where I could do such a thing.

Pinus densiflora 'Oculus Draconis'

Look into the dragon's eyes...

Here's a shot of the dining table under the pergola, under the clear roof—can you imagine how lovely it is when the wisteria is in bloom? And the roof just disappears...

Puya chilensis...

Agave 'Blue Glow'

The next day we visited Pam's friend Bianca's garden—how lucky am I that these ladies invited me into their late winter/early spring gardens? Many people would say the garden wasn't ready for visitors and dismiss the idea. Bonus, Bianca has plants for sale in her driveway!

Hello Yucca gloriosa 'Bright Star' without yuccacne... how does she do it?

More luscious hellebores...

Walking into the back garden, which was looking lovely even in it's slumber.

I shared this photo on Instagram and a commenter called it rocaille, a term I was not familiar with. Rocaille; an 18th-century artistic or architectural style of decoration characterized by elaborate ornamentation with pebbles and shells, typical of grottos and fountains.

As we walked the garden there was a friendly banter between Pam and Bianca about whether or not the containers were level. Bianca doesn't pay much attention and Pam goes around straightening them. I'm with Pam, an angled container drives me crazy. They must be level!

Bianca is a collector of pots, as you've probably figured out.

Turns out she collects hand tools too...

This sweet little pot was in the greenhouse.

An Agave parryi—winter was harsh in Eugene too. Hopefully summer's warmth will bring new growth.

Turns out there is ornamental stonework in every Eugene garden! Well okay, maybe just the ones I visited. Bianca did these herself.

And now we're back at the beginning! 

I did go home with a plant from Bianca's plant sale, my first ever trillium. It was labeled as Trillium grandiflorum but the speckled foliage throws that into question (thanks Linda). We shall see...

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  1. I wish these women lived in my neighborhood! I don’t think that is Trillium grandiflorum. It’s native here. Mine is over 30 years old and I don’t know of any T. Grandiflorums with speckled foliage. Many of my other Trilliums do have that foliage.

    1. Thank you for the trillium info, there was a discussion between Pam and Bianca questioning the name as well. I edited the blog post to reflect this.

  2. You received the VIP treatment: hauled me... fed me lunch... wind in hand... What a treat.
    I love the elevated front bed in Pam's house. The professional mason who created it did a superb job.
    Brave and confident ladies who show their gardens this time of year. A garden lover such as yourself will look a little harder, discover and point out the treasures. The covered patio, stone pavers and collection of pots are wonderful.

    1. I didn't have to work too hard, there was plenty love in both gardens!

  3. That was a pretty great way to spend 3 days! There are so many interesting touches in both 2 gardens, some of which represent what I suspect were very time-consuming projects. I'm always intrigued by stonework, not that that's ever actually led me to attempt any. I love Pinus 'Oculus Draconis'.

    1. I was surprisingly taken with that pine as well. Good god I hope I don't start liking conifers now!

  4. Jeanne DeBenedetti KeyesMarch 20, 2023

    Nice! I love the beautiful stone mosaics. Love that Pinus densiflora 'Oculus Draconis'. Might have to move something to make room for it. The trillium might be Trillium chloropetalum or Trillium albidum. Either one will look great with your fern and moss collections!

    1. Thanks for the trillium names, I'll have to ask you for further ID once the bloom opens.

  5. Really pretty gardens, even when still sleepy. Must have been yet another a great garden-viewing trip!

    1. It was, and I've been invited back in the summertime!

  6. My two favorites: the stone edging (first photo) beautiful AND keeps graveloff the sidewalk, and the shell-covered planter.

  7. Seeing these mossy gardens is so exotic, from my perch here in the California desert. Although if it keeps raining like it is now in Rancho Mirage, perhaps I too shall have moss! Thanks for the tour.


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