Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Return to the Wonder Garden

The Hoffman Wonder Garden is a small botanic garden in Manzanita, Oregon, planted with plants that naturally thrive in that location—a sort of demonstration garden. I first visited in April of last year (post here), and couldn't wait to get back during our late July coastal getaway to see what the garden looks like in high summer...

There are no tall trees to shade the area, so the colorful sun sails perform that duty.

New labels waiting to be placed? Plants that haven't returned from last winter?

Arctostaphylos silvicola 'Ghostly'

Astelia chathamica on the far right.

Romneya coulteri and an umbel I didn't catch the name of.

Callistemon pallidus 'Eleanor'

I previously called this euphorbia E. stygiana, but I think I may have been wrong and it's actually E. mellifera.

Wow. Look at that combo! Anigozanthos flavidus and Rhodocoma capensis, dreamy! I took a video of how they were swaying in the wind but it was horrid, too much wind and too much traffic noise.

The kangaroo paw was one of the tallest I've ever seen, and the colors! Chartreuse, a cabernet blush at the base...

...and the smokey purple when the bloom opens. Almost too much, but actually just perfect.

The tall spires of the Cape restio definitely held their own.

A view of the planting mound from the back. The soil here (close to the beach) is so sandy that the plantings are all on raised mounds, an attempt to provide nutrients and moisture to the plants, instead of it all just passing thru. 

Chondropetalum tectorum (Small Cape Rush) along the side street.

Watsonia angusta hybrid

This little cutie was not labeled and I thought maybe it was a banksia...

I was wrong, it's an unknown leucadendron, perhaps L. galpinii 'Silver Cone' (thanks to Denise for that info).

A blue eryngium (no label).

Rhododendron 'Cherries & Merlot'

I've had a long standing crush on Fabiana imbricata 'Violacea' but wondered what the shrub looked like post bloom. After the violet flowers turned brown.

It's not as unattractive as I feared.

I think I might be looking for a place to plant one of these!

Callistemon 'Woodlander's Hardy Red', it's interesting how much behind my plants the callistemon blooms are here. Mine were finished weeks ago.

I'll wrap up with agaves, becasue there is always an agave—if you look hard enough. This one A. americana var. medio picta 'Alba'.

And a smattering of Agave parryi.

What a Wonder(ful) Garden to visit!

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  1. This is one of those posts that feels like you are on a different continent. I don't think there is a single plant I know; mainly because I can't grow any of them. And there were a few things to definitely lust after.

    1. It's just enough warmer than my Portland garden to allow for some things I wish I could grow.

  2. "cabernet blush at the base," so true and a great description. Shows you what kind of growing conditions that kangaroo paw likes, lean and mean, and if it gets that it will come back stunning every year -- keeping in mind WG is zoned USDA 9, warmer than me and you. I'm looking for that fabiana too, so if you see one, grab two! The WG will have a plant sale again this fall but I'm not sure if it's been propagated. I'll ask around...

    1. I had the misfortune to plant an experimental Anigozanthos flavidus the summer before a bad winter. Ugh.

  3. Wow, I'm surprised to see restios and kangaroo paws. Are they hardy there on the coast?

    I love small botanical gardens like this one!

    1. Manzanita falls in a pocket Zoned at 9, so yes. Lucky them!

  4. That garden is certainly worthy of its name. I'm surprised to see some of those plants in that climate. I planted 2 Fabiana here last year, both from 4-inch pots. One promptly died but one has hung on and done little to nothing thus far, yet I remain hopeful.

    1. I visited a friend's garden here in Portland that had a very small fabiana planted in the ground and it was covered in blooms (maybe you saw my Instagram post?), that made me even more excited to try it.

  5. Definitely a wonder. Almost like you were on another continent. Love the curling bark(?) on the cape rush.

    1. Uhm, I wonder what that is called. Not bark, maybe sheath? This is going to require research!

  6. Many good things in a small package.

  7. I grow Fabiana in a big pot in a spot that's baking in the summer up here on Bainbridge Island. It blooms but hasn't increased much in size....still, it has survived a few winters, including snow.

  8. Kicking myself for not stopping when we drove by during Spring Break. Next time! I'll be trimming back my Fabiana in a few weeks. Happy to stick a few cuttings and pass along, though you'll probably already have one by the time they are rooted! Great scent to boot. To my nose, it's a divine plant.


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