Friday, March 29, 2024

Pam Frost's garden, a Vancouver Study Weekend stop

Next up on my Vancouver Study Weekend adventure (last June) was this garden belonging to Pam Frost. A multi-layered planting screens the front of the house from the street—I was standing with my back to the house looking towards the street when I took this photo.

I love the bits of clipped hedge emerging from the dense foliage.

From our tour booklet: "Gardening on her 1/2 acre for over 50 years, Pam Frost has created an amazing sanctuary within the city. Pam is the consummate gardener and her love of plants shows everywhere you look. As you stroll through her garden keep an eye out for all the rare and unusual plants that make her garden so special."


Coming around the side of the house this is what you see, an old greenhouse and a, well, moss bed?...

With ferns for pillows!

I wish I would have had a chance to ask Pam about this interesting feature...

The greenhouse has obviously seen better days, but retains its charm.

I love (LOVE!) that rusty bowl under the table.

There were many clematis throughout the garden, weaving around and through the other plants.

Once I looked out to the back garden my jaw dropped...


It just goes on and on...

I overheard many people comparing the garden to what they saw on previous visits, evidently Pam's garden has been on a few tours through the years. She's getting older (as we all are) and may not be gardening here much longer.

Wandering back towards the house.

Looking at the plants as I go.

More of those clematis.


Rhododendron pachysanthum (maybe?)

Love this odd little iris...

Polystichum setiferum

Arisaema some somebody

What a fantastic garden with so many mature established plants.

I am so glad I got to see it.

To receive alerts of new danger garden posts by email, subscribe here. Please note; these are sent from a third party, you’ll want to click thru to read the post here on the blog to avoid their annoying ads. 

All material © 2009-2024 by Loree L Bohl. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

New plants, RSBG and compost that happens...

This is going to be a bit of a long and winding road post. It all makes sense in my head, let's see if I can tell the narrative so it makes sense to you...

This is a photo of the Pseudopanax ferox in my garden back when I thought it had escaped unscathed from our winter storm. 

I was wrong.

It's dying back from the top down, leaves are falling. However, when I do the scratch test about half way down, there is still green. I am holding on to hope that at least part of it is still alive. I may be disappointed.

Because of the widespread (winter-storm caused) death and destruction in this area, I've started to reimagine the plantings. Of course that means buying plants, like this Rhododendron spinuliferum.

I first saw this unusual rhododendron at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden (RSBG), where I passed it up and had regretted it ever since. When I spotted it at Portland Nursery I didn't make that same mistake again. I can't wait to see its orange tubular flowers against the orange wall.  

Last week, when I'd formulated my plan for driving up to visit Old Goat Farm, it occurred to me that since I was going to be so close, well I might as well swing by the nursery at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden too! Truth be told I had been thinking (a lot) about plant I'd passed up when stopped there in February, and so it was. I found myself at the RSBG once again...

Rhododendron strigillosum

I didn't have time to walk the garden, but I did visit a couple of my favorite plants near the entrance, like this Rhododendron platypodum.

And Rhododendron forrestii subsp. forrestii, which despite the fact Roger Gossler has given me this plant TWICE I cannot keep alive in my garden...

Rhododendron 'Ever Red'

Okay I really have no idea what the plant is, but look at that piece of wood!

And how cute is this little guy?

I managed to check in on my longstanding fern crush, Dryopteris polylepis, still stunning even though it's knocked back and yet to flush out new growth.

When I visit this summer (with the Fling) those new fronds will be all flushed out.

Why is nobody growing this fern!?!

Illicium simonsii

Okay... I'm out of time! Time to go pay for my plants and get on the road.

My haul...

On the left Berberis triacanthophora 'Cally Rose' (the spikes and the leaves are the same size!), on the right Rhododendron williamsianum, because the one I have did just fine with our winter madness, and I love those leaves (and honestly hope it never blooms, because yes, they're pink!).

Here's the plant I was hoping they'd still have available, Rhododendron 'Warlock'. I love the purple stems (echoes of the R. spinuliferum I shared at the top of this post) and it's said to have dark, almost black, flowers. Sounds interesting!

I also grabbed another R. sinogrande. My plants did about 50/50 over this last winter nightmare, but up until then had done great. I decided to risk another—after all those big leaves are the bomb!

The next couple of shots are rhododendrons I saw at Old Goat Farm. Since I seem to be on a rhododendron kick it was nice to have validation that they're truly interesting foliage plants. Rhododendron yuefengense (I think I got that ID right).

Another Rhododendron strigillosum...

And this character is Rhododendron asterochnoum (thanks to Camille for ID!)

On Monday I ended my OGF post with a teaser about the nursery and new plants. First we must admire the compost wall (fence) that runs the length of the nursery area.

When I mentioned to Greg that it reminded me of a similar wall I saw in Oakland on a garden visit when I was part of the Pacific Horticulture board of directors... 

...he reminded me that this particular version had been in Pacific Horticulture magazine, a story he wrote...

You can read that story here, although it's a little oddly formatted. Here's a photo borrowed from PH. Greg, the nursery, and the wall are all over 10 years younger here, funny how that happens...

So the plants! I was thrilled to spot Digitalis ferruginea (rusty foxglove) available in the OGF nursery, and lucky me, Greg sent me home with a few of them.

I've had a crush on this plant (but never managed to grow it) ever since it was on the cover of a different issue of Pacific Horticulture, during my time there. 

And that my friends wraps up the story of my 324 mile one-day road trip, new plant acquisitions, and a very fine plant adventure!

—   —   —

To receive alerts of new danger garden posts by email, subscribe here. Please note; these are sent from a third party, you’ll want to click thru to read the post here on the blog to avoid their annoying ads. 

All material © 2009-2024 by Loree L Bohl. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.