Monday, June 24, 2024

A trio of HPSO Open Gardens

Is there anything better than being invited to wander through someone else's garden? It's open garden season here in Portland and I'm trying to take advantage every chance I get. Today we'll visit three gardens that I've written about before, they all belong to people I know and it's always fun to see their gardens again...

First up is Matthew Hubbard, aka The Lents Farmer. His garden was open mid June.

Curbside: Sedum rupestre 'Angelina', Crambe maritima and Crithmum maritimum (thanks Matthew for the name on that last one).

You never know about the turnout for a HPSO open garden. Sometimes there are crowds, and sometimes you're the only one there. This was a rainy day with sun breaks, while I was there I had the place to myself.

Since my last visit Matthew had removed some lawn and expanded the space for his peony obsession collection.

This beauty was much darker in person.

Like all of us Portland gardeners Matthew lost some plants, or parts of plants due to last winter's storm. This used to be a palm...

Matthew's other plant loves (after peonies) are water lilies and carnivorous plants. He goes to great lengths to protect them from the raccoons.

Did I mention there's a lot less lawn now? Still... I see room for more plants (less lawn).

Genista aetnensis

Love this shady combo, especially the impatiens.


And a nice patch of moss and saxifraga.

Sciadopitys verticillata (umbrella pine)

It started to rain as I took this shot and we sought out cover indoors...

Oh and look! I was sent away with one of those agaves in the "spikes" photo. A nice Agave victoriae-reginae that needed a home, lucky me!

On to Tim Batog's garden and more spikes! The biggy is agave vilmoriniana, one you don't see much around here since it's not hardy and is very brittle—those long arms are easily broken when you move it about (ask me how I know).

That's a dreamy class photo...

Syneilesis aconitifolia

Big-leaf rhododendron.

Dreamy peony (this garden visit was in late May).

The side pathway...

Aruncus dioicus. I was really happy to see this plant in Tim's garden as I had a volunteer pop up in mine and it was good to see just how big it could get.

Gateway to the edibles section of the garden...

What a beauty!

I love everything about this, the carnivorous plants, the pot, the pedestal.

I also stepped into the greenhouse to snap a couple photos.

Next stop, Mary DeNoyer's garden...

This was also a late May visit...

Arisaema some somebody.

Maybe Hosta 'June'?

Polygonatum kingianum

I am thrilled that I've now got a piece of this plant in my garden. Mary divided her plant and shared pieces at a plant swap.

Looking back where I've been.

Lots of drool worthy podophyllum in this garden.

And a collection of pseudopanax in pots...

Mary's most-excellent covered outdoor area.

And a few spikes lined up next to the built-in rock garden.

Sempervivum 'Gold Nugget'

In case you thought the spiky plants were the only dangerous thing in the garden (I'm sure Mary uses these for gardening, right?).

Beautiful raised dish planting along the driveway, perhaps a cracked birdbath that no longer holds water?

And a look across the front garden as this post draws to a close.

(Mary grows eremurus so very well)

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  1. I'm so envious of the gardening scene in Portland. Here in the Sacramento area, open gardens are few and far between.

    It was great seeing these three gardens. So different, yet so similar in many ways. Lots of green. And even a few agaves and cacti! I can see why you were pleased.

  2. All three fantastic drool-worthy gardens. If we lived in Portland I would definitely be in attendance. Thank you for the tour! Each garden emanating the very talented hands of its gardener.

    1. Indeed, the best gardens reflect the person who built them! ;)

  3. Was lovely to see you and to catch up! And I can't think of a better home for that Agave!

    1. Thanks again, and yes! I am so glad I had the chance to chat with you and Alan.

  4. AnonymousJune 24, 2024

    Thanks for this wonderful blog and photos, and thank you to Matthew, Tim, and Mary for opening their gardens.

  5. Like Gerhard, I couldn't help envying the garden scene in the PNW. Open gardens aren't a "thing" in my area. I love the diversity of plants in all 3 of these gardens too. Peonies and carnivorous plants aren't something I'd see in the same place here outside of a botanic garden, and maybe not even there.

    1. I wonder how a group like the HPSO would function in your area. Could there even be a single org, or would there be smaller satellite versions. Hmm. Somebody needs to start one!

  6. How fabulous, we all could use a HPSO. This is a perfect way to spend an afternoon. Lovely gardens all around!

    1. I want to encourage everyone out there who would love this kind of thing to start their own local garden organization. BUT... I also know how much work it is. I was on the board of the HPSO for 6 (8?) years and that was a lot of work, I can't imagine the work that came before me, to create such a strong organization. I wish all areas were so lucky.

  7. Yeah, I wish I lived closer too. I keep missing out on all the garden tours. The lengths Matthew needs to go for the raccoons - wow! The view down the side path and the garden gate at Tim's - very nice! And, Mary's excellent taste in pots and fantastic built-in rock garden - envious! I bet it's fun to see this gardens change over time.

    1. It is fun to see how other's gardens change, not just your own.


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