Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Wednesday Vignette

The Northwest Perennial Alliance supplies 8.5" x 11"  tasteful but visible open and closed signs  for host gardeners to post outside their gardens.  I was a bit worried that such a sign might get a bit lost in the foliage outside my garden so I came up with something a little more eye catching to lean against the fire hydrant on our corner.  Once again the basement hoard contained a solution.  I don't think anyone had trouble locating the sign.

He's now leaning against the house guarding the hose spigot and scares me every time I come around the corner.

Wednesday Vignette is hosted by my friend, Anna, at Flutter and Hum.  Click here to join in the fun.

Hughes Water Garden Center

Meanwhile, back on that May visit to Portland Nurseries with Danger, our next stop after lunch was Hughes Water Gardens.  

This was my first visit to Hughes and I'm so glad we stopped. It was a joy to wander through the large garden which incorporated formal and naturalist water features.

Turn a corner and it seems like you've come upon a stream in the forest. 

Unusual garden art was everywhere. 

Of course, water churned, gurgled, cascaded or simply reflected in a dizzying array of situations. 

This guy's been in the water a little too long or maybe it was just Portland's winter. 

An indoor pond.  Perhaps these are tropical waterlilies?  I remember one of Loree's posts showing Victoria amazonica (Giant Amazon Water Lily) growing in a tropical area.  However the non-water plants look hardy.  Maybe the tropical house wasn't yet open/

So beautiful.  In my next garden I'll have a pond large enough to grow waterlilies!

Hughes also carries non aquatic plants like Hosta 'Vulcan' which was too pretty not to bring home. 

Thanks again, Loree, for suggesting this place; what fun it was!

Monday, July 24, 2017

In Sandy's Vase On Monday

My neighbor and friend, Sandy, recently gave me this fun vase by local artist Christopher Hoppin.  I'd long admired the piece and during one of her periodic purges, this was among the things she'd set out on a table to give away.  Lucky me!

The piece wasn't meant to hold water but luckily, I had slender glass vase which was the perfect size to fit inside.  Usually the flowers dictate the container but this Monday, it was the other way around. What could one put in such a vessel that won't compete with it?

There was a jug of palm fronds and Hydrangea quercifolia,  pruned to make paths more passable, sitting in the butler's pantry.  Too pretty to simply go directly into the yard waste bin, they'd come inside a few days ago.  Even one entire palm frond was a bit overpowering so I gently tore it apart.  Next came a fig leaf which, once picked, would not stand up and a couple of wood skewers which were brought out in a failed attempt to prop the leaf.

Sorry about the lighting and wrinkled background.  Thanks, Sandy, for the cool vase and the challenge to fill it. Perhaps next I'll try some dried Allium schubertii seed heads spray painted red.

The addictive meme, In a Vase on Monday, is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Click here to join in the fun!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Laura Sevonty's Garden

Another weekend, another great group of Northwest Perennial Alliance open gardens.  Today, stroll with me through Laura Sevonty's Garden.  A beautiful sunny afternoon in June is a perfect time to visit a garden, but not the best time to take pictures.  I'm afraid that these images don't do Laura's garden justice.

"I am very fond of container gardening and have many pots that are planted for both summer and winter.  My brother, a professional landscaper, and I have been the primary designers, managers, and caretakers of the garden."

What an attractive and welcoming entrance!

This area had a desert southwest theme.  

"I consider my garden to be a free style, naturalistic garden. My house is on one third of an acre and is totally landscaped."

"The first major landscape was about 25 years ago.  The front and back lawns were completely removed and replaced with trees, shrubs, paths, raised beds, sitting areas, and garden art."

"Subsequently I've redone courtyard areas in the front and back yards."

"It is an ever evolving garden, designed for year round interest, and I believe provides a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere in which to relax, entertain, and work."

It certainly looks relaxing but keeping this space looking this great wouldn't leave a whole lot of time for relaxation.

Did you notice the variegated English Laurel? (Prunus laurocerasus variegata 'Marbled White?'  It's really beautiful in person.

Laura and her brother aren't the only ones who've been busy in their garden.

 Oh my goodness, look at that perfect potting bench!  I can only dream of such tidiness and organization.  The magic of Laura's garden is that it's magazine immaculate and yet  full of great plants, garden art, and other objects.  

Laura was full of energy but someone else seemed a bit tired.  Perhaps this is the real gardener.  
Thank you, Laura for opening your garden for us all to enjoy. Happy weekend and happy gardening all.  I'll be holding my own garden open for the NPA tomorrow.  Yikes!  

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sorticulture 2017

Last year, after hearing so much about Everett's garden arts festival called Sorticulture,  I finally attended and swore that I'd never miss it again.  What an amazing feast for the senses with all sorts of fabulous garden art, plant and food vendors, plant talks, and live entertainment.  You know how sometimes when you attend an event the first time it seems over-the-top amazing but when you see it again, it doesn't seem so grand because you know what to expect?  That certainly was not the feeling I got going back to Sorticulture.  It seemed just as fabulous as my first visit.  The park in which the event is held is large and one can easily loose track of where everything is.  The sheer volume of eye candy can be overwhelming so it's best to plan on spending an entire day.  This year, I spent less time taking pictures and more time just taking it all in and enjoying the experience. See previous posts here, here, here, and here.   Here are just a few images of the fun:

There are some garden vignettes put together by local landscape companies.  

Fun art was everywhere!

Carnivorous Plants From Mars.  Really, check it out here

Lots of glorious glass.

This adorable dog by Justin Bergevin (The Rusty Bolt)  garnered much attention and praise. 

There were smaller pups available as well.

Thanks to Barbara Saunderson for  telling me that these cool fused glass egg plats were crated by Aiko Vail.  I'd forgotten.

Beth Wright's wire and bead baskets are perfect for succulents. 

Portland-based Katy LaReau's glass flowers and bugs are cheerful and popular. 

Cacti but no metal agaves this year. 

Merrilee More's glass drops look grand in large groups like these. 

Bedrock Industries makes everything out of recycled materials. Their motto is "Specializing in trash beautification since 1992."

While I love the pieces they create, I equally enjoy visiting their shop to find materials for all sorts of projects.

Shannon Buckner's Bent Productions with their graceful organic lines have always caught my eye but I never fully appreciated their beauty until seeing them in garden settings.  How on earth can a blacksmith create such delicate-looking pieces from metal?

All decked out for the occasion.  A few of these fish swam home with me. 

So did a metal flower or two.

 or cut, flowers abounded.

Plant vendors, oh yes!  Is that a Wollemia nobilis by any chance?  

Albuca spiralis 'Frizzle Sizzle.'   
 Many of the plant vendors were independent growers who brought specialty plants.  River Rock Nursery of Carver, Oregon once brought a lot of swell plants including Quercus alnifolia, an evergreen oak whose common name, Golden Oak, comes from the golden color of the undersides of the leaves and is the national tree of Cyprus. RRN brought them to the Rhododendron Species Garden sale this spring,  there were specimens at Hortlandia.  this time, they had tiny ones and one of them came home with me.  Yes it's already in a bigger pot and no, I don't know where I'll plant it eventually.

Just when hope seemed slim -   Yes Virginia, there is always an agave thanks to Marcus Harper Glass Works.

Taking a break from all the excitement, this fellow relaxes 'neath a Podophyllum parasol. 
This was an iota of the artwork and plants at Sorticulture.  I certainly plan to attend again next June and hope you do too!