-

-
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.

Monday, January 7, 2013

On the Street


A couple of posts back, I  showed pictures of staircases going nowhere.  On the same street, just a block  up there was a staricase going to this cool old house.  Of course, the great paint job and fun horns hanging on the front are interesting but what really grabbed my eye from some distance was the plants.
 
This house sits in the middle of a forest of palms, yuccas, and pampas grass.  I was sorely tempted to knock on the door but the dogs in the front yard made me think better of it.  The dogs seemed friendly enough but one never knows what might happen if someone tresspassed  on their magic forest.
 
 The parking strip in front of the house if filled with Trachycarpus fortunei, Yucca, and artistically done rock installations.  A neighbor across the street tells me that many of these rocks were dug from beneath the street in front when the city was doing a project.  The homeowner asked that the rocks be  placed in his parking strip and the workers were happy to comply.

A view up  to the side yard and some larger palms.
 Certainly an unusual treat in the pacific northwest  to have nearly a whole block of palms to walk by.
 Love these rock things!
This group, called Stonhenge, was created from boulders found in the garage when the owner moved in.


The reason that the palm walk goes on for such a distince is that the same fellow owns several lots all of which are for sale.  If you've ever wanted to move into a palm forest in Tacoma, now's your chance.  I would plant giant timber bamboo in the back to block the view of the modern building behind and would add some agaves, opuntias, and other plants that enjoy sharp drainage to the front sloping area.  A few passion vines would disguise the chain link fence and I'd be tempted to replace the grass in the parking strip with something else & add some variegated yuccas to the mix. 
 
 
At the far end of the block, there is a garden tended by someone who is a collector of evergreens of a different kind.





 
 
It's always fun to find gardens of passion!  Hope you enjoyed this little walk up the street as much as I did!

26 comments:

  1. The magic palm forest is pretty amazing. The other plants show Tacoma is in the west after all. The rocks, stonehenge, it's all cool. Looks like he has a trailer of more spiky plants to install.

    The evergreen forest is pretty. Making the most of a tough site to say the least. Wish we could grow those plants here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does look like he has a trailer of more spiky plants but it's an illusion - the trailer was empty & the plants were growing on the other side of it.

      I sometimes forget, in my lust for things that aren't hardy here, how lucky we are to be able to grow so many wonderful plants here! Thanks for the reminder. (I'm still envious of your Bismarckia nobilis)

      Delete
  2. Glad you mentioned removing the lawn, the parking strip area is way cool but the lawn seems like a bit of a disconnect. Excellent find!

    (oh and I was considering making the call, you know to start the Tacoma homestead, but the word Sotheby's on the sign tells me there would be too many zero's in the price for my bank account)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I heard from the neighbor that the gardener and owner of all three lots/2 houses is also the realtor. Based on the location and the housing market, I think you should call as you'd be pleasantly surprised at how much your real estate dollar can buy in Tacoma. Really! Much cheaper here than in Portland, Cistus is still only a couple of hours away and we will be getting our own McMinimins soon... PLUS, you'd be that much closer to Dragonfly, Heronswood, Dig, Jungle Fever, etc.

      Delete
  3. I loved 'Stonhenge' and rhododendrons in the garden of this old house. The photos are pretty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed the creative use of rocks! Rhododendrons are such common sights in gardens here that we often don't appreciate them.

      Delete
  4. Love to see a garden with so much personality and passion, says a lot about the owner :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does indeed! Do you suppose if I hang around long enouth that the gardener would magically appear so I could meet him?

      Delete
  5. That was fun! I do have one windmill palm here in Oregon. I've seen them get really tall with a little fluff of leaves at the top--very Dr. Suess-- and this worries me. I find myself planting things under my one palm to maybe fill in later as it grows. Mostly I am terribly jealous of all those rocks, the best garden ornaments ever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The rocks are fabulous and I bet they will come with the house! Glad you enjoyed the "what I could see from the street" tour of this cool garden!

      Delete
  6. What intriguing properties, especially the first one. The owner seems the sort that would be fascinating to meet given the chance :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard that he's very nice so I'll try visiting again sometime.

      Delete
  7. It's so unfair how some people have so much space...BAH!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know right? Cry not dear Scott, this space could be yours. Of course, it wouldn't be in Portland, the coolest city ever, but it's close enough that you could still visit.

      Delete
  8. I love palms planted en masse... And I always wondered why, in the many climates that suit them, more people did not use Trachycarpus palms to line walks or even streets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Palms are really best planted en masse! I personally didn't like palms for the longest time because in this area, we often see them in islolation or planted quite far apart in little squares of soil surrounded by concrete in front of car dealerships. Really, they're lined up like soldiers, they don't get any water all summer long and they seem sad as they slowly grow but mostly look yellow and sickly. When I finally saw them growing in groupings surrounded by other plants, I fell in love.

      Delete
  9. An original and magical garden, great find!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ready to move away from the frozen midwest?

      Delete
  10. Than you for sharing your walk with us. I love palms and pampa grass!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming along! It's always much more fun to walk with friends!

      Delete
  11. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE the palms!!!!!!!!!!!!!! they need some TLC but those lots could be quite nice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Guess who I thought of when I saw the place? Wouldn't you like to move south?

      Delete
  12. How fun to find other gardeners! I love that each one has his/her own passion, and that the different types of plants can all survive in your area. You should definitely try to meet the gardener somehow. Maybe wear a padded suit so if the dogs bite, it won't hurt. I bet you would make quite the first impression! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right, I must stalk this gardener. Or I could simply knock on the back door of the house where the dogs aren't.

      Delete
  13. At first I thought the palm tree parking strip was from the Fremont neighborhood in Seattle. It's nice to know quirky gardens and spirited gardeners spread like weeds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes indeed. While Freemont, Vashon Island, and Portland certainly have a greater number of ruggedly individualistic gardeners, there are some just about everywhere.

      Delete

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.