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.

Friday, August 12, 2016

What's Spiky, green, and Located in Portland?

Danger Garden, Will Robinson.

It's always exciting to see in person a garden that one visits via computer on a regular basis.  I feel a special fondness for the Danger Garden and it's gardener as it was here that we first met in person five years ago, a special surprise for my 50th birthday.  It was Loree who encouraged me to start my own garden blog and answered multiple questions as I started doing just that. It was also Loree's enthusiasm for agaves and yuccas that made me take a second look at both. Now I share the love of these beasts and have a collection of my own. 

If you were lucky enough to attend the Portland Garden Bloggers' Fling, you remember visiting this garden. 

I really should have spent more time exploring the front garden as it's full of treasures  like the two large Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue,' a Cistus introduction.  Read more about this plant here and here.

However, the back gate was open and the welcoming committee beckoned. 

"Come on back!"

Agave weberi that's lived outside for a couple of years now, only being dragged into the unheated garage once during an especially cold snap.

A recent creation, this wall-mounted piece is perfection!

The foliage shape echo of Schefflera taiwaniana and Syneilesis aconitifolia frames this area beautifully.

Euphorbia something or other showing off in the sun.

These rectangular planters are masterfully put together.

Loree showing the split down the middle bi-colored flower on her Canna 'Cleopatra'.

Isn't this wavy character cool?

I admire the way Loree combines plants that I wouldn't have thought of putting together and gets beautiful results like this.

Where the heck are we?  California?  Texas?

 Oh, now I see, it must be the Pacific Northwest with those gorgeous towering fir trees in the background.

Head gardener, Lila, and her helper, Loree.

Later, we returned as Lila needed her medication and a walk so I was alone in the Danger Garden for a few minutes.  For just a moment, the garden was mine.  Can you imagine having a garden where nothing needs to be done?  Not a weed to be pulled, no new beds need digging, everything is in it's place, all is watered, no encroaching bamboo needs to be pulled, cut, dug.  This is what peace feels like. Did I sit and take it in, enjoying the warmth of the sun and gentle breeze?  Nope.  I explored the space more.

 Backlit by the sun this begonia is as beautiful as any stained glass creation.  

Morticia, er, I mean Loree points out that she left the blooms on the begonia in her circle pot just for my visit.  Once I leave, they're doomed.  Say, that's two begonias in the danger garden.  That constitutes a collection, yes?  I predict more to come. 

Aloe marlothii on the right.  Love this plant and recently found one on sale.

The Andrew-created shade pavilion.  With the elevation and center orange table, chairs on the side, it looks a bit like an altar to the goddess Flora.

Another reason to visit Loree was to deliver this vase that she'd asked Emily to purchase for her as the Portland Crate and Barrel was out of them and Emily lives close to the Seattle store. The blogger pipeline!

One last look before we head out.

I hope you enjoyed visiting this gorgeous garden as much as I did.  Thanks, Loree for sharing your garden so freely!


  1. Great tour of Loree's garden! Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos. I love the shot of Loree with the Yucca rostrata halo, and the one of her holding Lila is precious. Such a lovely, meticulously put together garden, I envy it.

  2. I've been dying to see more wide photos of Loree's garden as it matures This is the next best thing to visiting, Peter, thank you! Loree is a true original. She gets such exquisite tension with all those gorgeous plants framed by sturdy design.

  3. Lovely tour, Peter! Hers is a special place. Loree is a special person, encouraging me also to start my own blog. She and Scott of Rhone St., actually. I love the photos of Loree and Lila, and all the spiky treasures too.

  4. There are so many details in Loree's beautiful garden, even you with the place to yourself couldn't show us all of them. Glad I don't have any friends visiting my garden this summer -- I'd have to approve all photos taken. :)

  5. Even though I read Loree's blog daily (as well as yours), it always fascinates me to see a garden through different eyes. Saw so many things I've never noticed before and the plants you guys can grow always overwhelm me. Plus Loree rarely shows photos of herself so now I know what she looks like!

  6. Your words describe Loree and her garden PERFECTLY:

    "Can you imagine having a garden where nothing needs to be done? Not a weed to be pulled, no new beds need digging, everything is in it's place, all is watered, no encroaching bamboo needs to be pulled, cut, dug. This is what peace feels like."

    That's EXACTLY what I felt when we visited Loree and Andrew last summer. The Danger Garden is a sanctuary in every sense of the word.

  7. Exploring Loree's garden must take hours and hours - there are so many wonderful and unique touches, both large and small! The photo of Loree with Lila is priceless.

  8. So gorgeous. I think I have a grill similar to the one above. I need to find it and do something creative too.

  9. Five years ago??? That was five years ago? My god how time flies.

    It was wonderful to have you visit, I just wish our day would have lasted longer! As for that "garden where nothing needs to be done"...

  10. Those Cycas... That orange shade pavilion... serious envy. Fine treasures at every corner and impeccable eye for design.

  11. well I have to say that photo of Loree and Lila is just an instant classic.

  12. I am always amazed to see this garden growing in Portland and not California or Arizona.

  13. A great tour of a fabulous garden.What an amazing succulent collection. How wonderful to be able to have them planted out in the garden. Like you, I have to keep all mine in pots. I love her collection of pots too.


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