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, July 31, 2017

In A Vase On Monday

It's been another fun week in the garden, interrupted by attending a two-day class for work that was an hour commute away.  On the bright side, the class was held in proximity to Washington Pottery, a wholesaler of all sorts of outdoor and some indoor pots.  The large warehouse has floor to ceiling shelves of pots which are only available through retailers.  However, pots that aren't perfect or those that are being discontinued are offered to the public at discounts from seventy to ninety percent below retail prices.  It's interesting how a car handles differently when it's weighted down with cargo...

Since my garden open for the Northwest Perennial Alliance last weekend, a few groups have called and set up appointments to visit. See my pal Alison's post here.  It's a good thing as it causes me to sweep up bamboo litter, pick up tools, roll hoses, and get the nearly always present plastic buckets cleared from the paths.  Also, flowers that are flopping into walkways need to be tied back or cut.  Today's vase is a group of blooms that got the latter treatment as a bit of tidying was done on Sunday to prepare for a Monday morning visit.

This fragrant mystery rose mislabeled 'Playboy' glows and is quickly becoming a favorite. 

Last year, I got a few dahlia tubers, started them in pots in the greenhouse, and never planted them in the ground.  The pots sat out all winter and one survived.  Above that is a Regal or Martha Washington Pelargonium.

Begonia  boliviensis dangles over the side while a bit of Polygonatum odoratum and Bracken fern that pops up everywhere in my garden bring in a bit of green.

Not the most thought-out vase I've ever thrown together and the color combination may be a bit jarring to some but the fragrance of the roses and the color clashes will make me smile this week.

What's more, they won't trip today's visitors. 

In A Vase On Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Click here to see what others have tossed in containers to enjoy this week.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Freaky Friday - You Don't See That Everyday.

A couple of months ago, on that little nursery hopping trip to Portland, there was time after the nurseries closed to do a little exploration.  It's always fun to loose oneself in a new area of town, especially because the lady in the phone can always find a way out.  Sometimes, interesting discoveries await like this shiny thing that caught my eye.  Had to pull over and investigate.

Looks like a dragon in the making and catch the cool spheres.   The occupants of the house might be getting a little nervous, especially if this fellow is to be a fire-breathing sort. 

Unfortunately, it was behind the fence of a business that was closed but here's a bit more of what I could see behind the fence. 

This certainly looks like a place worth visiting during open hours!

Turns out, it's the exterior of Delia Furniture.  Do they also sell the cool exterior stuff or is that simply their own garden?   What of the magnificent dragon being built outside; is that a work to be displayed somewhere in the Rose City or simply a pet project/calling card for the business?

May your weekend be filled with unexpected delights!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Garden of Bob McNulty and Sheila Walter

What a privilege it is to visit so many glorious private gardens.  The McNulty/Walter garden is large with winding paths that open to expanses of open lawn bordered by serpentine mixed beds.  The space has a wonderful feeling of enclosure and allows for a sense of discovery.  While it could be intimidating, this garden is as warm and welcoming as the gardeners themselves.

"Our garden gains drama from three towering Douglas firs and a majestic maple that dominate the space. The garden is large and the budget is not, so we've learned to embrace the ordinary by filling up space with old stalwarts like Sedum 'Autumn Joy' and many cultivars of hosta, but keep your eyes peeled for less pedestrian plants such as Cardiocrinum giganteum."  (In glorious bloom during my visit.)

Around just about every corner is an area to sit and enjoy the beauty of the garden.

 "our acre" (seems like a lot more than an acre to me!) "contains a little bit of everything; you'll find grassy expanses for games as well as secret paths for exploration.  Over our 30 years here, we've carved out several comfortable entertaining spots, built by Bob with largely salvaged materials."

Say it with me, you know you want to.  There's always an agave if you just look hard enough. (Of course it might also help if you click your heels together and say, "There's no place like the southwest.")

I love seeing the work spaces of other gardeners.

Wow!  Just wow!  My tools are sort of thrown together on a bit of a stand but this is magnificent.

"We all know a garden is never 'done.' since we opened our garden last year, wet snow brought down a large cryptomeria japonica elegans, and a Magnolia grandiflora brew too big fro it's britches and had to go.  More sun - more opportunities.

Admiring this artwork on the wall, I was asked by Bob if I could figure out what it was.  Can you?
 If you guessed that it was a melted hose caddy found on the site of a house fire, you'd be correct.  

Another new space being carved out.

Perhaps I shall revisit this delightful space again in September to check on the progress!  Thank you so much Bob and Sheila for opening your garden for us all to enjoy and for being such gracious hosts!

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!