Portland: Floramagoria

The last day of the 2014 Garden Bloggers Fling in Portland was a busy one. After the Ernst and Fuller gardens, Rhone Street Gardens, then John Kuzma's garden (posts 1 and 2) it was off to Floramagoria -- I wasn't sure what to expect here. Was it a nursery, a private garden, or a public one? (I purposefully avoided reading about any of the Fling stops before the trip as I wanted to be completely surprised).


As the bus got deeper into a residential area, it was clear that this was going to be a private garden -- and as the bus pulled to a stop... The front garden was quite shady but had a wonderful mix of foliage colors and textures, some sculpture visible, and large rocks. But the front garden is just an appetizer (or is it a smokescreen?) for what's going on behind the house.

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The different colors of the mantis

I've found several mantises in my garden over the last couple of days. Since I released dozens of them as babies this spring and dozens more hatched "in the wild", I shouldn't be surprised when I find them in the garden.


I am surprised though, and delighted, as these are one of my favorite insects! Although I don't know that I'd say that this species is strictly a "beneficial" insect (when it's living on a plant that is heavily visited by bees, what do you think it's eating every day?) I certainly would be sad if a summer went by and I didn't see a few of these around.

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Portland: John Kuzma garden (part 2, up close)

Yesterday I showed you John Kuzma's garden from a rainy day last month in Portland. Today, you see the same wet garden up close. It's the details that make a garden special for me: the texture of the plants, the rocks, sculpture, etc. If you're not getting your face and eyes deep into a garden, you're missing half of the experience (at least)!


You got a small taste of this in the last post with some macro shots of the huge gunnera, from right up in the plant -- well, under it mostly. I'll start again from there...

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Portland: John Kuzma garden

This weekend was hot and humid and although I did mow the lawn, prune some yews, and chase the deer family out of my garden (one was in the pond munching on water lilies), I didn't see a post materializing out of that. So it's back to Portland from last month's Garden Bloggers Fling!


I'm going through these gardens chronologically, and last time I looked at Scott Weber's Rhone Street Gardens. Today it's another private garden but on a larger scale: the John Kuzma garden.

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A bit of a change...

It's been a while since I've done a post about a project in the garden: building a trellis, a bench, an arbor. My trip to Portland last month and the cooler weather that we had after returning motivated me though, and I created something!



The difference in this project though is that it's not ending up in the garden: it's starting there! This big log section has been in my garage since early last summer, taking up valuable plant storage space, reminding me that there are so many projects planned but not started. 

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It's a wet papyrus morning...

Humidity nearly 100% after more rain last night, and temperatures reaching 97ºF (37ºC) mean it's a quiet morning, blog-wise.


Papyrus though... in the morning sunlight I can't resist getting my feet wet for some photos!

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Portland: Rhone Street Gardens

Back to Portland, to the photos from the Garden Bloggers Fling in July. If you've been reading regularly you may remember that Saturday of the Fling weekend started with the Ernst and Fuller gardens. Next up on this rainy morning was Rhone Street Gardens, the small city garden of Scott Weber.


Scott's blog is one of those that I started reading just after I started blogging if I remember correctly, so I've seen hundreds of photos of his garden already. That just made me even more eager and excited to see it in person!

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Summer lushness

We've had more rain recently, which at least in my garden means that summer is back to normal. The cooler, drier air is gone, replaced with the hot humidity that we're accustomed to in St. Louis.


This change in weather has seemingly awakened the plants, and I'd swear they're all growing before my eyes, filling up all of the available space. The only way to describe it is "lush". Let's take a look at the area just behind the house: the driveway, patio, stream, and deck.

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Outgrowing camouflage

You know I love looking at insects in the garden, and that I especially love finding immature ones -- tiny copies of their parents or looking completely different from their adult form, it's always fun to discover the youngsters. It can be difficult though, as on top of their smaller size a propensity to hide keeps them from my eyes.


Once they reach mature size and begin the hunt for a mate though, it's a different story. What I couldn't see when actively hunting just a few inches from them when younger, I now can see from across the garden.

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