I'm taking a break from the Portland garden posts to give you an update on my own garden. Last summer I took very few photos of my yard due to the roadtrip and weeks of posts about it that followed.
I wanted to ensure I didn't make that mistake again, so here's a look at some of what's going on right now here (not everything of course, but parts of it). It's not all exciting, but having the photos for future reference is important. Year-to-year comparisons of planting beds, major plants (like bamboo, or trees, or large perennials), trellises -- if you don't have these images, there will come a day when you'll wish you did!
The last stop of the first day of the recent Garden Bloggers Fling in Portland was another private garden: Westwind Farm Studio. The name is confusing because it's not a farm and I'm not sure what the "studio" designation is for -- I may have missed the explanation when we arrived. (I did find out later that the property was formerly a sheep farm, so that's part of the answer... and their website explains that they have a recording studio too.)
Its name though was of no consequence, because this was one of my favorite stops of the entire trip, something like what I envision my dream garden to be.Views, grasses, privacy, wildlife, sculpture -- the only thing they didn't have was bamboo, otherwise this might have been designed specifically for me!
After visiting Cistus and Joy Creek Nurseries, we on the recent Garden Bloggers Fling in Portland were off to a private garden on Old Germantown Road (hey bus driver, the "Old" part of that name is actually quite important!)
After Cistus Nursery, the buses took us through more scenic farmland (did we just pass a field of spirea and roses?!) and on to Joy Creek Nursery. Whereas Cistus has a bit of an emphasis on more xeric and spiky plants (Agaves, Yuccas, etc.) Joy Creek felt like a more "traditional" nursery -- but that is not the right term to use to describe this wonderful place.
What makes Joy Creek so special is, like Cistus, they have a huge demonstration garden. In fact, I would describe Joy Creek as a garden that also sells plants rather than a nursery with a garden. So much to show you, so I want to jump right in...
What makes Cistus (and the next stop of the tour, Joy Creek Nursery) different from most city and suburban nurseries is its display garden. With a larger-than-urban property, they can plant lots of the things they sell so you can see their potential. And although any nursery that has a wall of bamboo along one border is a winner in my book already, We'll start with the display garden, which you must walk through to reach the more typical sales area.
The first full day of the recent Garden Bloggers Fling in Portland, Oregon started with an 8 AM walk from the hotel to the offices of Timber Press, publishers of so many fantastic gardening books.
You won't see any photos of the walk over there, or images of the building or offices themselves from me as I could say I'm usually more interested in the experience itself than documenting every aspect of it. (I could say that, but maybe I just get lazy sometimes?)
Last week/weekend I was in Portland Oregon for the Garden Bloggers Fling, a gathering of about 80 bloggers from around the country (and a few internationals). We toured several gardens and nurseries over three days, but my wife and I arrived a day and a half early so we could check out the city and hang out with an old friend that we haven't seen in at least 15 years.
It turns out that our friend is a gardener and plant person now too, and on Thursday she took us to the International Rose Test Garden up on the hill in Washington Park. The Fling itinerary would have me going to this garden on Saturday, but since I wasn't going to be with the group that day it worked out perfectly!
There are pros and cons to flying into an airport that is surrounded by thunderstorms. On the positive side you get to see some really great, angry clouds. You also get to see heavy rain from a unique perspective -- the "wall" of water was really quite impressive, especially as the plane flew around it, giving be a view from different sides. I also saw that the rain was not falling from the cloud that was overhead, as it was coming from the bottom of the storm at about a 45 degree angle. Really cool stuff!
On the negative side, airplanes don't take off when those storms are around, so connecting flights get a little bit delayed. And by "a little bit" I mean five hours. So I got home at 2:15 AM, and very little sleep was enjoyed. I'm feeling and looking like the photo above right now.