The Maryellen and Michael McCulloch garden is tucked away in NW Portland on Old Germantown Road. I picked it mostly based on convenience, and it was a bit of a trick even to find. But the visit to this 40-acre property and gardens on a warm July afternoon was the perfect choice for my maiden Open Gardens tour.
As I pulled into the parking area, the tone was set with a huge, red, strip-metal ball.
From the parking area, I walked up the hill along a mowed, curving path through grasses and wildflowers toward a long, rangy house at the top (designed, I discovered later, by Pietro Belluschi, an iconic PNW mid-century architect. Of course I have no pictures of it!)
There was U-pick lavender in a field above me, but I focused on a wonderful metal arbor structure supporting a young grape vine.
I think what appealed to me was simplicity and strength in the same piece. And the rust. I could almost imagine being able to build this.
Tufts of grasses had plenty of room to flourish along the road.
The deer-proof vegetable garden up near the greenhouse was fenced with more beautifully simple rusty metal.
This fun metal sun held a clematis on the fenced garden.
At the highest point on the property stood a large and beautiful greenhouse, flanked by citrus trees.
cool aloes and agaves,
In front of the Aeonium forest was some kind of Senecio (I think).
Many of the specimens were planted right into the ground and mulched with rocks.
Others were still in nursery pots or had been replanted in decorative containers.
One side of the greenhouse was filled with a jungle of large species. I recognized a huge abutilon, a palm, a strelitzia and a big citrus in bloom.
This unknown plant was big, and its furry flower buds were small but vivid.
Tearing myself away from the greenhouse, I descended big stone steps toward the house level, accompanied by the sound of an almost-hidden watercourse.
Simple drifts of lambs ears and purple thyme softened the steps.
Reaching the house level, I looked up to a sea of heathers and poppies.
Here was the tumbling water I heard earlier on the steps, landing in a pool beside ...
The. Best. Yoga. Studio. Ever.
A close-up of the sculpture.
A look back at the yoga-studio-to-die-for.
Up close to the house and recording studio, the plantings were more refined.
Near the house I met the garden owner, Maryellen, who was warm and welcoming. She mentioned that they were preparing to create an extensive meadow area and that their garden wouldn't be open for the next two years as a result. That made me doubly glad I'd made the trip this year.
I bought a couple of succulents from the cute kids, and it was time to go.
After the visit, I was curious about the property and checked out the website for Westwind Farm Studio. The property has multifaceted uses, including a recording studio, growing sustainable plants and U-pick lavender, and as a video and still photography location. How nice of the McCullochs to also welcome HPSO members!