Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"Extending Your Garden Season" - the upcoming HPSO/Garden Conservancy tour

It's late August: is your garden looking as tired as mine is?  If you're in need of a little August garden inspiration as much as I am, there's a tour I can heartily recommend this Saturday, August 29. 
It's the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon/Garden Conservancy tour themed "Extending Your Garden Season".  Five diverse but equally delightful gardens comprise the tour.
Garden themes range from Southern charm, to serious vegetable production, to conifer love, to Mediterranean, to DIY and all things in between.

I was invited to attend a preview tour of three of the five gardens with other Portland area garden bloggers, and I can tell you there is something here for everyone.
We visited Winchester Place Garden, the garden of Zachary Baker and Leon Livengood. This garden is a taste of the South, from its formal design principles to its metal urns dripping with color to its plant palette of hostas, hydrangeas and verbena.

These gardeners are not afraid of color - they combine flowers and foliage fearlessly.
Secluded sitting areas provide relaxing views of the garden.
Here's one of the urns and a hint of the tasteful wrought iron fence that separates two of the outdoor "rooms".

There's formality here but there's also fun, like these brightly colored shades.
And a couple of over-sized bunnies that might make you wonder what rabbit hole you fell down.

Winchester Place Garden is at 2280 SW Winchester Place Portland 97075. It's the lead garden on the tour and garden art will be for sale at this location.
The front garden of Chris and Jim Mitchell greets you with beautiful conifers and perennials in lush, textured beds.

Cleome is an unexpected but lovely late-summer note of pink with the more expected August yellows.

In the back garden, paths lead you among huge cedars and myriad plantings, each a little different from the next.

A new bed incorporates succulents and cacti.
Chris Mitchell talks with Loree of Danger Garden about the hardiness of her new in-ground agaves.
Hops and grapes create a shady space to enjoy a cool drink. 
Although Chris shared that most of the grapes are harvested by their bird friends, the hops are put to excellent use in Jim's beer.

Remember I said there was something for everyone on this tour? Case in point: a hidden fairy garden for the young - and the young at heart.

The Mitchell Garden is at 12250 SW Lynnridge Ave Portland 97225.

Nancy and Gordon Prewitt have been gardening their extensive Beaverton lot for 39 years, and the mature garden shows their devotion.

The succulents in this garden delighted me with their vigor.
Oh yes, they have lots of cool perennials and shrubs, too.

And there are tranquil sitting spaces I would love to spend a quiet half-hour in.
But their major annual focus on is vegetables and fruit. And these are sensuously beautiful!

I admired their clever labeling system. No bending down to peer under mature vegetable leaves - the name is right there at eye-level.

In the middle of all those veggies, of course they would have mason bees.

You know the greenhouse and potting areas get a workout each year.

And utility is balanced with beauty at every turn

You'll find the Prewitt Garden at 13625 SW Far Vista St Beaverton 97005.

Not previewed but also on the tour is the 24-year-old, 1/4-acre garden of Marcia and Dennis, "The Pecks" of the Oregonian's Home and Garden Saturday supplement, at 10790 SW 153rd Place, Beaverton, and the Mediterranean garden of Cathie and Al Schmitt, at 10695 SW 153rd Place, Beaverton.

The tour takes place this coming Saturday, Aug. 29, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 
So if you want to "Extend Your Garden Season" check this link for more information on the tour and tickets: Tickets are available at each of the gardens and benefit HPSO's grants and scholarship programs and further the Garden Conservancy's mission of preserving exceptional American gardens.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - August 2015

The long, hot summer has taken its toll on the garden. I have plenty of plants that look great in Portland's most unusual summer, but many of them have already flowered, or are essentially foliage plants. That said, there are a few flowers to show as I wander in the garden with my camera this Bloom Day.

First, the sunny, summer yellows. Like Rudbeckia hirta, which almost embodies summer to me.

Crocosmia 'Golden Fleece' is persisting, despite its dry brown leaves.

The golden flowers of Ligularia 'Britt-Marie Crawford' always seem a bit incongruous on her shiny plum-green foliage.

I raised the skirts on Ceanothus 'Victoria' and now Solidago 'Little Lemon' (from Tamara of Chickadee Gardens)  is getting enough sun to bloom underneath.

Despite another serious chop earlier this summer, 'Darlow's Enigma' rose has managed a few blooms

The white parade continues with Rosa 'Sally Holmes', bouncing back after an extensive deadheading.

Trachelospermum jasminoides 'Confederate Cream' keeps pumping out a few blossoms. Their gentle perfume is delightful on the evening air, too.

We (and the bees) are reveling in the masses of Lagerstroemia 'Natchez' blossoms. The silver lining in our long hot summer has been the profusion of Crape Myrtles blooming all over town.
I know, I know - I've been showing Punica granatum 'True Dwarf' for months. But how can you ignore these cool pomegranate flowers that are the perfect mix of red and orange? They make my deck happy!

The last flowers on the Digiplexus. This isn't hardy, but it's one of the few "annuals" I'll splash out for.
The last spike of Acanthus spinosus. The rest have been chopped back for the incipient patio project.

Little red and yellow Abutilon megapotamicum blossoms punctuate an area under the Trachycarpus fortunei palm.

Fall-blooming Mahonia fortunei 'Dan Hinckley' is just beginning. So early!
Caryopteris NOID is also just unfurling. I love this beautiful blue at the end of summer.
Another beautiful garden blue is the heat-lover, Echinops ritro, still going strong from a month ago.
Phygelius 'Passionate' is almost done, but has been a stalwart this summer for the hummers.

The attractive blue painter's tape marks it as a plant that needs to be dug out for the patio project that begins in a week. I'm holding off as long as I can before removing the big perennials - wish me luck keeping them alive for the three weeks the project should take.

Bloom Day is brought to you by Carol, of May Dreams Gardens. Check out her blog for links to hundreds of other gardeners and their blooms this month!

Happy Bloom Day!