Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pittock Mansion perennials - a Saturday walk

I've posted before about weekend walks I take in the Portland area. I usually find something a little more offbeat to post about than your standard, lovely perennial plantings. But Saturday, it was just such plantings that delighted me at Pittock Mansion, after we'd hiked up the wildwood trail from Macleay Park.

It was a warm day, so we started early. We hiked in the shade, but by the time we reached the top, the sun was hot and the plants were loving it. Above, Rhododendron Yak Van Zile. I like the fuzzy leaves with their warm brown undersides.

They grow a fair number of roses with simple, often very small blossoms. Not all are marked, but the white one above is a shrub rose, Cliffs of Dover.

Beautiful, but an unnamed mystery rose.

The terrace of Pittock Mansion is a favorite location for bridal party photos. Interestingly, they always seem to speak Russian or another Slavic language. Of course the brides are always beautiful!

This is Darlow's Enigma. I was interested to see the mature plant, below, since I just planted one in my garden this summer to help cover the chain link fence. Now I'm not sure it's up to the task, but I'll give it a chance anyway.

In the shady circular bed near the entrance, there were some nice hosta selections. Above, Francee, and below, Lake Port Blue. I was impressed at the intact condition of the leaves. They obviously have any slug problems licked.

I guess no one has told the gardeners that English Ivy is a menace, but the ivy is also supporting some other kind of smaller vine that is the majority of what you can see in the picture. The effect looks like my idea of what the Hanging Gardens of Babylon might be like.

There was a bed of wonderful Pulmonaria selections in fairly deep shade. I haven't previously been too impressed with Pulmonaria, but these nice specimens grouped together were quite an eye-opener.

Unfortunately, only one was marked: the spotted one on the left above is Pulmonaria saccarata Mrs. Moon.

This beautiful tree, just barely beginning to turn color is Acer palmatum Sango Kaku. This particular tree is one of my favorite specimens.

After our walk we went to Hoda's on Belmont for a Middle Eastern lunch. The Belmont Street Fair was in full swing, with music, crafts and food.

They even brought in grass and some red-twig dogwoods, along with chairs and an umbrella to make a little park right in the intersection of Belmont and 34th! Fairgoers were putting it to perfect use in the bright Saturday sun.


  1. What a fun outing! I went through the orientation to do my Master Gardener payback hours at the Pittock Mansion, unfortunately that never worked out, but they told us we could expect to see a steady stream of Russian/Slavic speakers getting their wedding photos taken there as it is their tradition to do so at the grandest home in the city.

  2. Have you seen the Turkish smoking room in the mansion? It has been much in the news of late...a remnant of the gracious life lived in the mansion of yore. It piques the imagination, as do your photos of the grounds.

  3. I haven't been up to the Pittock Mansion in ages. I didn't even know there were good gardens up there. Sounds like it's time for another visit. Thanks for the reminder.
    I didn't catch the Belmont street fair. That grass circle is funny. I like little parks that pop up in a matter of hours.


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