Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What's The Gardening Difference Between Portland And Southern California?

In Portland, the conifers are green.  And big.  
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Here, well...  
But, that's a nice Eriobotrya delflexa at the bottom of the photo.
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In California, the landscape rocks are from Arizona.  In Oregon, the landscape rocks are from Oregon.
And it rains in July!
 photo akuzma0098_zps07bf08c3.jpg In Oregon, the Agaves are--small.  That's weird.  They look beautiful, though. 
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Here, the Agaves are as big as Escalades.     photo sdTecomaStansAgaveAmericanaYucca7570_zps08fcb928.jpg
But we have lots of trouble with conifers...
If it's strong and healthy--we can correct that with skillful pruning!
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In Oregon, every time I saw an Agave planted next to a dwarf conifer I would giggle.  I'm just jealous of the Hostas.
Oregon has glorious Hostas.
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Here, there are not Hostas.  We have pretend Hostas.
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In Oregon, Eucalyptus are treasured, mannerly exotics of exquisite color and grace that die to the ground in the winter.
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 Here...Ha ha ha!  Treasured!  Ha ha ha!  Where's my chainsaw?
 photo 6-10-2014-8388_zpsb206b8ff.jpg In Oregon, they have white-frosted Fatsias.  We don't.  Dammit!
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But we have orange trees.  So we're even. 
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 In Oregon, the lilies are ten feet tall and the Aloes rot over the winter. 
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In Southern California, the Aloes are ten feet tall and the lilies rot over the winter.
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In Oregon, there are woodpiles in the driveways. 
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Here, if we want to see a fire, we watch one on TV.

In Oregon, the garden companions are simply adorable.
Looky here!  Looky there!  All those people came on a big bus to pet me!
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They are here, too.   
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In that, we are the same.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Eye Candy At Joy Creek

 Eye candy from Joy Creek Nursery, Scappoose, Oregon.
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Clematis is a Joy Creek specialty.
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'Duchess of Albany' (maybe):
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'Rooguchi' (likely):
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'Minuet', maybe:
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I think we may have arrived at Peak Lily:
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The Fling weekend was unquestionably Peak Monarda:
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Also Peak Rudbeckia:
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And maybe Peak Hydrangea:
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The Portland area is cool-winter enough to grow Hostas:
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Happy eyes.
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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fling 2014: Cistus Nursery

Great place, great plants, but I spent most of my visit trying to get my mind around the idea of people actually buying Eucalyptus trees, which to me is on the order of paying good money for poison ivy.  

In Portland's climate, of course, Eucalyptus is a well mannered plant with interesting foliage and beautiful fragrance that dies back in winter cold, not the pernicious weed it is in my neighborhood.  It just took time for me to get that...
It's not evil!  Really!
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But again, great place, great plants, some unknown to me...
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...others, very familiar.
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There is a display garden as well, useful for seeing how plants grow and perform.  And for seeing other things.
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One of my compadres bought a beautiful Hypericum, which the bus ate.  It was the official Fling Mystery--where did that Hypericum go?  It utterly vanished.  Therefore, the bus ate it.  
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I was tempted by a few plants, but most of my favorites there were ones I already owned.
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 Great visit, though.  Then it was back on the bus, and off to the next location.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fling 2014: Lan Su Garden

What's a Fling, anyway?  It's eighty or so avid garden bloggers converging on a city all at once to visit lots of gardens, both public and private, in a madcap whirlwind binge of bus ride, garden, bus ride, garden. 
Some of it felt like this:
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But then again, a lot of it felt like this:
Lan Su Garden, Portland Oregon photo chi9452_zps14c4d9f1.jpg 
We were a cheerful and happy group.
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Our first Fling destination was the only non-garden location:  Timber Press, in downtown Portland Oregon.  
We mobbed the place, ate some good food, and bought a few books.
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The garden portion of our tour began with the Lan Su Garden, also in downtown Portland.  What was fascinating:  Lan Su is very similar in style to the Huntington's version, Liu Fang Yuan. 
The tranquility of the place almost made us forget we were in the middle of a city.  Almost...
Lan Su Garden, Portland Oregon photo chi9516_zpsa265ec4f.jpg 
 I had the luxury of comparing Portland's version to one I have visited many times.  The buildings, bridges, walls, stone are all in a nearly identical style.  
Lan Su Garden, Portland Oregon photo chi9515_zps9eb2f9e8.jpg
The overwhelming difference is one of scale.  The Portland version is intimate--on the scale of a private garden--albeit a luxurious one.
Lan Su Garden, Portland Oregon photo chi9502_zpsfed3c261.jpg
The Huntington's version is public-sized:  the initial phase was five acres and the ultimate size is 12 acres.  
Portland's garden can fit entirely inside the one-and-a-half acre lake of Liu Fang Yuan, with a half-acre to spare. 
Lan Su Garden, Portland Oregon photo chi9506_zps24455dbf.jpg
One feature of both gardens--though due to scale, Portland's was more obvious--was the use of structures to frame views.  Everywhere there were frames controlling what the visitor saw.  
Visitors were framed:
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Frames within frames.
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 Patterns within frames.
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The Huntington wins on size, but Portland's has many more interesting and more unusual plants.  
Rubus lineatus:
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Lan Su Garden, Portland OregonLan Su Garden, Portland Oregon photo chi9464_zps23109479.jpg

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Portland's of course has more moss.  
Lan Su Garden, Portland Oregon photo chi9406_zpsc7c4cec4.jpg
Several very helpful employees were available to identify plants and explain features of the garden.  
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It was a great start to the Fling. 
Lan Su Garden, Portland Oregon photo chi9444_zps7062b276.jpg 
The fun had begun.
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