Fling 2014: Kuzma Garden

Don't you love this fountain?
The Kuzma garden, the second-to-last garden of the Fling, was the last for me--Beloved and I had to dash to the airport for the plane ride back home.  I was unable to give this garden my full attention  when watching for the arrival of a taxi scheduled to get me back to the hotel.  So this post doesn't quite do justice to a beautiful garden.   
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I was also attempting to get a photo of the fountain water to look hazy via a slow shutter speed, ruining many subsequent photos due to not readjusting the shutter speed.  
Not hazy enough.
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It was cool and drizzly for our visit.  
Too hazy.
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Hey.  Wait a minute.  Agaves, Anigozanthos, Palms, gravel--is this Portland or am I already back in L.A.?   No, wait...
Any visitor from the Southwest got a giggle seeing healthy, green dwarf conifers (bottom right-ish) mixed in with Agaves--we don't do that (unless we want dead, dried-up dwarf conifers mixed in with our Agaves).
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Dasylirion, Cuphea, Acacia, Arctostaphylos--is this L.A.?  No, of course not.  It's July and it's drizzling.  
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The property was spacious--12,000 square feet?  The appetizer was a shallow front garden with a square of decomposed granite (or maybe it was gravel) surrounded by shrubby drought-tolerants with an urn(?) in the center of the gravel.
Philadelphus?  Cistus?  
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Behind that, a rectangular house of some sort (so focused on plants, who has time for buildings?) that ran parallel to the street.  The back garden was the main course and dessert.  First, a gravel area just behind the house with choice plants, such as Agave ovatifolia, Acacia baileyana 'Purpurea', and a small, rare, fussy, gorgeous Silvertree, Leucadendron argentea (extreme left corner of photo)I was initially puzzled as to why the Acacia with 20' potential height was planted so close to the home, but perhaps that is for winter cold-protection, and it won't reach 20' in Portland.  Or will it?  This garden suffered losses last winter, which was a cold one.    
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Beyond the gravel area adjacent to the home was that gorgeous fountain, and behind that were hilly raised areas of xeric plants divided by curving gravel paths, the hills of course being for sharp drainage in wet Oregon winters.  There was a shed/garage at the left back corner of the property, a sitting area to the right of that, but most of the garden was plants, plants, and more beautiful plants.  I got no shots of the general layout, only of some of the many (and mostly very familiar) plants.  
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 There was a grand, happy Gunnera, of which we saw several in Portland, with my lens cap tossed onto a leaf for scale:
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Somewhat tender Rosa 'Mutabilis' looked splendid in the Portland climate.  It likely suffers a bit of winter damage this far north, just enough to stimulate a wild mass of bloom in July.  In my climate, it is a large green globe with only scattered, though continual, bloom.  Banana leaves behind.  They grow so quickly!
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Restio, Acacia(?), Anigozanthos:
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An...Arizona Cypress?  My Cupressus arizonica var. montana 'San Pedro Matir' subspecies looks similar to this one.  We saw many unfamiliar conifers in Portland--conifers all the more unrecognizable because they looked happy and healthy and not a drought-stressed brown.  
Isn't the texture delicious? 
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Oregon Agaves are smaller than at home--no surprise due to a colder winter.  Interesting that Agave americana, such a weedy pest  for us, is so well-behaved in Oregon.   What's also different is the gravel.  Gravel, like politics, is always local. 
Yes it was drizzling.  Drizzle also unfamiliar.
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A. americana var marginata, behaving:
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Fairly cold-hardy Trachycarpus is the common fan Palm in Oregon instead of Washingtonia, though I think there was a Washingtonia in this garden--I just couldn't bear to take a picture of it.  
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Phormium--so many familiar plants.
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One of the few wide-ish shots that were in focus--because of the drizzle, shots were quick and then the camera went back under my hat.  
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One of the several green roof examples we saw in Portland, where they seem to work well.  It's hot and dry for too long in Southern California.  
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Yucca apparently bloom at smaller sizes in a colder wetter climate.  Is that true?
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Yet another fabulous garden, as you can see.  I regret not being able to stay longer, and regret missing the next and last garden of the Fling as well.  No more leaving Flings early.


  1. This garden is fabulous, with equally great planting combinations and individual specimens. It actually reminds me of your garden somehow, albeit a damper version of it :) Shame you missed the last stop but hopefully on the next fling you won't have to rush back.

    1. Agaves on a slope? Something like that. Just without the haphazardness of mine.

      It was an awesome Fling!

  2. It has been fun reading all the fling posts over the summer. I always think of the difference between UK and US gardening due to climates, forgetting that there is as big difference within the US climate wise. I'm not sue agave americana is ever well behaved, it is just relative

    1. That could be with the A. americana. Perhaps it is that a colder climate slows it down enough to make it manageable.

      Huge differences in climate here. Distance from Portland to here is the same as distance from London to Madrid.

  3. I love the fountain and all of the water plants. There are some really beautiful plants here in these photos, I love the shades of green and leaf shape and how they have been planted to complement each other.
    xoxoxo ♡

  4. You were missed at the grand finale of Bella Madrona! Yes, no more leaving flings early.

    The Acacia baileyana 'Purpurea' is cut back to the trunk and wrapped for protection each winter, so no, it won't ever have the chance to reach it's full size, sadly.

    1. Yes, no more of that.

      It looks great where it is, maybe better than here. Here they grow fast and look ratty fast--areas of dead leafless twigs under the living stuff, like thatch.

  5. It's so interesting what a Southern Californian thinks of a SoCal-style garden. Glad to see that the Kuzma garden was attractive and compelling to you, too. Although I didn't see it during the Fling (getting things ready at Bella Madrona) I loved this garden when we previewed it last summer. Here's to ALL the lovely gardens at future Flings!

    1. Well, lots of the plants we use here, and then conifers I've never seen before. Fascinating (startling) combination.

      Yes, here's to all lovely gardens! I'm sorry I missed Bella Madrona--from posts it looks like a missed yet another gem. Your Fling team hit it out of the park.


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