Darcy Daniels of Bloomtown Gardens has a client garden featured on page 46 of the current issue of Sunset Magazine (March 2011). Follow the link to see additional photos of this garden or take a moment to review this portfolio of gardens Darcy has designed.
I had a really great time on our excusion to Northwest Garden Nusery yesterday. It was my first time attending this annual hellebore love-fest hosted by Marietta and Ernie O'Bryne at Northwest Garden Nursery, which is located on the outskirts of Eugene, Oregon. My travel-mates, who were veterans of the event, made sure we were on the road plenty early from Portland in order to get there well ahead of the scheduled opening time. Even so, it would be an understatement to say that we weren't the first to arrive, not by a long shot. Shoulder to shoulder in a greenhouse packed with plants, a small crowd was already on site, milling around ogling the myriad of pretty hellebores and jockeying for positions next to their favorites so that when the official word came down that the sale was open, they could snap up their first picks. This crowd of hellebore enthusiasts was festive and good-natured, conducting itself in a very sportsmanlike fashion, in keeping with the spirit of the event.
Seemingly within minutes, the crowd's focus shifted from the frenzy of selecting plants to the forming an orderly queue for processing thier purchases.
This lovely single is one of the many outstanding hydrids available.
One of the many hellebore hybrids growing in the gardens surrounding the nursery.
The nursery's Hellebore Open Garden Days continues through 5 pm today (Sun, Feb. 20th) and will be repeated next weekend, February 26 and 27th, 10 am - 5 pm.
A recent post by Jim McCausland on the Sunset blog, Fresh Dirt, inspired me to dig up this photo of Chusquea gigantea. What I like about this clumping bamboo is that it has the most bamboo-like qualities of the clumpers. (Unlike the running bamboo species, clumpers grow more slowly and in an easily contained growth habit. You can learn more about the clumpers on the Bamboo Garden website.)
The culms have a certain architectural oomph which is often what draws people to bamboo in the first place. This effect can be enhanced by removing the lowest foliage and thinning the canes on an annual basis.
To me, some of the other clumping bamboos read as big arching grasses in the garden, which can be lovely, but if you're looking for a plant with all the goodness of bamboo without the containment hassles check out Chusquea gigantea.
The 2011 Yard, Garden and Patio show is taking place this upcoming Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Convention Center in Portland, Oregon (February 18-20, 2011). Garden show season is about to go into full swing and in my mind this show is the kick-off event.
It's been several years since I've made it down to Marietta and Ernie O'Bryne's Northwest Garden Nursery. The photos below are from a trip to the garden in 2005. It will be fun to see the inevitable changes and developments.
Generally open only by appointment, the nursery also hosts annual Hellebore Open Days, the first of which is this Saturday the 19th. You can find all of their 2011 dates here. I'm heading down this Saturday with friends to see if I can score a few choice additions for my gardens. They're "it" in terms of hellebore breeding with the masterful hybridizing they've accomplished with this beautiful, garden-worthy perennial. I'm sure I won't have a problem finding a treasure or two to tote home.
One of their lovely double flowering hybrids
But there's more to see in the garden than hellebores! The overall garden is gorgeous. And it's tops in terms of wonderful wintertime structure too -- as evidenced in this photo that was taken mid-February in 2005.
And because it was hard to choose which image to post ... here's another. This cherry tree silhouette in the morning mist was taken on that same morning at the Elk Rock Garden at the Bishop's Close in Portland, Oregon.
This photo was taken several years ago on a misty morning, not unlike the morning we're having today, at the Elk Rock Garden at the Bishop's Close in Portland, Oregon. If you live in, or are planning a visit to the Portland area this private garden is open to the public daily year-round and is a delight to visit any time of the year though I especially enjoy the garden in winter.
I'm lucky to have a great working relationships with a talented stonemason, Pete Wilson of Pete Wilson Stoneworks based here in Portland, Oregon. We've collaborated on many wonderful gardens together.
Pete and his team built this dry stack basalt stone seat wall for a Bloomtown Gardens client in NE Portland and I think it's some of their best work. The joinery in this sinuous, curving seat wall is crisp and tight.
You've seen, and will likely see more, photos of the plantings in this garden on this blog, but I wanted to take a moment to put the spotlight on the fine craftsmanship that went into the building of this garden. While the plantings in this garden are gorgeous, I believe that a solid hardscape "frame" is an essential element for creating successful all-season gardens.
This springtime scene was captured in my garden in NE Portland, Oregon several years ago. This purple-prevalent planting scheme is dominated by a red leafed Japanese maple (Acer palmatum dissectum), Rhododendron 'Anah Kruschke', Australian mint bush (Prostanthera rotundifolia) and a blue flowering clematis hybrid. This largely monochromatic planting scheme is enhanced by the variety of flower shapes, different foliage textures, and the variation in the hue and intensity of the color.
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