Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Summer Wrap-Up: Portland, Day 2, Part 2

After lunch at Joy Creek Nursery (Day 2, Part 1), our group of Flinging garden bloggers headed to Old Germantown Gardens, the two acre property of Bruce Wakefield and Jerry Grossnickle.

As soon as I took one look down this inviting slope, deja vu hit.

But then as quickly, a flash of recall—I turned to Bruce and asked him if his garden had ever been on the HGTV program, "A Gardener's Diary."*

His look of total disbelief reminded me just what a garden nerd I am! I had recorded and saved several of those shows and watched them over and over—and in fact, yes, theirs was one of them!

Bruce and Jerry are enthusiastic gardeners who have created, or developed, lots of niche environments on their slope. This allows them to have all sorts of fun with an incredible array of plants. Dry areas, wet areas, hot spots, cool, sunny, shady—there's a good place for nearly anything. It was so much fun to get to see this garden in person after seeing it on TV so many times.

Panoramic views from the house and driveway show off the lovely conifer collection.

A greenhouse adjacent to the stone patio is home to lots of container plants and makes a good place to overwinter tender perennials.

Do you feel drawn in? It's hard not to want to descend into the green wonderland these two gardeners have created. They have done all the work themselves (for 23 years!)…it's hard to fathom, isn't it? And Jerry bakes, too! Pinwheel cookies and mango lemonade were served in the cool of the kitchen as we wound up our delightful tour.


We stepped off the bus into a field of lavender at our next stop, Westwind Farm Studio. It was a treat to be given scissors to cut a bunch to take home. Mine is now in a vase on my desk so I can reach over and touch it to release the fragrance every so often.

Westwind Farm Studio is about four acres of garden and 40 acres of meadow, designed to be a refuge for both people and wildlife. Naturalistic plantings like these are my personal favorites. What a pretty view from this slope.

Down the hill and through the poppies is where the house and pool are.

Drinks and cool feet were a refreshing way to end the day.

Crocosmia, Russian sage, and a peaceful view beyond

Do you see the perky little blur above this great stand of Jacob Cline beebalm? It's a hummingbird! These flowers drew so many hummers it was like standing near a bee hive. They created quite a buzz! I did the best I could to catch their antics, but, well, this was the best I could do—it was time to hike back up the hill to the bus!

Still to come: Portland Japanese Garden, International Rose Test Garden, and McMenamins Kennedy School

*If you enjoyed HGTV's "A Gardener's Diary" as much as I did, you might like catching up with the host, Erica Glasener. John Markowski interviewed her last spring for his podcast, Gardening Talk with ONG:

Check Out Gardening Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Gardening talk with ONG on BlogTalkRadio

Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy Bloom Day!

Yellow Wood Sage (Salvia koyame)
If you look into my garden from next door or across the street, you will see a lot of green but maybe nothing blooming. It's been an unusual year, starting with a very slow spring—cool and wet. Everything grew very tall and then flopped until I tied it up or cut it back. Then it got hot and dry and everything bloomed out early, or else the deer pruned all the flowers off.

Even so, there is more than might appear, and if you take a stroll through, these are some of the blooms still hanging on.

Yellow wood sage is blooming and spreading and I couldn't be more pleased.

Pink zinnias attract more butterflies than almost anything in my garden, but I haven't seen very many at all this year, unfortunately.

Toothache Cress (Spilanthes acmella)

I got seeds for toothache cress several years ago and planted them outside, which was the recommendation, but they never sprouted. So I ordered them again this year and started them inside, and I got so many I didn't know what to do with them all! Toothache cress has been one of my favorite new plants this year. I like the olive colored leaves and the goofy eyeball blooms. If you chew the flower heads, your mouth will go numb, which is why it is used for toothaches.

Cypress Vine (Ipomoea quamoclit)

Cypress vine is one of those plants you have whether you want it or not after it gets its foot in the garden gate. I let it shade out my Berggarten sage without realizing it and now the sage is struggling to return from a moldy mass of stems. But I love the spots of red climbing anything vertical, and hummingbirds do, too.

Phlox paniculata

It was a very good year for phlox. A very very good year. P. stolonifera, P. pilosa, P. divaricata and P. paniculata all grew by leaps and bounds.

A white-eyed Phlox paniculata 

Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

I have a sloppy habit of sticking cuttings in pots of other things and then forgetting about them. This beautyberry is one of those. It took my husband and me quite a while to figure out what it was, but then it bloomed…and now look at it! It's still in the pot with a pathetic rose. Poor rose, you've been overshadowed.

Fireworks Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks')

I've posted about Fireworks goldenrod plenty of times but it's such a star of the garden when it blooms that I have to mention it again. It's unbeatable for gardens in this area. I have several clumps in varying amounts of sun and it does fine in all of them. It also takes very dry and compacted soils.

Peach Melba Nasturtium (seeds from Botanical Interests)

I thought the nasturtiums would love the extra cool we had this year, but they didn't seem to. Or maybe they like a hefty dose of sun with their cool temperatures. At any rate, they are still throwing a few blooms. This one was kind of unusual and pretty.

Hardy Begonia (Begonia grandis)
Hardy begonia didn't do so well in the garden, but in the cracks between patio stones, and against this wall, they are beautiful!

Viola tricolor

Can you believe the violas never stopped blooming all summer? I didn't mind at all.

Dianthus plumarius 'Sweetness'

This pink bloomed off and on all summer, too.

I took my orchids outside maybe six weeks ago and this one quickly made a few buds and just a day or two ago started to bloom! I can see that slugs are getting to it, so I'll have to bring it in soon.

White Wood Aster (Eurybia divaricata)

White wood aster is beginning to spread around the woodland garden.

Collinsonia canadensis (or possibly C. verticillata)

Collinsonia has odd little blooms with some fragrance, though I don't think mine smells lemony as most descriptions say. Collinsonia is a large, kind of loose and lush wildflower, also known as horsebalm or stoneroot. It's really nice in the wildflower or native garden.

Symphyotrichum laeve 'Bluebird'

Symphyotricum ericoides 'Snow Flurry'

The asters (Symphyotrichum) started blooming early this year, in fact the New England asters (S. novae-angliae) have bloomed most of the summer.

Symphyotrichum oblongifolium 'Fanny's Aster' with Goldenrod

Sedum 'Matrona'

I only get blooms every other year or so on my sedum because our deer love it so much, so I'm excited about this dusty pink clump. Honeydew melon sage and Ryan's Yellow mums are beside it. I hope to have blooms on those for October's bloom day.

See what's blooming in other bloggers' gardens around the world today at May Dreams Gardens: Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

I'm glad you stopped by!