Showing posts with label hpso. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hpso. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sneak peek: HPSO and Garden Conservancy Open Day Tour

This weekend I was able to preview three of the gardens to be featured in this year's Hardy Plant Society of Oregon (HPSO) and Garden Conservancy Open Day Tour. The organizers did a great job of choosing a variety of styles of gardens. There's something for everyone.

If you'd like more information, check out the tour page on the HPSO website. Tickets are greatly discounted for HPSO members; if you haven't joined HPSO, what are you waiting for? It's cheap, it's fun, and you'll get access to tours, lectures, and classes with like-minded gardeners. Did I mention that a lot of our local nurseries offer discounts to HPSO members?

On with the tour!

The Prewitt Garden:
This 1/3 acre garden blew my mind in a really great way. In addition to the most impressive potager garden I've seen in a long time, they also have a great succulent selection, and some of the biggest salvias I've ever seen. I don't get excited about edibles but this garden really inspired me. And the owners are delightful.

This Salvia 'Amistad' was well over six feet tall.

Is this the most perfect grape-covered potting bench ever?

The Mitchell Garden:
Whew, I loved this garden. The owners have done all the work themselves and they use texture and layering expertly. Repeating plants and establishing a rhythm is something I struggle with and they do this really well. They've worked in a large number of conifers into their planting, meaning their gardens look great in the dead of winter, too.

Be sure to smell Hosta plantaginea, it smells like citrus!

The Winchester Place Garden:
My apologies to Zachary and Leon: my camera battery died upon entering their garden!. I love how these two roll, with separate terraces for cocktails and dining, plus expertly designed hardscaping, with attention to sight lines. Their garden is half formal restraint and half colorful exuberance, with bright annuals repeating throughout.

The tour runs next Saturday, August 29, 2015 from 10am to 4pm. Tickets can be purchased online at the HPSO website. Do yourself a favor and go! And big thanks to the owners for opening their gardens to us. We had a blast.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

How Bloomtown changed my life (with only a tiny bit of hyperbole)

Seven years ago Portland Metro hosted a "Gardens of Natural Delights" bicycle tour that showed off pesticide-free gardens. A lot of the gardens were focused on food production and they were fairly utilitarian. There was a lot of straw mulch and a slant toward function over form. The gardens were pesticide free but they weren't very beautiful.

Then we pedaled over to a different garden and my brain imploded.

My first garden

At the time I had a raised veggie bed at home that a boyfriend had built for me. Standing outside of the brain-imploding garden I remember thinking, "Gardens can be like THIS?!?" This garden was layered and exuberant and stuffed with both edible and ornamental plants and it was beautiful. I wanted a garden just like it. I think that was the moment I became a gardener, for real.

I recently spent a Monday evening dragging Greg to a bunch of HPSO open gardens. One of the visits we made was to Darcy Daniels' garden.

I met Darcy on the Garden Bloggers' Fling and as we approached her house she called out, "Have you been here before?" and I told her no.

Vegetable beds zigzag through her side yard

As we stepped into the back garden I realized that I had been there before; THIS was the garden from seven years ago. This was the garden that ignited that passion for gardening.

My camera got so excited that it crapped out and I had to take most of my photos with my phone.

I loved Darcy's garden just as much the second time. It's cozy and intimate and she has an incredible number of conifers tucked in everywhere (which I find so difficult). And it's infectious! Gardening has been one of the most wonderful, life-changing things to happen to me, so I'm thankful Bloomtown was on that tour, so many years ago.

If you're an Oregon local (or close-in Washington) and haven't joined HPSO, you're missing out. It's only $35 to join and you won't be too late to get a summer tour book. Every single week there are open gardens that you can tour for inspiration. And they bring in the best speakers during the winter. It's an incredible deal.

Has anyone else had such a lightning bolt moment with gardening? And is there a joke we can work in about de-flowering your garden innocence that won't make Darcy feel icky?