Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Summer Wrap-Up: Portland, Day 2, Part 1

Taking a peek into Lan Su Chinese Garden

After a day to acclimate and attend the pre-Fling cocktail party, the Garden Blogger's Fling officially started on my second day in Portland with a breakfast reception at Timber Press. Timber Press is my favorite source for gardening/natural history books, and I've enjoyed doing occasional reviews and giveaways for them. It was exciting to finally meet the staff and see where they work.

Breakfast at Timber Press — books and bagels, what could be better?
Oh, how about coffee and mimosas!


Breakfast was thoughtfully planned and delicious…just like their books. I was especially grateful for the lovely selection of edible plants available. :)

Carefully groomed plants and distinctive architecture combine to create the Chinese garden experience

Next was the Lan Su Chinese Garden, a short walk away. Lan Su is considered the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China with hundreds of Chinese native plants on display. My favorite was a tree. Can you guess what it is by this photo?


It has a tropical air, doesn't it? But if you look closer…


…maybe you can tell…


…is it looking oak-y to you? That's what it is—emperor oak (Quercus dentata 'Pinnatifida')!

As I was looking at Diana Kirby's blog, Sharing Nature's Garden, I saw that she got a photo of me taking this photo below). I realized when I added this one to my post that I got her, too! Her photos of this garden are the ones I wish I had taken.


Several bloggers took advantage of the teahouse or the giftshop at Lan Su before hopping on the buses for the ride to Cistus Design Nursery on nearby Sauvie Island.


Delosperma is one of my favorite plants and dozens of them greeted us as we walked in.


The sun was out, so they were open wide and showing their true colors.


Chubby little leaves and a dainty pink flower made me want to adopt this one.  Delosperma 'Beaufort West' never gets more than about an inch tall. Charming!


Did you know that most wine bottles come with these handy agave spine protectors? So don't forget to use protection if you're going to be drinking in the garden.



This plume poppy (Macleaya cordata) was familiar to many of the other bloggers, but is not a plant I recall ever seeing before. I've since learned that it is invasive in many parts of eastern North America, but it certainly looks glorious in this border along the outer edge of the nursery.

Waiting to board the bus to Joy Creek



Don't you want to pet him? What a sweetie he was lying there on the sidewalk taking pats and scratches from everyone as we left for our lunch and shop stop, Joy Creek Nursery.



You've seen some of the Clematis collection at Joy Creek, but there was so much more. For example, this fabulous perennial border anchored by an equally fabulous deciduous magnolia.


Tree poppy (Romneya coulteri) was common in San Francisco and we saw it here, too.



Have you ever seen such a display of Rudbeckia hirta? Orange is kind of like caffeine for the garden, and perfect with grey-white skies.


Joy Creek has so many fuchsias that I'll have to save my photos of those for another post sometime. There are multiple varieties and cultivars of many of the plant species here. What to do? Hmm…just buy one of everything, I suppose.

Santolina (species, top; 'Lemon Queen', bottom)
In another part of the garden, beautifully weathered barn wood makes the perfect backdrop for container plants.

Note the fuchsias. I would almost move to Portland for the fuchsias. Fuchsias and Powell's.

Portland is very green. Even the birdhouses have green roofs.
(Incidentally, didn't it used to be rooves?)




The gardens at Joy Creek fan out from this house. A shade garden alongside the house has a lush mix of plants—viburnum, hydrangea, delphinium, acanthus, astilbe, and more. I especially like the tiny spots of orange (Escholzia) and the limbed up trunks full of lichens.


Garden envy is inevitable if you go to Portland from almost anywhere…it seems anything will grow there. I was a little surprised to see so many plants I recognized from home—magnolias, gardenias, viburnums, azaleas..., and a little annoyed to see just how well they grow there!

I doubt this Viburnum looked any better in flower than it does fruiting like this.




The long view from this and many other Portland gardens includes giant conifers. It's a soothing backdrop and a fragrant one.



I could have stayed much longer at Joy Creek, but we were just getting started!


 ~*~


Timber Press
Lan Su Chinese Garden
Cistus Nursery
Joy Creek Nursery

Day 2, Part 2—Old Germantown Gardens and Westwind Farm Studio still to come.


 ~*~


Summer Wrap-Up: Portland, Day 1