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

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