Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Summer Wrap-Up: Portland, Day 3, Part 1

Portland Japanese Garden


The Japanese Garden in Portland is more than five acres of peace and tranquility. Pondering my lack of photos from there, I think I was just too absorbed in the experience to remember to get my camera out. The waterfall above might have been my favorite view (it's a cell shot). Trails meandered up the hill and through the woods. Water and the sounds it makes were a soothing backdrop…completely enchanting.

Some of us were fortunate enough to tour the garden with the garden curator, Sadafumi Uchiyama, who kept us enthralled with Japanese garden and design philosophy.


One of the more practical things he told us was that the hemlock hedges there are pinch-pruned—all of them!, by hand! Why? Because the plants can tell how you prune, and they respond differently depending on how you do it. Pruning with tools is harsher and causes a more dramatic, wayward regrowth response, he said.


This blinding white raked gravel (beautiful garden, bad photography—sorry!) symbolize Water and Summer in the Flat Garden. Plants and elements represent the four seasons, so it changes subtly as the year passes, but remains beautiful. The gourd-shaped bed in the photo, and the round one to its left, just out of view, represent enlightenment and happiness. The garden is meant to be viewed from a main viewing spot, as if it were a painting.


International Rose Test Garden


Down the hill and across the street is the International Rose Test Garden. There are 7000 plants here and nearly 500 varieties. One could easily photograph roses here all day long, but this sunny day made it more pleasant to stroll and sniff.


Ferns, and hostas in full bloom, made for a nice gathering spot in a welcome bit of shade. In a few minutes we would go to our next stop, Tamara Paulat's Chickadee Gardens.



Chickadee Gardens

What are all those garden bloggers looking at?


This Pesticide Free Zone sign! (And that photo-bombing foxglove.)


Chickadee Gardens has approximately 200 Pacific Northwest native plants, and is all organic. Creating such an environment provides a safe haven and habitat for wildlife, as well as the people who visit.


How cute (and wonderfully practical) is this vegetable garden tucked into the backyard. This was my kind of garden…lots of interesting plants and ornament, but with a sense of responsibility to the creatures that live with us here.


The "hellstrip" out front was so lushly planted! It added another layer of beauty to the garden and the neighborhood around it. The homeowner is completely charming too. Thank you for allowing us to see your garden, Tamara!

~*~

Read more Portland posts


The Portland Japanese Garden
International Rose Test Garden

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