LAST SATURDAY MY hubby and I decided to celebrate our 33rd anniversary by getting in the car and driving.
Originally we had planned to go to the Oregon Garden but since the resort was already booked, we decided we'd drive south instead. About halfway to Eugene, with a slight detour to Alsea Falls (photos next time) I remembered that huge sign along I-5, near Cottage Grove and how all the attorneys I used to work for BC (before children) used to go there on business trips. So, we meandered along more back roads until that telltale sign came into focus.
|Along the I-5 Freeway, just south of Eugene is Cottage Grove.|
This sign for the Village Green has been here for as long as I can remember.
After checking in, we strolled the gardens. The following photos are some of the exactly 299(!) that I took.
|This is the Blackberry Lily plant, just finishing up. LIKE|
The curators devoted an entire 14 acres to gardens. I did not know this before we arrived but it was a pleasant surprise.
|I love this ghostly chair.|
|The ferns were magnificent.|
|Nice pathways meandered through several theme gardens.|
|Isn't this picturesque?|
|More pathways... The Clerodendrums (the white dotted plant ahead) |
were in full bloom and completely perfumed the garden.
|The Heliopsis (?) were also in their prime.|
|More meandering paths... What's not to love about this?|
The first themed garden we came to was "The Hidden Garden". It was tucked under limbed-up towering Laurel bushes. I'm thinking I could attempt this with my Laurels at home. Maybe.?
|Each theme garden had a mailbox that contained a laminated page of information. I didn't read them.|
I was too worked up with plant-gawking.
|The hidden garden...|
|A nice place to hide.|
|Speaking of benches, how about this work of heart?|
|Some benches were there for slightly annoyed but very patient, non-gardening husbands.|
|Is this a species Clematis? The plant was bushy, about 2 and a half feet tall. |
Clematis tubulosa. Thank you Alison!
|Here is another mystery plant. Any ideas, peeps?|
Update: Nicandra physalodes or Shoo-Fly Plant.
Thank you Anna!
|Here is the developing seed pod on the plant. Interesting, huh?|
|I know it's Actaea now but I still like impressing people (husband)|
with "Cim ee see fugh guh."
|Okay Mindy, do you think my Pee Gee Hydrangea will ever look like this?|
|The Mae Wests of the plant kingdom|
|Rosa 'Teasing Georgia'|
|A few Heleniums finishing up.|
|There was lots of Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate in bloom.|
Such a cool plant!
|Hardy Geranium leaning on Ajuga|
|The leaves of that hardy Geranium...ooh la, la.|
|One more diminutive hardy Geranium|
|Leycesteria formosa is another plant I love pronouncing.|
Himalayan Honeysuckle sounds so boring.
|Even a few Foxgloves were holding on.|
|On the left is Acer grisium. Can you see the clemmy climbing it?|
|Get a load of that bark!|
|Look at the bones on this sexy Rhodie. Almost obscene, isn't it?|
|Lots of Black Eyed Susans|
|And a 'Tiger Eye' Sumac to make the heart swoon.|
|Another NOID. Any guesses?|
Thank you Loree for the ID: Chestnut, Castanea sativa.
|Love this moss? Saxifrage? surrounded by blooming Heather? Caluna? Heath?|
|This is a Carex/Sedge of some kind.|
|I love the "flowers"|
|Acer ... something. I've got one at home but mine doesn't look this happy.|
Acer 'Esk Sunset' Thanks, Carol.
|This huge stand of butterfly weed was going to seed. |
I don't know what color it was but I bet it was incredible.
|Don't you love Nature?|
|Berberis in shade. Wowzers.|
|A Magnolia of some kind. Love that foliage.|
|There must have been at least 20 huge blooming Clerodendrums. The perfume was incredible.|
|Love those star-shaped blossoms.|
Of all the very cool plants in this garden, my favorite had to be this specimen of variegated Clerodendrum. The photos don't do it justice.
|Clerodendrum tichrotonum 'Stargazer'|
Where can I squeezed one of these into my landscape?
|I'm thinking this must be a Willow of some kind.|
|Another sweet mailbox. Let's have a closer look.|
|The children's garden playhouse. How sweet is this?|
My apologies for the tilt. I was a little high from the scent of Clerodendrum.
|Perfect for kids.|
|Confession: I wanted to take this.|
|For those who love annuals... To me it was about the vintage galvanized containers.|
|This was another must-have, variegated Laurel. |
Those leaves were incredible.
The rock garden needed some TLC. There were lots of spent Verbascums that probably looked awesome a month earlier. The only other items of interest were these small (six inch) clay pots with modest sprigs of succulents.
|For the Tropical feel, there was a huge Trachycarpus fortunei.|
|And this ginormous stand of Musa basjoo|
|For the Conifer lover, wow, some awesome specimens.|
Too bad we couldn't find the tag to this beauty.
|The needles were very soft.|
|This Golden Larch towering above a sea of golden Creeping Jenny|
was really breathtaking.
|Finally, a labyrinth.|
After a fabulous dinner in the Village Green restaurant, Steve watched the movie RED (again) and I planned our Sunday itinerary. Before heading home, we'd visit some of the local garden/nurseries such as the famed, Territorial Seed Company. After all Steve had a book to keep him occupied.
But our plans were foiled when we woke up on Sunday morning. Rain! And not just a sprinkle, either. We're talking soaking downpour. We didn't even bring jackets, much less an umbrella. So we nixed the outdoor activities, studied the map and headed west before heading north through back roads once more. It was a weekend of comfortable adventure and marital reconnecting.