Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Gardens Galore!

This past weekend was the Hardy Plant Society's annual Plant Study Weekend. This year it took place in Salem, Oregon, about twenty miles north of where I live. Dinner, speakers, door prizes were enjoyable but touring gardens was the main event. The weather was perfect for my sister Laura and me. We managed to find the gardens without GPS, which was quite a feat. And I got to see Loree Bohl and Nancy Sarpola again and meet Mary Palmer, Ann Amato-ZorichJane Finch-Howell, Lance Wright. And several others. 

At one point on Sunday morning, a tall handsome man walked up to me and asked where the coffee was. It was Dan Hinkley! I bowed, then blushed, then tried to remember where I had seen the coffee. Then as I escorted him to the refreshment pavilion, I complimented him on his writing and tried, rather futily, to act cool. 

Because there are so many photos, I'll try to keep my comments brief. Enjoy!

I was happy to see Francoa sonchifolia blooming since I recently bought two plants
from Annie's Annuals.

The long-stemmed flowers jut upward from a tidy rosette in early summer.
Do any of you grow this beauty?

Love the gate, love the curly hosta at its feet.

Tons of garden art!

Most of the gardens on the tour were big with lots of room.
If only!

Sometimes it's the simple things.

I didn't know what plant this was but it was spectacular.

So many pathways weaving here and there.

I loved the vintage colors on the bike.
There were lots of outbuildings sprinkled throughout these large gardens.

Perfect creeping Thyme

On my wish list:  Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum'
Here are the flowers, pink of course!
The foliage, tidy and lovely.

The entire thing.

Seriously. A school/church bell!

I was lusting after this trough for its size.
It was about 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide.

And I was swooning over this cement lamp post.

I love those lines.

Wouldn't it be cool lit up at night?
Nice Punica on the right.

Here is another plant I've spied on the Annie's Annuals website.
Dianthus carthusianorum 'Clusterhead Pink'

It was almost finished blooming here.

The wall art is nice but check out the variegated foliage on
the Gingko.

On the other side of this enclosure was a raised bed vegetable garden.

This table looked like a cardboard box until we touched it.
It was concrete. Very cool!

I really, really wanted that vintage olive bucket.

And the washtubs.

The iron curlicue was the gate's latch. 

No weeds, anywhere!

Cool storage shed and my sister.

These Mahonia berries were almost too perfect to be real.

Why doesn't my Lamium look like this?

I love Hart's Tongue Fern!

It's not easy to see here but amongst the foliage is a cute wire thing with bells on the ends.

Ironically, I saw the same thing a few weeks ago while on a local garden tour.

How cute are these?

Acer griseum bark is always captivating.

I thought this was a clever use of space.

I've never seen a Clematis with the lower stems twisted together like this.
Great idea.

I love driftwood. Someday I'd like to have a big enough stash to create this.

I'm not a huge fan of yellow but this Dahlia was really cute.
We never did learn the name of it.

Cool bench.

Anyone know the name of this?

This looks like Hydrangea macrophylla 'Invincible Spirit.'
I love those blossoms.

Geranium 'Birch Double' I believe.

It seems like every garden had this Podophyllum.

Strawberry plants in the containers and in the ground.

This is the one, Loree.

This cute thing made me think of my friend Carol.

This garden had a lot of formal elements but the owner was the most down to earth,
sweet lady you'd ever meet.

I am not a huge fan of pines but I loved this guy.

Can you imagine?

I bought a Eucomis 'Sparkling Burgundy' the next day after swooning over these.

Color-echo perfection

These were more peachy than orange... and so cool!

After posting this mystery Clematis on Facebook, I learned it is C. viticella 'Kermesina'

It's going on my plant wish list.

Here is what to do with all of those Sedum 'Angelina' plants
I'm always digging up.

As a rock-lover, I thought this was pretty cool.

I loved this little guy.

Also, here is my sister's Thalictrum kiusanum in full bloom.
Thankfully I was able to purchase my own plant on Sunday morning.
I was confusing it with T. ichangense 'Evening Star' which I already had.

Another plant I had to purchase was this fantastic spreading Himalayan Maidenhair Fern.
Adiantum venustum
This glass lily was to die for.

This fountain was crafted from a collection of brass horned instruments.
So cool!

This plant went on my wish list. Love that foliage!
Geranium phaeum 'Margaret Wilson'

It's difficult to see here but water was cascading down through the three rain chains.
It stopped me in my tracks.

I had intended to purchase the extra memory card for my camera but never did. So I didn't get nearly as many photos as I could have. But I suppose it's just as well.

I did get this cool bumper sticker:

And there you have it.
Did you see anything that you need to copy in your garden?


  1. I think I need to move north! Seriously, this garden event is among the best I've ever seen. It's be worth flying up north one year just to attend. Do they let Californians in if they join the society?

  2. ....anything to copy? Oh, a thing or two!
    How amazing. And you gravitated toward the same things I would have, I think...

  3. OH MY GOSH!!!!! What wonderful gardens you saw. So much to see and be inspired by. Makes me want to get out into my own gardens and to create some neat garden art. I loved this tour with you via your blog. Thanks for sharing ~ FlowerLady

  4. So much inspiration, and so many things to love here, Grace! If I could only choose one favorite garden art thing and one plant of all these that you've highlighted, I think mine would be the flying pigs (SO cute!) and the variegated Gingko (drool). Thank you for sharing your thoughts, observations, and amazing shots.

  5. I've grown the Francoa in my previous garden. I liked it and I've been wondering how it can be incorporated here. It does make a big, vigorous clump, though.

  6. Wow! So much to digest here! Plants, decor, plant combinations, structures... I need to come back. Thank you Grace for taking and posting all these pictures - I know how much time and effort it takes!

  7. WOW ~ inspiration overload!! I am feeling sorry I didn't make more of an effort to hit a garden tour here this year although, there is no way any of them could touch this one! Fabulous gardens & ideas Grace. I am going to look at the pics again. ps I tried to grow Francoa from seed years ago but was unsuccessful. Never have seen it locally & haven't ordered it but seeing your photo made me remember why I wanted it then.

  8. It looks like you saw some really fabulous gardens, with lots of wonderful art, which I know is one thing (besides plants) that you love to see in a garden. Me too. Thanks for sharing your photos. I'll definitely be copying the hanging Angelina.

  9. Oh my gosh, fabulous plant combinations, ideas and inspiration! Thank you. I admit to being envious that you have a big gardening tour with so many remarkable gardens.

  10. Beautiful gardens and no weeds anywhere is an accomplishment I've yet to attain. I love the driftwood tree. My daughter in law sent me one about a foot tall for Christmas a few years back made from driftwood she found on the Atlantic coast and I keep it out all year long. Also love all the garden art.

  11. You did an admirable job of chronicling the tour...next best thing to being there. I think I would have been equally star-struck, running into Dan Hinkley (the Tom Cruise of the gardening world). I just discovered Francoa (these things happen when you work in a nursery) and must add some if I ever get the woodland garden weeded. Yes, I know...it's pink (hello, slippery slope).

  12. Wow, all that space. I can only dream. So many great takeaways.


Thank you for being here! Your comments feed my soul.