A meandering stream made of bricks cuts through concrete steps and walkways,
and meanders and eddies around rocks,
pooling into a virtual lake defining a conversation area.
Around back, raised beds overflow with not only fab produce, but bright red poppies.
When the well-kept part of the garden gives way to a fabulous meadow, a few of the red poppies dot the grasses here and there.
A path mown through the meadow was irresistible, and the many photos I took may have even convinced R that we need to go back to having a meadow at our place. I’m holding back, speaking of my many photos, but believe me: no amount of photos would spoil the delightful surprises you will find on this tour.
The alleyways between houses can turn into dead space, but in the hands of these designers they are transformed. I overheard several comments singling them out as their favorite features.
Plant choices can be brilliant, always in service of the overall design.
In this garden, an upper deck looks out over a greenspace, where Mother Nature is the gardener.
Another garden had us salivating over the stonework…so well placed that it seemed to have come with the site.
Another of those brilliant alleyways is lit up by the goatsbeard fluff.
In back, there is a deck overlooking a refreshing woodland garden with paths for strolling, making discoveries along the way. Each of these gardens, regardless of size, easily absorbed our rather large group.
It’s not often that we see smooth river rocks used as edging, and now I’m wondering why.
This alleyway feels like a streambed in deep woods.
Groupings of potted plants crowd the corners of the back patio.
Each vignette has its own personality.
Salad bowl, anyone?
Coming up on the smallest of the gardens on tour, we know it will be a doozy by the bold placement of these cor-ten planters right out front.
In back, different levels and a mix of modern materials keep the eye roving,
And everywhere, plants, glorious plants…like this Fatsia japonica ‘Camouflage’.
By using stunning small trees, the designer teases our eyes upward, to take advantage of the borrowed landscape of towering trees nearby.
A recurring theme was the relationship between designers and owners. In this garden, the owner did the rock work, while the designer created the soothing woodland garden that is raised above a circle of lawn.
Sunny and colorful, this garden even had the playful touch of a big pot of plastic balls for the grandkids to play with in the stream and pond.
More balls: could this be a theme?
The use of orange was definitely a theme, often paired with hot pink.
Much talk centered around this gate, and I am only showing you a tiny part of it.
Looking back through the giant leaves of a Tetrapanax
The last garden was designed to allow the owner to age in place. Thinking ahead, she wants to be able to garden here indefinitely.
No stooping or crawling required to maintain much of what we saw here. The nearly black lily in the pot was dramatic, and the first I’ve seen blooming this year.
Raised beds are classier than most, made of juniper and designed to fit together like a puzzle.
A huge Dawn Redwood shades one corner of the back yard, where we gathered to sip tarragon-infused lemonade and say farewell. It was painful to cut down to this number of photos, but I just wanted to give you a taste of the treasures to be found on this tour. Remember, you can pick up tickets tomorrow at Garden Fever if you fail to score a pair in my drawing at the Garden Bloggers’ Bazaar. What?! You can’t make it? Oh well, tickets will be available through the ANLD website, or at Al’s in Sherwood, Cornell Farm, Gardener’s Choice or Portland Nursery (both locations). There are eight gardens on the tour, which takes place on the west side on Saturday, June 20th.
Looks like a fabulous tour. I love the stone paths. Also a sucker for red poppies in a meadow, or anywhere else.
I hope to have a version of that meadow with the poppies next year.
Looks like it was a lot of fun and interesting. I really like that woodland path. And noticing a Hesperaloe flower… I guess that means mine is not going to flower this year. Oh well, at least it’s alive. 🙂
I’ve been babying a Hesperaloe for years…moved it twice…never bloomed.
Lucky you who got a preview! I loved the rivulets and eddies of the first photos – such a cool idea! And there was no shortage of other inspiring photos either. I really should try to go this year – thanks for the sneak peek, Ricki!
Seems like going to things like this should be part of your job.
What a stunning collection of gardens, Rickii! The stonework and water features are magnificent. Would love to join the tour, but alas, too far away… Thank you for the preview 😉
This is the place for ideas, for sure. Now if I could just find the place where the pot of gold is hidden.
Lots of cool stuff. Maybe Portland needs to have another Fling, as the quality goes deep–we just touched the surface in ’14, didn’t we? I like the rocks/bricks swirly stuff, and the rock iron gate, and well, all of it.
And if we did it again, I could make it a point to meet you. Yes, we do have plenty more to look at here in Portland.