Lucy Hardiman’s garden

corner view with bench

Anyone who has been gardening in Portland for any time at all knows about Lucy Hardiman and her garden. The bench in the foreground of this shot (taken from the sidewalk, looking up at the house through madcap plantings) is emblematic of her generosity of spirit. She put it there so that passers-by would have a spot to rest their bones and take in the surrounding bounty.
corner of hell strip

One need not even enter the inner sanctum to experience a garden worth making a special trip to see.

Aesclepsia and phlomus

A big fan of Phlomus russeliana, I never lusted after the pink one, but these are more of a dusty mauve, and are going on my wish list, as is the Aesclepsia front and center.

Hakanachloa macra

Yes, the parking strips are brimming with interest, but on the other side of the walk the fun really begins, like this Hakanachloa macra catching the light as it spills over the retaining wall.

Allium seedheads

Part of Lucy’s genius is knowing when to cut back and when to let well enough alone. Allium seedheads are sculptural elements long after the colors fade.

mosaic carpet

Pathways to the street are paved with pebble mosaics.

Phlomus with barberry

Here’s more of that Phlomus, this time paired with the deep bronze tones of barberry.



pots of succulents and carnivores

OK, so as a member of HPSO, I actually have been invited to enter Lucy’s realm…

play of light and shade

where the play of light and shade is dramatic, and must render the garden a changing experience all through the day.


A calm expanse of lawn anchors the space.

sky blue newel

The four corners of the lawn are defined by sky blue newel caps.

gravel square

At one end, a gravel path leads to another square.

large pot with metal swirls

In the center of the gravel square sits a large terra cotta pot with a bouquet of brightly colored metal swirls.

Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’

The formal elements give way to an explosion of exuberance in the surrounding borders, as with these spires of Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’.


shade plants


glass totems

shiny balls in tree

One corner of the garden is dominated by a large tree hung with colorful shiny balls.

chimney pot and Rhody

A chimney pot echoes the color of the fuzzy undersides of a Rhododendron’s leaves.
There is a name for that, but I can never remember what it is.


Despite the liberal use of garden art, this garden is all about the plants. I’m guessing the height of this Mahonia to be 10-12′.


I would have expected a huge Brugmansia to be featured in a starring role, but this one is tucked away to be discovered…expect the unexpected.

colorful seating area

A seating area is as colorful as the garden in full bloom, and as is Lucy herself. I can’t believe that I have been a member of HPSO for many years without ever before having visited this treasure…but there you have it: always something waiting to be explored. A brand new member shows you her take on this same garde4n at Bell and Star
parting shot from across the street

And here’s one final, parting shot from across the street, as I prepare to get in my car and bid this inspirational garden a reluctant farewell.

12 thoughts on “Lucy Hardiman’s garden

  1. Janet~My garden is in danger of being overrun by Phlomus.

    Shirley~Glad you picked up on the FUN part.

    Loree~Thanks for that: if I hear it often enough I might actually be able to remember it too.

  2. I love Lucy’s garden. It’s such a great example of real urban gardening on a limited lot with city constraints. Oh, and color, right? Wish I had paid better attention to the fact that it was recently open…

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