Jane’s neighborhood

Back when it was still summer, The Mulchmaid invited our lucky blogging group to see the garden she and Ben (the Mulchman) have made. I have a hard time predicting the time it will take me to reach a new destination, and arriving early is out of the question. Hence I found myself with some time to kill and an interesting neighborhood to explore.

parking strip

It became immediately apparent that gardening is a big deal around here.

bench facing sidewalk

A bench facing the sidewalk is a nice, welcoming touch.

poetry post

I saw three poetry posts on my short stroll.

different styles

These old neighborhoods have an appealing mix of architectural styles.

driveway garden

People were taking advantage of any available space to make gardens.

lots going on

Several big projects were underway, and I saw a number of “FREE” signs attached to piles of stuff. I picked a nice tall tom pot out of one of those piles.


This was one of the most interesting projects. They have managed to modernize a typical bungalow with dark colors and restrained plantings.

hens & chicks

The use of river rock looks severe until you look more closely and see the sedums and sempervivums planted there. This is obviously a new planting. I can imagine it developing into something quite striking.

along the sidewalk

Repetition adds to the minimalist modernity.

parking strip



Jane and Ben’s gardens are wonderful. I like picturing them surrounded by like-minded neighbors.

10 thoughts on “Jane’s neighborhood

  1. Okay you’ve got me curious as to just exactly what a tom pot is?

    I am not 100% sold on the modern black bungalow landscaping. I want to like it but might have to check it out myself and watch how it progresses. Easy for me since picking up monthly prescriptions have me fairly close to Jane’s hood, and killing time while checking out other peoples gardening activities is a favored pastime.

  2. It’s one of my favorite ways to kill time and you found a great neighborhood for that with all the reno and gardening projects going.

    I like the application of stone here with the succulents. It will be fun to see it when the plants grow in. While the planting along the wall works great with the house, the rows of boxwood look a bit fussy.

    Maybe the folks with the awesome hellstrip have been reading Scott’s blog. Oh, those eyebrows on the yellow bungalow are wonderful.

  3. It’s nice to see a neighborhood that cares about gardening and the appearance of their surroundings. Some are to our own taste than others but at least the effort, green, and order is there which are all nice to see.

  4. Loree~It’s just a terra cotta pot that is taller than wide and tapers slightly from top to bottom. I thought the modernist yard would appeal to you, but of course not as something you would adopt as your own (far too limited a plant palette). It definitely stood out amongst all the exuberant plantings nearby.

    Shirley~Thanks for calling attention to the eyebrows. I’ve never been inside a house that has them to see what it’s like looking out. There are quite a few of these in Portland, and I’ve always loved them.

    Alison~Luckily, our little (but growing) bloggers’ group is filled with second chances. Nice to see you, and to meet and chat with Nigel.

    Mark & Gaz~I love the variety, and can usually appreciate even the ones that veer wildly away from anything I would ever do.

  5. They have such a wonderful gardening neighborhood. I hope they are successful in getting everyone in the neighborhood to sign the pledge not to use chemicals.

  6. I too was blown away by this way cool neighborhood of gardeners and wondered about all those free piles. We were in a hurry to get to another garden so we didn’t stop to inspect the piles. Thanks for bringing back fond memories of another great day in Portland (except that we missed seeing you!)

  7. Heather~I didn’t know about that pledge, but I’ll bet it’s a cinch to get everyone on board.

    Peter~And then you didn’t make it to the swap! Boo hoo.

  8. Angie~Maybe I’m rationalizing, but I think after going to all that work, gardeners kind of like the attention (as long as we don’t behave too papparazzi-like with invasion of privacy).

  9. I’m so dozy that Ive just found this post Ricki! You pictured some of my favorite local gardens, too. I agree that the severe modern landscaping on the dark bungalow is on the edge of most people’s garden style. I’ve been watching them work out this garden for almost a year. It’s too perfect for me now, but hopefully the plantings will soften things up.
    And the free stuff was the Free-share part of the previous day’s Overlook Yard Sale. Glad you found a good pot!!

  10. Jane~That stark garden appealed to me, even though I could never do it myself. Like you, I think it will get better with time, but it was fun to see the initial phase. Your neighborhood has such an inclusive feel to it…nice place to be.

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