Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Heronswood, The Sequel

 I was given a catalog when I checked in at the Garden Conservancy table at Heronswood on Sunday afternoon. An attractive catalog, with nice photos, 8-1/2 by 11, 55 pages. Actually had some cool stuff in it too. But can I ever put the 'real' Heronswood  catalogs behind me ? Not likely. They reside on my bookcase with Margery Fish, Jamaica Kincaid and Nancy Ondra , sturdy paperbacks, heavy on text, with cover art from local PNW artists. And what text !

  Map in hand, I went up the path. No tags.Spotty maintenance.Overgrown. And plant after fabulous plant---trees, shrubs, conifers,oddball perenials -you name it. Things I've never seen. I could only guess what they were--no tags. Damn.

 I felt sad. Ok, so Burpee/Ball owns this place. They have to know what this is-don't they ? They made the investment far afield from their home base and have dubbed it a research facility. Parts of the garden are maintained, and it's not weedy-thank goodness for that .But...


Pots atop these iconic Little and Lewis columns are crumbling, colors are faded , plants are unrefreshed.(forgive the blur-deep shade)




Closer to the residence, this bed had a great color-vibe, but poorly pruned  shrubs..note dead stuff on the conifers. Am I too picky ? But this is Heronswood for chrissakes !




Thanks goodness this clever hornbeam (?) hedge has been kept up.







  And there were moments when I knew I was at Heronswood. Even more moments when I wished I was Warren Buffet , could buy the whole damn place, set up foundation, hire crew and save it forever.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Oregon Clematis Land

 Just adjacent to the tony enclave of Lake Oswego springs up the pastoral landscapes of West Linn, and there  the Luscher Farm houses the Rogerson Clematis Collection. This garden was charming , and brimming with promise; many areas were newly planted. I look forward to visiting again next year. Bad blogger dislaimer..didn't write down a single name.









Sunday, June 12, 2011

Arabella

 I needed this Clematis after seeing it in a friends garden in New Hampshire and a Clematis collectors' garden in New York.  I always worry a bit about installing a plant I've seen in New England-will it be an exercise in futility ? God knows I've had plenty of failures with plants commonly grown right here in Northern California. You will see photos of Arabella that look quite blue , and they aren't entirely bogus (for a change) as her color moderates with temperature , maturity of flower and sun exposure. She has in fact been blue here in my garden, but  more often the violet-ish shade you see in this photo. Arabella is small of stature, growing to 6 feet or so, and does not cling. And does she bloom ? Without question the longest blooming Clematis in my garden. I am very likely to still have flowers in August.
  I purchased her from the excellent Joy Creek Nursery via mail order.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mingleing

Sometimes the best stuff is accidental. Invite several guests to the cocktail party , put 'em in a room, and see how they gel.

Rozanne mingles with Penisetum 'Bunny tails'


Bunny Tails mingles with Nicotiana langsdorfii



Festuca mingles with Sedum sequoia


Nigelia mingles with Lobelia laxiflora



Lost tag Geranium mingles with Santolina 'Lime Fizz'



Origanum dictamnus 'Dittany of Crete' mingles with Chamomile