A Walkabout at McMenamins Kennedy School

 Business trips often install you at uninspiring convention center-centric hotels. These are convenient places if you need to work remotely and be close to whatever meetings or trade shows you might be attending. I had a brief window of opportunity on a recent business trip to the Pacific Northwest to escape the business gig and stay somewhere with a bit more cachet for one night before departing the area for my next destination. I bailed from the soulless convention center hotel and headed to lodgings at McMenamins Kennedy School-congratulating myself on the opportunity to photograph the gardens there in both evening and morning light. I had visited this garden before, both times in mid-day. Naturally, my dreams of golden hour images were dashed by grey skies and intermittent rain. Gold was nowhere to be found. The evening photo shoot was a complete bust; the morning before I took off for the coast was tolerable i.e. not raining. Bright overcast is preferable to contrasty mid day sun .

 In my experience most hotels that have gardens place the emphasis on guest-pleasing flowers and color, but this is a gardeners garden where foliage plays a significant role in the display of layered texture color and form. It also presents the very specific PNW garden style that is seen nowhere else. I wonder how many who stay here actually get it ? 


 There just aren't any sidewalk plantings that look like this in Napa. So rich. And September no less.






 I love the tropical-esque vs. conifer-esque plantings seen in many PNW gardens.


 Nothing boring about this foundation planting.



 There are some nice containers too-heavy on the foliage , light on the flowers.



  These windows were my hotel room-I had a pretty nice view.


I really loved this combination around the corner from my room.


Some sort of magnolia perhaps ? Great leaves whatever it is.


 And  a Mahonia of some sort ? I fear my Mahonia credentials are lacking. I can ID M. Soft Caress and that's about it.



 More very fine foliage combinations.



 Inula ? Rudbeckia ? I don't know-but I'm very taken by it whatever it is.



 No clue, but very cool.


  Here are some more summery photos shared by our friend Loree of the Danger Garden--she is lucky enough to live in walking distance of this establishment. They have beer.


Comments

  1. Glad you got to stay at this funky place and see the garden. We have a McMenamin's property up here now with great landscaping too, if/when you visit, you'll have to stop in there. My Mahonia creds aren't a lot better, but it could be Mahonia gracilipes, and I think the umbellifer in the last photo is Seseli gummiferum/Moon carrot (yes, that's it's common name).

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    1. It as a bit pricey but fun to be able to stroll the gardens at will. Seseli it is ! Not in production at Annies at the present . No idea where I would put it anyway !

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  2. Mother Nature isn't always the most cooperative host but I think you did well with your morning tour. That garden looks lush for late summer.

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    1. They've had rain Kris. The rainy season starts a bit earlier up there in the PNW.

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    2. Ha, only rain the week of your visit, not enough to cause this lushness, it was dry right up until then and since. McMenamins gardeners do irrigate, a lot, they are not stingy with the water.

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  3. OK, I can help with the last ID, the glorious moon carrot, Seseli gummiferum. That was a brilliant idea to stay there! (And I think that daisy might be Rudbeckia 'Henry Eilers.') And even tho there's a couple months of summer drought, you have to wonder how high the water table is to support growth like those parkways!

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    1. Oh Denise I think you are right about 'Henry Eilers'. I've seen it somewhere else this summer but I've been to so many gardens and nurseries this year I have no clue where that might have been. I've looked at some stats and they've had about an inch of rain up there in Sept , wouldn't that be a treat ?

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  4. Any hotel with gardens worth looking at is an achievement. The plantings still look great post '14 Fling.

    What are the peeling red-barked trees in the 2nd photo? Manzanita? Pretty things.

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    1. Not Manzanita . Maybe Madrones ? I am dreadful at tree ID.

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    2. You got some great photos Kathy! And Alison was right with the Mahonia ID, you’ve got me curious about the possible Magnolia though, I don’t recognize it, or it’s location. I’m gonna have to check it out...

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    3. It's along the Simpson side Loree (pretty sure) .

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