The Garden of Jeffery Bale- HPSO Study Weekend Prequel


  In June, just a couple of weeks after Garden Bloggers Fling, I set off again to attend the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon Study Weekend in Portland Oregon. This was my first time attending this event and I can surely recommend it. It was informative, fun and the chance to see some great private gardens will always seal the deal. Study Weekend kicked off on Friday evening, with a welcome reception, plant sale and the keynote address by Tom Fichser of Timber Press. Early arrivals and the local folk also had the opportunity to visit a few gardens in NE Portland before the official opening. I drove to Portland that morning from Grants Pass and arrived in time to catch 3 of the 6 gardens on the roster.
   I started my tour at the garden of Jeffery Bale , designer and mosaic artist. The garden is a refection of both his design aesthetic and the influence of his extensive global travels over many years. As you enter along the shady path through the front and side garden you are immersed in an  atmosphere of tranquility and sanctuary. I've seen many gardens that are both unique and personal, but I can't imagine  trying to copy this-it feels very much like an expression of  Mr Bales unique vision, which would not be a sincere creation by anyone else . It seemed to me like a space that has evolved slowly, and is intended as both a gallery and a respite from the world outside.

 Yes, there is a house  up yonder. Here along the city sidewalk is where the transformation begins. Lush plantings line the approach to the house.




  The top of the house peeks over the PNW style wall of green.

Pebble mosaic steps announce your arrival.







 As the garden unfolds you might find discreet vignettes featuring collected objects . Nothing in this garden felt  contrived - items were displayed for the pleasure of the gardener.




 This wall of Asian inspired icons with its' foreground pond was the focal point of the back garden. I wish I had gotten better and more detailed photos . I kept thinking how pleasant it would be to experience this garden in the evening.





 Bamboo and bananas  were well represented, they seemed to belong.


 The refreshment table was fabulously unpretentious. 


  The garden was dense and it was hard to gauge the size. I felt like it was small when I was there, but this may have been an illusion born of the looming mature plants and the enclosed nature of the garden.



  Study Weekend is a collaboration between the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon, the Northwest Perennial Alliance based in Seattle , and the Vancouver Hardy Plant Group in British Columbia. The event rotates between venues in these regions. The next Study Weekend will be in Vancouver.



Comments

  1. Jeffery owns two adjoining lots, both with houses on them and the back yards are connected and fluid. Each lot measures 33ft x 69ft, the average Portland lot is 50 x 100...so yes, your feeling that it was a small garden was very true.

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    1. I recall that the docent who greeted us on the front porch did mention the adjoining lots. I've often had fantasys of buying my neighbors houses and expanding my garden. About a million bucks and I could do it.

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  2. A really eclectic garden full of interest. Grudgingly had to admire the variegated Bishop's weed leading into the garden in the first few pictures. A real garden thug but oh so pretty when mixed with other green plants. Thanks for the tour.

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    1. I was surprised to see the Bishops Weed . Pretty but scary !

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  3. Lush!

    Sounds like it was a fun event.

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    1. Very fun-I hope to attend again someday.

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  4. Wondrous! I've appreciated Bale's mosaics ever since I first stumbled across them. They're instantly recognizable as his work. His garden is equally unique and special. thanks for sharing your tour. I really need to join HPSO there's nothing like it here.

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    1. I have never regretted joining HPSO.. nothing in Cal comes close. I don't mind traveling up there at all--I enjoy it as a road trip , but the flight is only and hour and cheap too.

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  5. "nothing in this garden felt contrived" -- that is a rare accomplishment! So glad you attended some of the garden tours.

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    1. I didn't get to all of them but I was happy with my choices. Insight from Loree was helpful !

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  6. That sidewalk and the adjoining plantings are fantastic!

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