An HPSO Study Weekend Visit-The Garden of Designer Darcy Daniels

  If I lived in Portland and was in the market for garden design services  the living portfolio that is the private garden of designer Darcy Daniels would be a strong argument in favor of her firm Bloomtown Gardens. Ironically it wasn't the blooms that were the big draw for me in this garden. It was Darcys' skill at combining foliage shapes, textures and color in both shade and sun.I found it particularly inspiring and wished I had had more time to take it all in. I still have my photos to refer back to, and those of others as well including several on the Bloomtown website . Since I am embarking on yet another renovation  of my front garden in the next few months I've been paying close attention to details of gardens I've liked this year, especially those that feature plants that I can grow here in mine.

 Streetside approach. I wish I'd taken more photos of the robustly planted hellstrip.


 A sidewalk strollers view. The hellstrips in this Portland neighborhood were generously sized.



 Yellow flowers in the front porch containers echo the bright door.


 This garden is not large but it is intensely planted -which is probably why I liked it so much. I crowd things in too, though not with the same level of expertise. Some of the photos might look a bit strange -I had to do some overly intrusive editing to bring up the dark shadows. This narrow sideyard path to the backgarden was stuffed.




 A va-voom combo.



 Darcy also makes excellent use of focal point containers, some planted and some not.






 An example of one of the excellent foliage combinations.


 This shady path heads back out to the front garden and held some of my favorite vignettes. You will note there is not much soil to be seen . And the ferns !







  The front garden slopes up from the street and shows off the layering of large shrubs and trees.




 You can also explore more of Darcys' design aesthetic on her eGardenGo site which has informative blogposts and other content to teach and inspire gardeners.

Comments

  1. And here I thought my garden was densely planted - I have nothing on Darcy in that regard. Is that a smoke tree I see in the background of the first photo? Whatever it is, it really makes a wonderful statement. I love the shady pathway too, as well as what I initially took as a mirror mounted on the wall in photo #7 but which on second view looks to be a window - regardless, it's perfectly placed.

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    1. Yes it is a smoke tree-assuming it is Cotinus 'Golden Spirit.' . And your first guess was correct-that is a mirror mounted on a window frame. So many plants !

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  2. What a great garden, one I'd love to see some day! I follow her website/blog, and she's always posting the greatest combos. Thanks for sharing your photos.

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    1. I hope you get the chance to see it Alison- judging from photos on her website she changes it up quite often.

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  3. Since I’ve been to Darcy’s several times I fear I wasn’t very thorough in my photo taking. Still, if I did get some good shots I’ll be sure to let you know when I post them. In case you need more renovation inspiration.

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    1. I was extremely inspired by what great use she made of the space. I looked back at a couple of your posts -I think one was from 2014. It was interesting to see the progression.

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  4. Definitely lives up to being included in a study weekend -- so much to learn from here.

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    1. One does have to translate what you see to your own climate, but I sure loved what she made happen in a small garden. Cramscapers Unite !

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  5. I got to see this one and loved it. I just planted that smoke tree and the leaves on mine are always burning. I wonder if it just does that when it is younger or getting established. Your photos are great!

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    1. I bought a 'Golden Spirit' last year and have it in a container awaiting an in ground spot. I am experiencing exactly what you describe and I feel like A. I am not giving it enough water and B. the container is too small. Glad you liked the photos, it was about 1pm I think when I got to this garden so it was a challenge !

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  6. Fabulous--so much to see in a small space one can spend hours looking so as not to miss anything. Lots and lots of beautifully grown plants. Not every climate is amenable to cramscaping--looks like Portland's is.

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  7. Someday I want to see Darcy's garden in person. She is so creative. Your photos do it justice!

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  8. Darcy is so good with plant combinations! She really pays attention, and it shows. It was a hard garden to photograph that day (more room for plants than people!). You did a great job.

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    1. It was hard to photograph-it would be great to visit this garden at about 5pm with slight overcast. I wonder if it ever looks bad ? I kind of doubt it.

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