Anyone who reads The Oregonian Homes & Gardens section will feel as if they already know Kym from the fine writing she has been doing there for years. Who could resist an opportunity to see, first hand, the garden wrought by this knowledgeable plant lover? Not me, that’s for sure. In an established, well-cultivated Portland neighborhood, this corner stands out. The mature, spreading maple creates ideal conditions for a shade garden.
You know you are in a collectors garden when this gigantic leaf meets you at eye level.
The markings on the stem would seem to suggest a Jack-in-the-Pulpit. Kym confirmed that it was, indeed, Arisaema speciosa magnificum, and magnificent it surely was…and this was only the beginning.
Close by, a painted concrete column emerges from dense foliage, topped with a pot holding Poncirus trifoliata ‘Flying Dragon’
While on the other side of a path leading to an inviting seating area, this bird bath is nestled into a massed planting of Hakanachloa macra.
If a tree dies, why not turn it into a sculpture? I could have happily settled into one of the inviting chairs in this part of the garden to while away the afternoon, but there was much more to see.
Back on the sidewalk, at the corner, an area is devoted to miniature conifers. Entering the frame from stage right is one layer of a magnificent Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’, also know as the wedding cake tree.
I was snapping pictures with every step. Here you can see more of that dogwood framing a vignette built around a free-standing gate-like panel. On the back side, just peeking out, is a fuzzy kangaroo paw plant in a delectable shade of apricot-to-russet.
Further down the block, ornamental oregano cascades over a stone retaining wall.
Across from which is a fully realized draught-tolerant parking strip planting.
This was probably my favorite area of all, looking perfect from every angle
and featuring some plants, like this stunning grass, that I am going to track down. I forgot to ask what it is, but I’ll be watching for it. Update from Kym on the grass: Panicum ‘Cheyenne Sky’
Up a few stairs we enter a very private back yard populated by many many many pots spilling over with tropical flair. Most of the pots are terra cotta, with the occasional punch of bright colored glaze.
The staging of these pots causes them to nearly disappear beneath the jungle tapestry of plants.
Pots travel right up the wall, and are aided by the canna leaves and the glass sculpture in giving verticality to the arrangement.
Tucked away in a corner, screened by billowing foliage, is a potting table with more pots at the ready.
Bucking the trend, a Monkey Puzzle Tree is planted in the ground and looking right at home amidst its potted neighbors.
Artistic touches like these small stone cairns are used with restraint.
A few creatures cavort around a small pond.
Fully grown trees add so much character if the gardener is willing to work around and with them.
On the way out, I noticed this mature Arcostaphylos densiflora ‘Harmony’. I just planted a small one of these, and had no idea it would grow up to display such interesting, peeling bark. I am sure that there were other wonders that passed under my radar, even though I nearly ran through the charge on my camera. Kym blogs at OregonLive.com, so you need not be left out if you are not an Oregonian reader. Her subjects are far-reaching and nearly as fascinating as her garden. Thanks, Kym, for sharing.