Anyone who has been gardening in Portland for any time at all knows about Lucy Hardiman and her garden. The bench in the foreground of this shot (taken from the sidewalk, looking up at the house through madcap plantings) is emblematic of her generosity of spirit. She put it there so that passers-by would have a spot to rest their bones and take in the surrounding bounty.
One need not even enter the inner sanctum to experience a garden worth making a special trip to see.
A big fan of Phlomus russeliana, I never lusted after the pink one, but these are more of a dusty mauve, and are going on my wish list, as is the Aesclepsia front and center.
Yes, the parking strips are brimming with interest, but on the other side of the walk the fun really begins, like this Hakanachloa macra catching the light as it spills over the retaining wall.
Part of Lucy’s genius is knowing when to cut back and when to let well enough alone. Allium seedheads are sculptural elements long after the colors fade.
Pathways to the street are paved with pebble mosaics.
Here’s more of that Phlomus, this time paired with the deep bronze tones of barberry.
OK, so as a member of HPSO, I actually have been invited to enter Lucy’s realm…
where the play of light and shade is dramatic, and must render the garden a changing experience all through the day.
A calm expanse of lawn anchors the space.
The four corners of the lawn are defined by sky blue newel caps.
At one end, a gravel path leads to another square.
In the center of the gravel square sits a large terra cotta pot with a bouquet of brightly colored metal swirls.
The formal elements give way to an explosion of exuberance in the surrounding borders, as with these spires of Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’.
One corner of the garden is dominated by a large tree hung with colorful shiny balls.
A chimney pot echoes the color of the fuzzy undersides of a Rhododendron’s leaves.
There is a name for that, but I can never remember what it is.
Despite the liberal use of garden art, this garden is all about the plants. I’m guessing the height of this Mahonia to be 10-12′.
I would have expected a huge Brugmansia to be featured in a starring role, but this one is tucked away to be discovered…expect the unexpected.
A seating area is as colorful as the garden in full bloom, and as is Lucy herself. I can’t believe that I have been a member of HPSO for many years without ever before having visited this treasure…but there you have it: always something waiting to be explored. A brand new member shows you her take on this same garde4n at Bell and Star
And here’s one final, parting shot from across the street, as I prepare to get in my car and bid this inspirational garden a reluctant farewell.