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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fling Preview: Danger Garden

I am a proud practitioner of the “crammit” style of gardening, bare ground = room for another plant. This is a collector’s garden with little attention paid to what style- purists might think. The hardscape helps to control the chaos, however in the words of Amy Stewart, my garden is just the place where I put my plants - meaning design principles lose out to plant lust every time.

Little remains of the garden we inherited, which was primarily lawn with narrow planting beds. The front garden you see today dates to 2011 when I was forced to start over after losing the structural plantings (phormium and cordylines) in back-to- back horrible winters. This part of the garden is designed to require minimal water and maintenance, while summer brings more color, it’s meant to largely be the same no matter the season.

Work in the back garden began summer of 2007 with construction of the retaining wall and patio. The shade pavilion (which doubles as a sort of greenhouse in the winter) was added in 2009 and more lawn removed (to expand the planting beds, again) in 2013.

This spring, 2014, several over-grown shrubs (small trees) on the north side of the property were removed and a new fence built – changing the entire feeling of the space. The exposed “openness,” as well as the loss of several established plants (winter) has me struggling to feel connected to the garden again. As usual I’ve responded to the challenge by over-planting...

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  1. Hi Danger. I love seeing some established Shredded Umbrella Leaf. I stumbled across some of them last month and look forward to them spreading rampantly in the wild cultivated garden. Is that a Magnolia macrophylla or M. fraseri or some west coast big leaf magnolia?

    1. Christopher - I can't believe how quickly the Shredded Umbrella established, seems like just yesterday I planted it (really it was 3 yrs ago). It's a Magnolia macrophylla, first thing we planted here in 2005. Wish you were joining us here in Portland!

  2. Its a wonderful garden! I love the eclectictiveness of it. (whaddya mean that's not word?) My kind of garden!

    1. That's totally a word Cheryl! (at least I think it should be). Thanks!

  3. I love seeing the little Lila gnome nesting in the grass.

  4. Little baby bear…will she enjoy all the visitors ?


Thanks for taking the time to comment!