I made a little side trip up Langlois Mountain Road, on the recommendation of a friend. It was very windy, and the road was very winding, but it was worth a little detour. This whole section of the coast seems much drier than most of the coast, and becomes even more so when you drive up into the hills.
This old snag atop the hill caught my attention. I wish I'd had a longer lense.
The town of Langlois claims to be world-famous. I'm really not quite sure why, but I suppose the views from Langlois Mountain Road could be one reason. They're quite a bit more impressive on a clear day, when you can see the ocean better.
After Langlois, I continued my journey south. As soon as I got around Cape Blanco and into Port Orford, I started noticing more tree-sized cordylines and other indicators of the milder winters of the southern Oregon Coast.
|Looking back at Port Orford. Yeah, it wasn't a very clear day.|
|Ok, so this photo mostly just shows the regular old shore pine, and doesn't really have anything to do with the two species mentioned above. I just liked it and happened to turn around and snap the shot after I looked back at Port Orford.|
|The full-sized bunk on the bottom was nice, but too short for me. I'm not that tall, barely reaching six feet (on a good day).|
|The futon, which also folds down into a bed, was long enough for me to sleep on without hanging over the end.|
|It seems like a given, since the yurts have electricity and heat, but I wasn't sure before arriving if there were any outlets in the yurts. I was happy to find I'd assumed correctly.|
One of my first stops was the Brookings Botanical Garden, managed by the Harbor Garden Club. It occupies a tiny triangle of land just north of the bridge spanning the Chetco River between Brookings and Harbor. Walk a few hundred feet along the road and up a hill and you arrive at Azalea Park, but that's another post.
A large section of this small garden is dedicated to native plants, including this little swale designed to capture runoff from the parking lot. I enjoyed the rest of the native section as a preview of what I would see when I went up the river the next two days, but my photos of the natives in the garden didn't turn out as well as the photos I took upriver so I'll leave most of the natives for a later post.
I did like this little vignette of Lithocarpus densiflorus var. echnioides (blue leaves on the left) with native carex, fescue, and bleached wood.
I think this bark belongs to a young Quercus chrysolepis, the canyon live oak. I rather liked the shades of gray to white.
I love heaths, and the most spectacular members of that genus are the many South African species. This swath of Erica mammosa, or nine-pin heath, just about made the entire trip, at least for me.
Seriously, look at those flowers! One of my favorite plants of the trip. I'd love to be able to grow South African heaths outside, in the ground.
How's this for a surreal combination? A variegated agave with Woodwardia orientalis draping a frond over it.
I love the texture of this Melaleuca squamea.
Agave bracteosa waving its tentacle-like arms at the edge of a sea of orange Calluna vulgaris. This, at least, is a pairing I could attempt in my current garden.
It's not a great picture, but I had to share this Leptospermum 'Dark Shadows'. It's one of those plants that we in colder zones lust after while we plant our hardier, though usually poor, imitations.
Salvia gesneriiflora has beautiful red flowers emerging from black calyxes on black stems.
Obviously I didn't catch it at peak bloom season, but look at that plant! It's as big as the Leptospermums!
Seeing Desfontainia spinosa planted in a garden has me sadly disappointed with it, just a little. The faded flowers and old foliage both seem to stay on for awhile, making it a bit messy and tatty in appearance. Perhaps it's just not in quite the right spot.
This was not the only Aloe (arborescens? not sure) I saw in town, or even the most impressive, but it's the only one I took a photo of. There was a more impressive planting of them under the eves of a restaurant just a little ways back up the highway into Brookings. But I didn't feel like stopping to take a photo and never made it to that end of town on my walks from camp.
I'm not sure what this is, but I love the seed pods. Certainly it's related to tea trees.
Big, beautiful Banksia integrifolia, with its wonderful silver leaf reverses.
And its yellow bottle brush flowers.
Another Melaleuca, I think. This one wasn't labeled, but I loved the texture.
Another aloe, which I'm even more uncertain of in regards to species (possibly 'Johnson's Hybrid', thanks Kris!), but this one is blooming! Behind it is a large clump of Puya chilensis. Brookings receives over 70 inches of rain per year, at least according to U.S. Climate Data. But these raised berms of gravel and larger rocks makes it possible to grow an incredible array of succulents.
I didn't know the common name of Puya chilensis was "sheep-eating plant." Apparently it also eats labels.
This is an aloe I would go to the trouble of providing adequate drainage for, if my garden was mild enough.
A purple Dyckia and a flowering Crassula falcata (I think).
Succulents aren't really my forte. Is that a euphorbia?
This luxuriously prostrate, fuzzy gray plant was unlabeled, as far as I could see. I want it.
I was little disappointed, yet simultaneously a bit gratified, that Raoulia australis doesn't seem to do much better in Brookings than it did in my garden, though there's is still alive whereas mine was killed in the winters of 2008 or 09. Before that, the deer would always walk across it, especially when it was frozen, killing patches of it. Maybe I should try it again now that the deer are banished beyond the fence. Just find a spot with VERY good drainage.
This Raoulia, not quite as silver as australis and of even finer texture, seems to perform better. I didn't see a label, unfortunately.
At first glance, I thought the spiky-leaved plants behind the Raoulia were Dyckia choristaminea, but closer inspection showed they were something else. A label revealed their name: Stylidium graminifolium, an Australian native in, wouldn't you know it, the family Stylidiaceae.
Another South African heath. I'm not particularly fond of pink flowers, but it's still a South African heath! With aloe accompaniment.
Another aloe, this one was over a foot wide. Probably Aloe striatula. Thanks again, Kris!
Close up of the pink heath.
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that, at first glance, I dismissed this plant as a discolored mugo pine. When I got closer I could see it was something else, and the label showed it to be Calothamnus gracilis, I plant I would love to be able to grow.
Here you can see a bit of the red and orange foliage for which this plant is known. It's extremely vibrant on young new growth, and a Google search reveals an image of this self-same plant in full flush. It also has intricate red flowers.
That seems like a good place to end for this first installment. At least, I don't want to make this post any longer than it already is. I'll try to finish covering this garden in the next post.