Stepping out of the car, I could barely wait to start snapping photos. I consider it a remarkable display of restraint that this post only contains 38 photos. I've unfortunately forgotten what the shrub on the left is in the photo below, but I was drooling over the Grevillea on the right. I was very excited about Grevilleas last summer, as I was finally adding some to my own garden. I love how these silvery shrubs are displayed against the dark green screen plantings in the background. Enclosure is something that is seriously lacking in my garden. Even when things do grow up and fill in, I'm not sure I really have garden "rooms". But then, open concept is all the rage in interior design these days. Why not the garden?
Oh how I love the bark of cork oaks (Quercus suber). I do hope the ones I planted last year (and then moved in late summer) put on some serious growth this year. They are such beautiful trees; hardy and adapted to dry summers, too!
A beautiful Corokia cotoneaster provides a textural and color contrast to the lush, tropical greenery surrounding it. A little support from a piece of rebar apparently helps it stand up above the crowd.
Backing this plant with green foliage, or elevating it so that it's silhouetted against the sky, highlights the intricate form of this shrub.
I like to tease a certain someone about the plain green Daphniphyllum looking too much like a regular old rhododendron, but I must agree with her that the variegated version is eminently drool-worthy.
I always try to pay attention to texture, in addition to color, in gardens, and this garden had so much to offer on both counts. This blue-leaved acacia (?) is beautiful in terms of color, and also offers a wonderfully different texture with its leaf-lined, upright stems. I wonder how it fared this winter... The bright, mostly white Pittosporum, with its dark stems, adds great color contrast.
How's this for contrast, color, texture, and form? The acacia in the photo above really highlights the dark green of this Chamaecyparis (possibly Cham. lawsoniana 'Wissel's Saguaro'?).
Lovely feathery texture of Taxodium (?) overlaying the coarser foliage of shade plants beneath.
Fine and bold all in one, with a touch of blue that I'm a total sucker for. This Dianella is another plant that has me wondering how it handled the winter.
I loved this vignette. The limbs of a young evergreen oak stretch in front of a Cunninghamia lanceolata 'Glauca', a dwarf blue form of Sequoia sempervirens, and some sort of variegated broadleaved evergreen in the back. The blue and cream foliage had such a cooling effect on that hot summer day. Even the tops of the oak leaves read as somewhat blue-green. I could have stayed in this back corner, soaking up the serene colors, but the rest of the garden called.
This scene was incredible. So much variety, yet it forms a cohesive whole. The Abies koreana 'Silberlocke' (?) in the small bed echoes the silver of the agaves and the Cupressus arizonica (?) in the back. Actually, looking at those now, I'd really like to know which variety it is. They have relatively horizontal branches that look like they'd be better at shedding snow than conifers with lots of upright branches, which all look rather frazzled if not outright destroyed after this winter. And they're such a beautiful blue. The Trachycarpus dotted throughout aid in the cohesion via repetition of color and form. This vignette really displays the incredible diversity of plants that can be grown in the Pacific Northwest, with a bit of zone pushing and careful attention to site preparation and plant placement.
Well, at least I photographed this eucalyptus, not that I have any idea which one it is. Oh how I want my little eucalyptus trees to grow up so they can scent the air with their camphor fragrance and rustle their pendant leaves in every breeze. I love that sound, like a rushing stream or ocean waves, depending on the strength of the wind and size of the tree.
Datura wrightii, I'm guessing?
More textural eye candy, the fine stems of Ozothamnus contrasting with the lush foliage of Melianthus major.
Another acacia, contrasting its blue color against the golden green of the bamboo behind it.
This section of the garden looked a little newer. I was a little surprised to see a Schefflera delaveyi growing in full sun, surrounded by yuccas. I think of this plant as a shade-lover, but it can take quite a bit of sun in the Pacific Northwest, provided it has plenty of water, which the yuccas don't mind.
I love the form of this little Arctostaphylos, with its gracefully-curved trunk. It's going to make a beautiful specimen as it grows.
My own take on the agave berm, which has been photographed numerous times. I don't think there's any danger of people tiring of it.
This garden has a wonderful balance of enclosure and borrowed views from other parts of the garden. There's that blue acacia again, plus the blue cypress trees, with other plants layering in greens and blues right up to the Yucca rostrata (?) and agave in the foreground.
I love this silver potentilla. I just wish it was evergreen. I'm so stuck up about deciduous perennials. They really aren't my thing. Not that I don't have any, but I hate having something this beautiful leave a big hole when it dies down for the winter.
Hmm, will this scene be repeated this summer? Kangaroo paws and cuphea, not exactly known for hardiness.
One can never go wrong with a madrone. Few things compare to that bark in my mind.
I love this combination of orange kangaroo paws, blue acacia, and somewhat olive-green and brown Elegia capensis.
I prefer the previous color combination, but still had to photograph this more traditional red and yellow for the sake of the kangaroo paws.
I've fallen hard for evergreen oaks and their relatives. I think this is a Notholithocarpus densiflorus. This entire group of trees is far under-used.
Chamaerops humilis var. cerifera, also known as var. argentea, is such a beautiful palm. I prefer these clumping, smaller (in our climate) palms to the big trachycarpus. I like having the leaves down where I can enjoy them.
Another wonderful textural palette.
This (nearly) all silver garden really celebrates texture. What has become of that beautiful acacia after this winter?
This water feature that looks like it came straight off the cover of a magazine.
Couldn't resist another photo of cork oak bark.
I love the texture of this cotoneaster.
I hope my Adiantum venustum has recovered from its transplant shock last year and takes off this spring. It didn't do much last year, despite being in one of the moister parts of my garden. I really want a lush carpet like this.
Big fabulous umbrella of Arisaema over a Rhododendron pachysanthum.
As I was planning to do something similar in the new garden areas I was developing last summer, I was glad to see it implemented in this garden: Ceanothus gloriousus as a groundcover under taller Arctostaphylos.
I loved this combination of Arctostaphylos trunk and Hebe pimeleoides 'Quicksilver', plus the little opuntia pad waving from the corner. I'm a little surprised the hebe is doing so well. I know it's a fairly drought-tolerant plant, but not as much as the arctostaphylos.
Yucca rostrata and Arctostaphylos make a wonderful pair. I'm pretty much happy with any combination of blue and orange, be it the bright orange kangaroo paws and acacia shown earlier in this post, or the silver blue hebe and yucca with the more earthy orange of the arctostaphylos bark in these last two photos.
And that ends my post this week. I may be looking back on these photos more this spring as I seek inspiration for my own garden projects. And for more inspiration, I'm looking forward to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show this week!