Oh my, over a week has passed since I and two busloads of other bloggers and garden writers were carted around our fair city and exposed to a marvelous array of nurseries, public and private gardens, and even a visit to our favorite publisher – Timber Press.
Books, breakfast and swag bags! We were treated like royalty!
And, I had no idea there were so many actual, published authors among us. Cool and humbling – all at the same time! 🙂
The week that followed this extravaganza was a bit tumultuous for me. It involved some major restructuring at work, and entailed moments of surprise, lasting relief, a dose of compassion and lastly, a long over-due springing into action to make up for lost time. I hardly had time to contemplate that I was also scheduled for surgery until I was actually sitting in the waiting room. But, throughout this entire week, I have been on a bit of a high from last weekend’s exceptionally well organized Fling, and although I haven’t really written much yet, I have had some time to reflect upon it. It was a whirlwind of garden diversity! So, please accept this as a starting point – a kind of original reflection, and synopsis of the future posts to come…
From the cool, lush, green, soothing shade of the Japanese Garden…
… to the burning hot – both in temperatures and color – garden of JJ DeSousa…
… to the meticulously manicured angular perfection of Danger Garden…
… contrasted with the swishy, soft foliar textures manifested in Scott Weber’s garden.
Floramagoria made me laugh out loud and giggle with delight on numerous occasions…
… and Chickadee Garden had me standing still at rapt attention eying the resident wildlife enjoying themselves like Romans at a banquet. (I didn’t get any good photos of all the buzzing activity, but there were plenty of accommodations for our winged friends throughout the garden.)
I rejoiced over the exuberant joy and playfulness of the Fuller/Ernst garden. This is from the Ernst side.
And, this is one of the quieter corners of the Fuller side of things – a seating area on top of the garage. I had planned to go back for their HPSO Open Garden, but felt a little under the weather after the surgery. This surprised me – as it really was just a surface thing – but in the end, I didn’t.
At the Rose Test Garden, directly following the Portland Japanese Garden, most of us bolted straight for one of the few shady spots at the Amphitheater, where lunch, and a Corona presentation were served.
The pockets of cooling shade, filtered light, foliar wonders, and water that rewarded us as we followed the trails cascading down the hill in the Old Germantown Gardens.
The breathtaking view from the Westwind Farm Studio had me contemplating the necessity of landscaping in a supporting, as opposed to a leading, role. How could anything we humans do ever trump that view?
The garden of John Kuzma had some marvelous combos. Despite having suffered severe die-back during the worst winter in Oregon memory, there was still plenty to marvel at. Zone denial at its best!
The gardens surrounding the McMenamin’s Kennedy School offered some wonderful, colorful textures and contrasts…
and Bella Madrona offered a kind of voyeuristic mysticism.
A place made for secret meetings and rituals…
…where even the trees tell stories. It was a magical place, and a perfect ending to an action-packed weekend!
But, nurseries, you say… Didn’t you say you visited nurseries? Boy, did we ever! Some of the best the city has to offer – Pomarius, Cistus, and Joy Creek.
The Fling welcome kick-off party was held at Pomarius – a small nursery with a plethora of unusual plants and fabulous displays. With busy highways high up above, and surrounded by cleverly displayed statuary and architectural surfaces, it possessed some of the best urban, borrowed scenery ever!
Cistus, of course, with a plant selection so hot, it was only matched by the merciless sun that beamed down on us.
The lush and exuberant display gardens of Joy Creek in all their summer glory never disappoint, even on a sweltering hot day.
I could easily have spent much more time in all the many places we visited, and if the Andy the bus driver hadn’t rounded us all up and returned us to Portland, I would probably still be wondering aimlessly around Bella Madrona, lost in its mysteries.