Wednesday Vignette – the magic of shade

IMG_9346We had a little heat-spike here yesterday, and temperatures shot up into the mid-80’s. Today, they went back dow to around 57. I’m much happier in cooler weather, but as it happened, was scheduled to do a garden consultation at a condo on Portland’s SW Waterfront. Hot and grumpy, I made my way down there, parked the truck, and soon found myself in the wonderful shade of an urban forest of birch trees, underplanted with shade plants, some rocks, and with a dry riverbed artfully inserted between concrete walls, running through it. With the bright sun filtering down through the leaf canopy, the textured paving under my feet, and the absence of traffic, it really was quite magical. It instantly put me in an endlessly much more appreciative frame of mind. Aaahhh, so soothing… If ever you can’t find me, look in the shade.

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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17 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – the magic of shade

  1. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Restful shade. Birch trunks are always a joy to see and the arrangement of plants and rocks below is nice and peaceful! My Wednesday Vignette is here:

    • annamadeit says:

      It was one of the first really hot days this year, and it came with no real chance for assimilation. It made me dread the summer to come, so walking through its lush green coolness stilled my angst a little. 🙂

  2. Pauline says:

    Me too, I love the shade. Before moving here 25 yrs ago, I thought gardening was all about sunny borders,! It was a steep learning curve, but is now my favourite sort of planting.

  3. Alison says:

    That is a very peaceful vignette. I bet that shade was lovely in the heat. I’ve joined the meme again today, my post is here:

  4. Kris P says:

    Shade is a wonderful thing, especially in a hot climate. Our temperature peaked at 95F yesterday and its back in the same territory again today. I shudder to think what summer’s going to look like here.

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh Kris, I feel for you all… Once it goes over 80, I’m miserable… I absolutely could not live in CA – I don’t know how you survive… 😦

  5. mattb325 says:

    Thank goodness for shade on those hot days! The birches, planting, rocks and mulch work very well together – normally these corporate style plantings are a little bereft, but this one looks lovely

  6. Mark and Gaz says:

    It looks peaceful, and fine choice of tree too!

  7. rickii says:

    Seems a bit early to be seeking out shady nooks, but that spike in temperature did it to me too. That’s a refreshing one. Here’s my contribution:

  8. Sharon B says:

    Very nice photo. Looks like a lovely spot to cool down a bit.

  9. Pingback: Wednesday Vignette – Side Garden | gardeninacity

  10. I love shady nooks tucked into the corners of bustling city precincts. Very restful. Are those River Birch? Here is my contribution:

    • annamadeit says:

      I think so, Jason. They, and the papyrifera are the only two that are recommended here as all the others are very susceptible to birch borers. Welcome, and thanks for joining in! 🙂

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