Gardens Open Today

Two weeks since the Hardy Plant Study Weekend in Eugene, and I’m just now assimilating what I saw.  First, gosh aren’t these people brave to open their private gardens to a hoard (probably 200 people or so, total) of opinionated, know-it-alls like us?  And yet, there they were, greeting visitors who arrived by car or in the tour bus.  We scanned the properties, each of us looking for our own interests. 

            I’ve never seen so many roses in my life.  Portland may be the city of roses, but the whole state seems to have adopted the flower as its symbol.  All in bloom, without a hint of blackspot.  At that moment, anyway.

            Small formal water features attracted me.  Huge, naturalistic ponds and enormous waterfalls just seem weird in landscaped gardens, so I prefer the contained water with its cooling sound, reflective qualities and intentional design.  I loved the glass balls floating in the still birdbaths at the garden of Bryan and Cassandra Barrett — overall, a fabulous garden for color and form.  Formal lines and views were softened by billowing plants in a Northwest English sort of way.

            My other favorite garden was somewhere out of town — thank goodness dear friend and fellow garden writer Mary-Kate Mackey was driving us around.  The owners of this garden wanted to remain anonymous, and I’m surprised they even let the garden be on the tour.  The owner has a great eye for interesting selections, including the little-known Penstemon ‘Margarita BOP’; its blue flowers have a sort of neon quality.  This garden did have a big, natural pond, but I said nothing and paid no attention.

            Because, really, I’m sure there would be copious amounts of things for people to dislike about my garden.  Fortunately, it’s unlikely I’ll ever find out what they are.

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One Response to “Gardens Open Today”

  1. debra Says:

    Hi Marty, I’m so jealous that you were able to step inside so many great gardens in Eugene. This was the first Study Weekend I missed in about seven years…and I’m already determined NOT to miss next year’s – in Victoria, right? It’s a joy to tag along on your journeys, though. xoxo Deb

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