My brother Mike and his lovely wife Lisa have a place hard by Reed College in Portland. It’s actually in the same vicinity as the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens – that park I took us through in here a few posts back. It certainly has much the same climate. It has been dreadfully wet this Spring, although made more notably miserable by the extreme lack of sunshine. Blooms are slow in coming but many green things thrive in this weather, proof of which is especially borne out at Mike and Lisa’s place.
The design by a local landscaper, Burton Dix, enhances the gentle and soothing perennial placements, most notably the gentle ground covers whose blooms are just about as important – but not more so – than the terrific foliage presented at the same time. The closeup below shows more what I mean:
While this is a detail, it mirrors exactly my point. Green is the theme here, soothing greens which offer some mental solace and relax the eyeballs as they softly blow in the light breezes we get from time to time. These plants look especially fabulous when they drip from rainfall. It somehow seems to fit their essence. Lushness is truly the theme in general and it is a modest and inclusive lushness, not at all your overbearing splashes of gratuitous color but rather a tight theme and well-presented as such. The small grasses will indeed seed out later and offer an evolving detail and a contrasting color. Blooms will also appear much more so than at present, offering still more. Lisa had specified an interest in as many yellow blooms as possible and this becomes reflected as the year moves on.
This is the first year I have been able to catch their place at Springtime, but it has wormed its way into my senses as a splendid example of muted elegance. I only wish I were able to take better pictures. I may replace these as time goes on and as I get a better grip on the picture-taking art. Just the same, I think you get the sense here of a really nice bit of landscaping by someone with a definite gardener’s touch and a keen eye for what the potential in a piece of landscaping is all about. I love this place and not just because of who lives there. Here’s a later picture, offered me by my bro:
Oh, and here’s a gratuitous rhododendron picture, compliments of our drippy and long-lasting Springtime: