Roses – Summer At The Portland Rose Garden

This will be more of a pictorial feast. I am not particularly knowledgeable about roses, although I have definitely planted many, and actually pruned more. But I just “smell the roses” like everyone else does when I come here. Enjoying them is why they are there.

(These can be enlarged by left clicking)

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The smells alone were enough to ‘send’ you. This was definitely the best overall that I’ve ever seen the Garden, completely smothered in Rose blooms.


Anyway, just beautiful stuff – and fun to share.




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It was really one of those perfect Pacific Northwest days – 70-76 degrees, no wind, fresh air like crazy, huge trees all around –

Just gorgeous for us all.

Annette took some pictures using a filter which she graciously sent me for my return home. They are throughout this post. It was a great time.





Forest miscreants!


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These next ones were a small treat. A very delicately-shaded Wine Colored Rose – nothing too “out there”, but just gorgeous and gorgeously informal, too.

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I may not know roses that well, but ย I know what I like.

The Portland Rose Garden is a treasure right about now.

Visit To Oregon, Part 2 – The Beach @ Manzanita

I just returned to Portland from a ‘weekend by the sea’ and I must admit to an extremely comfortable laziness caused by a deep drink of serenity and human sharing while staying at this cute little cottage, 4 houses from the beach in Manzanita, Oregon. My brother Mike and his wife, Lisa, are finalizing a year of renting it as a workplace away from home and a general spot for their souls to expand while the urban rush of Portland continues its mad dash to seriousness, somewhere “back East”.

Let’s face it, a scene like the picture below would quiet anyone other than the character in the picture which follows this gorgeous beach shot. This particular picture comes complete with a movable Fog Bank which was nearing a little eclipse of our sunniness at the time –

(enlarge any pictures by clicking on them)


Try quieting this ball-chasing nightmare:ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  He’s one smug ball-killer. His owners have fallen to secretly addressing the word “ball” in cryptic code a dog will never understand, citing the need to avoid a constant psychotic recurrance of a nuttiness only a “B – A – L – L” can cause. I time him out at somewhere near 2,000 miles per hour when in pursuit of the worthless enemy, the ball.


Manzanita carries an ambiance which is slow and thorough. Smiles are a regular sight on the small main drag, a street hosting an asymmetric amount of “cool places” compared to absolutely anywhere else, maybe on Earth. One can (and did) visit a candy store, strictly devoted to sweets, both commercial and store-made. Coffee shops, of course, dot the landscape at disturbing frequencies along with knick knack shops, real art work, a couple of wonderfully delicious and conscientious restaurants and the coup de grace – a fabulously eccentric grocery featuring a deli, great fruits and veggies, and aisles which could safely be called “one lane” or – better – Fat Man’s Misery. I especially liked the presentation of local seafood:


It’s fairly hard to get fresher than this.

Here’s an early Sunday morning look at the core of town from about 3 blocks up the street from the ocean. It eventually got quite crowded, actually, with this having been a huge coastal week for tourists in general, but this is a reasonable although skeletal glance at the city’s makeup.


Of especial note to my gardening friends, seemingly every business had a small garden or container display out front. Along with the actual yards and landscaping of the entire area, this town is one to whom experimentation and an appreciation of rather uncommon plant collections is rife and totally alluring. As an example, these small containers feature Black Petunia’s underneath the deepest Burgundy colored Poppies I have ever seen. This one needs to be enlarged to fully appreciate:


New Zealand Flax, long one of my favorite plants, adorn Manzanita as if some Flax sales dude peppered the place with bargains. A very sweet Mallow with its gorgeous yellow bloom back up the foreground of Salal, the local forest groundcover:


Poppies and Euphorbia accent the area, along with – at this time of the season – an absolute riot of Crocosmia, splashing a deep orange all over the town:


I really enjoyed the simplicity and depth this small tableau offered, featuring a Euphorbia of this real very simple beauty alongside a healthy Privet shrub:


Poppies everywhere:


Here’s a look at a well-tended garden featuring perennials and typical plantings, put together by a loving hand:


Finally, the journey would always complete itself at the water’s edge. Note the kites flying in the breeze in this picture and then realize at the bottom end of those kites is some dude/dudette on a surfboard, using the wind to take him/her for a ride:


A look around the beach at Manzanita:


The cliffs at the North End of Manzanita Beach (above) show what the Oregon Coastline is famous for – an ocean butting right up against mountains.

Below, the fog bank referred to at the beginning, still not quite blocking the sun. This is a South West view from one of the many dunes, some of which are 20 feet high also covered with this gorgeous beach grass which waves in the wind like a soft caress.


And here is a strictly Southern view, giving us 270 degrees of eye candy:


And finally, The Ocean itself – wild, huge and all consuming:



Pretty cool stuff.


Roses I Have Enjoyed

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(left click all images to enlarge)

The wonderful smells of roses were always the first order of enjoyment for me. I can recall walking to school as a child and smelling this fresh bank of roses on the way. Clustered and climbing along some fence pathway, all in a tight bunch in the (in this case Red) “pink” of health, the odor was something else entirely. It set itself as a goal in my mind of what was possible. It was only later that I discovered the full outright beauty of the blooms themselves. For me, it was always the smell.

Many of these roses here are from the Portland Oregon Rose Garden. There are a few I took of a lady’s garden who lived across from me on Klikitat Drive in Portland. She was 78 years old and she grew 250 roses in her front, side and rear yards. Here’s one of hers. Her name was Elizabeth and she was a retired teacher. I admire her tremendously to this very day.

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She was pretty fussy about intruders, but when she heard I landscaped, it was honestly pretty hard not to be neighborly and do the “over the fence” thing with such a kind-hearted and thoroughly wonderful person. I’m talking every day.ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  Her battles with Black Spot and mildew in a climate such as Portland, Oregon’s were legendary to me. And, man, did she ever have a lot of plants she was Mom of. Here is some of her Phlox – also a great smeller.

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I took her to the Portland Rose Garden more than once. I found myself looking forward to these trips. I was separated from my daughter at the time and I missed a family kind of connection. She and I met somewhere in the heart and it was real good that way.

The Rose Garden also had a great amphitheater for concerts and what not. I always just liked its rather placid look, even without the rockers who filled it up on Summer nights. I hate to say this, but I think I saw Billy Idol here.

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Anyway…….on with the roses from the Rose Garden:

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I have gotten particularly impressed with climbing roses. They fit so very many landscaping applications, from actual climbing up arbors to cascading downwards in the nicest messes.

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Their blooms seem to come in such a wide riot of colors:

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I used to hate planting them, they seemed so fussy. But once I got it down, I realized there were some very standard principles for pretty much all of them. Good, well-drained soil, some fertilizing now and then and some strict homeowner attention to diseases, bugs and all the various little fungi and such which can plague a rose lover. And water – lots of water.

This is actually a Rose of Sharon shrub/tree. But why quibble?

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I’m such a rose maven now that I like the Miniatures as much as any others. Check out the splendid detail of these small wonders.

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Between my friend Elizabeth and the Rose Garden in Portland, I think I made some sort of transition into real appreciation for this picky plant. The blooms themselves can make a real believer out of one.

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You’ve got to love this crazy plant – ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Anything else would be Uncivilized!

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Portland, Oregon’s Rose Garden Part 2

No trip to the Portland Rose Garden should omit mentioning the Miniatures they have there. Actually, they are arranged in two or three different places, including – as the picture below shows – a “test garden” for varieties they are working into their rotations.

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Following through with what I already revealed elsewhere to be my own sinful sort of relationship to roses in general, I am so adoring of those which mix and blend the bloom colors – or those which change during their own brief maturation.

These two-colored miniatures just really struck my fancy. I would so love putting some of these in myself someday and I do plan on it. And, yes, there have been occasions when I have planted miniatures in my own projects – far more than I may have led us to believe. Working with as many rockeries as I have, they fit like Alpine Perennials into the cracks and folds of rock arrangements and do so with some startling durability.

We now move to those which change on demand. Or seem that way, at least. If you don’t much care for the colors of these roses, you should just come back tomorrow when they look different!

More red and whites in yet another area of miniatures, I’m afraid my biases have left out some other gorgeous choices.

These orange ones, for example, are simply radiant. They are also profuse as they can be.

The yellow rose below I liked not only for the perky and effervescent color but I also was most attracted to their wild bloom formation – almost star-like. It seems a complete departure from the standard rose petal.

These shown below look somewhat bedraggled and all and, the truth is, we did catch them on the downside of their prime blooming era. But not by much! Simply beautiful, one can see what they bring to the party and why I would still opt to feature them, even if they are half-past spent. Indeed, these were a real favorite of mine, revealing yet another sort of petal formation – more like a spray.

And now we move to another dimension of the Portland Rose Garden – its overall landscaping, disregarding for a few moments the extreme gorgeousness and ridiculous profusion of the roses they feature.

Below is a Hardy Fuschia, hard by a grouping of rose blooms but over by the overall edge of things where a hedge separates the Rose Garden from a very tranquil small garden setting, composed primarily of plants and grass.

Here is the other edge of the fuschia, looking backwards with the hardy fuschia at the remote end of this hedge and the killer plants in between. Hosta, arranged in a landscpaed form, separated by deer ferns stand out dramatically as they always do and with such a rich and hearty foliage and bloom.

Around the corner is the garden referred to. Incredibly tranquil and just gorgeous in its lushness, this is one of those classic gardens the screams for solitude and reflection (is that possible?).ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Astilbe looking all hot-to-trot mixes with the Hydrangea in the above picture to present a full vision of lush and quieting Flora. Bordered with the always-orderly Boxwood hedge, the anarchy gets toned down a bit, resulting in an enforced order that relaxes the eye as well as the senses. About this time, one could definitely lay out for a good nap.

Hydrangeas are actually another virtually “featured plant” on these grounds. And we are talking about all sorts of different Hydrangeas, by the way. The rosy pink blooms of this one below contrasts markedly with the blues of the ones following that.

Here is an orderly row ofย  light-toned blues and whites, all bulky and full as they so often are.

And here is my personal favorite Hydrangea – a “Lace-Cap” bloom variety which has always stuck me with its different look. Profusely blooming, as is the wont of Hydrangeas the world over, this one seems somehow economical in it’s presentation, while still profuse. I find the blooms to be complex and minimized.

Yet another Hydrangea here, still among the “Lace-Cap” varieties, this one is stuck back in the depths of the garden so rife with perennials and ferns.

Another view of a Lace Cap blue, this one sun-washed and still-vibrant, I like the Begonia under, trying to assert itself among all the gigantic blue blooms.

Overall, this great urban garden features a wide variety of sights and pleasures, many of which are fairly unintended. Take some of these anarchistic-minded roses, for example, poking through the periphery of hedging surrounding the more formal display areas.

Here is another delicately-placed straggler looking as good as a plant can look while being allowed to basically just plain “roam”:

And, finally – speaking of Hydrangea’s – we have this interesting vine, long since overgrowing the building underneath it and now acting as a roof:

This is simply one of the most gorgeous gardens I have ever seen. It’s hard to get enough.