Thursday, June 23, 2011

Virtual Garden Tour: Side of Chaos

the side of chaos sidewalk view
Welcome back to the Virtual Garden Tour. Yes, I eluded yesterday to today's post. Chaos! Actually, it's not as chaotic as I think that front corner was. But you can be the judge. I've added some plant details in the flickr files, so if you click on the photos, it should take you through to flickr and you can see my notes on the photos there.

newly planted front side of chaos area

Since we're a corner house, we have a nice big side yard, and part of this side yard has been co-opted as our backyard. Just not this part. This is my fun place to grow showstoppers.

whoa. now that's a crazy side of chaos view

now that's an arbor to walk under

The arbor is a secondary entrance to our front porch, as many visitors, and the mailman, park on the side and walk in from this way. Before this section of garden was here, I noticed the mailman would trek across our lawn when delivering the mail. Instead of working against it, we worked with it, and made this a formalized path.

looking in from the side arbor

This side formerly was edged in spirea, but last fall, they were removed due to size and sprawl. It's funny how "vigorous growers" sounds good at first, but in the long haul, become oversized.

at the side looking towards the front

could it get any crazier?

Several years ago I began to increase the contrast in dark leaved plants in this bed, so as to frame the flowers and lime green foliage of the plants in the foreground. Plus, having a green colored house means it's easy for the garden and house to all meld together.

now that's a lot going on
ooh la la: the impact of it all
from the pathway
bam! smokebush
side of chaos mid spring

Obviously, I'm having a problem with the vigorous bishop's weed, and it is sprawling and taking over the sunny beds. I curse that plant and wish I had never planted it. But here it does play a pretty background to a crazy freaky allium.

alium in the weed from hell

The pineapple broom is in full bloom right now, and its yellow flower is so tasty delicious smelling. Yes, it really does smell like pineapple.
Path horizontal
looking towards the garden gate
pineapple broom

This section of pathway is new, finally replacing the tired attempt at grass paths, and creating a shape and form to hold together the chaos of the plants in this area.

tiny orbs of glass on the wire fence

Little details, like blown glass bits woven into the simple chicken wire fence.

from the sidewalk looking back

A preview of the area this will lead us to, the Side of Calm.

an orphan rose

path into the side of chaos
Tomorrow, we'll venture into the garden gate and into the calm woodland....

one of the gnomes greeting you at the gate


Unknown said...

my favorite gardener and my absolute favorite garden!! i keep hoping i can do the same in texas..LOL!!! i'm trying! ;)


danger garden said... the chaos! And you realize it is "perfect" chaos, everything looks so beautifully maintained. Pineapple broom is now on my list to learn more about.

Natalie said...

Your Pineapple Broom is gorgeous. May I ask where you found it? I've never seen anything like it in the Portland nurseries.

Karina said...

Oh My goodness - your garden in glorious. While our current home is 25 years old, the previous owners were not much into gardening, so all we have are some established shrubs. It's a good foundation to work with....but some day I hope to be able to have such a variety of plants as you, and remember when and why each one was planted. Now if only we stay put for awhile. I'll be coming back to your lovely chaos often for love love

Paula said...

Wow Lelo. Do you guys do all the planning and planting and maintenance yourselves?

I learned the hard way to eschew any plant that has the word 'weed' in its name.

Have you guys considered poking in some edibles in your beds? Just curious.

Shauna B said...

WOW. We want to rip most the grass out of our front yard, and this gives me great inspiration. But I'm not sure where to start. Do you give garden consultations in exchange for cocktails?

LeLo said...

Cat-You are too kind, but whatever you do, please don't tell me about how your tomatoes are already producing. We just planted ours! You're a lucky Texas gardener....

Danger-If I wasn't being such a lazy blogger, I would have given the appropriate latin name for that plant. It's Cytisus battandieri, and I can't say enough great things about it.

Natalie-I go the Cytisus battandieri, or pineapple broom, at a Hardy Plant Society plant sale quite some time ago. You can find it at local nurseries, but you'll have to call around. I think Cistus might have it...

Karina-Anything is possible: this garden has been built over the course of 13 years, and it's one focused area at a time. The variety of plants comes from a love of horticulture and learning and seeing new (to me) things. You can do it!

Paula-Yes, we do, though we do hire crews periodically for major big jobs, like the new paths/grass removal. We used to do it all but have learned better. And as for edibles, there are edibles in there! Also, tomorrow's post will specifically be about edibles and what we're growing in the garden.

Shauna-I think the garden is easier to maintain than the grass, but that's my take on it. Start on a focused area, come up with a plan, and for grass removal, we built all of our beds by putting a thick layer of cardboard down, then covering with 4 inches of soil. Do this in the fall and come Spring, you'll be able to plant in it. I have done garden consults in the past, but it's not my profession and Portland is full of so many good ones. I can give you a referral to one if you like. Also, the library has a great selection of gardening books full of photos to get inspired by: that's what I did in the beginning!


LeAnn, I think "Chaos" is the wrong word. I just can't see any chaos anywhere. More like "Bounty" or "Opulence." What a fabulous grouping of show stoppers. Your Pineapple Broom is so big. I had one years ago but it didn't have any scent--an anomaly I suppose. Love your 'Black Lace' Sambucus and your Spiraea with the Cotinus. Also the Allium and Bishop's Weed looks great. It all looks fabulous and illustrates your love of plants and design acumen.