Thursday, 31 August 2017

I'm Back. Thanks, Portland!

If you have followed this blog in the past, you'd know that I took a hiatus. If you had asked me, I would have told you it was a year - try 3. I don't know what did it. Maybe it was all the PKWs, maybe it was the lack exciting nursery stock, or maybe it was just a funk? My passion for plants and gardening certainly didn't change in that time. Over those years I settled into a new career and poured much of my time and attention into that. But something was nagging on me to return to something for me; to return to something that provides a source of passion and joy in ways that I can't effectively put to words.

I had been talking for years about taking a trip down to Portland to visit some gardens and nurseries that have long been on my radar. It was the Danger Garden that started my blogging aspirations in the first place. So I made a few texts and calls, and before I knew it, I was heading South on Interstate 5 for two days that would renew a spark that was missing in my life.

I set an address to my Airbnb in the GPS, and when arriving in Portland, Siri directed me to a detour that would save 5 minutes. Little did I know, this detour added 20 minutes of garden stalking goodness! I turned off of the I5 into a residential neighbourhood and my spiky plant radar went into hyperdrive. If you're a spiky plant nerd, you'll understand how and why you mysteriously slam on your breaks and make hard unannounced turns in traffic. It's real. Trust me.

Silly me didn't note what road this was (or the exit I took). All of my attention was on this! Eucalyptus, Crepe Myrtle, and Opuntia ... oh my!

I don't know about you, but Eucalyptus have a way of transporting me to Southern California. Add Crepe Myrtles which equal heat, and opuntia spikes which equal love and I was in a full on garden euphoria. And what's this? One of the nicest agaves I have seen in the Northwest - Agave montana (thanks, Danger).

But the awesomeness didn't stop there. Check out this increidble opuntia. I love the pale blue and olive green tones. An ID would be appreciated because I simply MUST have this plant. It is complimented beautifully by a pristine chamaerops humilis 'cerifera' in the background. Mine lost its main trunk after the winterzilla of 16/17. I wonder if this one is newly planted?

This garden so much evoked the Southwest. I loved it! Unfortunately no one was home to answer questions to the stranger lurking around their garden. Usually "planty" people are quite happy to answer questions. I'm sure the neighbours thought I was crazy what with the spastic driving, shrieks, mutterings ... again if you like spiky plants you understand.

Within minutes of arriving in Portland my heart was fluttering. My camera was officially dusted off, and my mind was going a mile a minute thinking about future plantings. I knew it was going to be a good trip. And if you've made it this far, yay, it was excatly what I needed to get my blog on (like "get ur freak on" ... but blog. No? Missy Elliott?)

 If you recognize this house or garden, please share, spiky planty people need to visit this place!