Little House on the Portland Prairie

We saw a lot of wonderful gardens during the 2014 Garden Bloggers’ Fling in Portland this past July. If I had to pick one favorite, however, it would be Rhone Street Gardens.

Rhone Street Gardens
Rhone Street Gardens

This is a garden where it seems every square inch is bursting with exuberant plant life.

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The resident gardener at Rhone Street Gardens is Scott, who was also a principal organizer of the Portland Fling.

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Scott is well known for his love of grasses. His garden has its share of colorful flowers, but your attention is really captured by the rich and varied textures of the grasses, with their movement, varying shades of green, and subtle flowers and seed heads. All this tall grass makes me think of Rhone Street Gardens as the Little House on the Portland Prairie.

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Raised beds are used to make even the hell strips into bountiful gardens.

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Rhone Street Garden also provides habitat for wildlife.

Pay no attention to the person behind the Rudbeckia.
Pay no attention to the person behind the Rudbeckia.

The colorful wildlife provides contrast to the flowers and grasses.

2014-07-13 12.04.51 Joe Pye Weed Rhone Street Gardens

Scott is not afraid of tall plants. Here’s a happy clump of Joe Pye Weed.

Joe Pye Weed and Fireweed.
Joe Pye Weed and Fireweed.

Indeed, it is fair to say that Rhone Street Gardens does not neglect the vertical element in its selection of plants. I wonder if I could convince Scott to give Cup Plant a try.

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There are many fine plant combinations, not all of them tall.

2014-07-13 11.38.33 Astrantia and Persicaria

Such as Astrantia and – I’m not sure – Veronica?

2014-07-13 11.35.19 geranium and persicaria

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and Persicaria. Scott has inspired me to plant more grasses, but his garden also makes me want to acquire some Persicaria. Looks like some Agastache mixed in there also.

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Persicaria with Allium seedheads.

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Containers with perennials cover ground that is not hospitable to plants.

Overall, the visit to Rhone Street Gardens was definitely one highlight of the Portland Fling.

62 Comments on “Little House on the Portland Prairie”

  1. The plant you wondered about is Teucrium hyrcanicum, common name is Cat’s tails I believe. This is a garden I would love to see. Shame he uses blogspot as I find it impossible to leave comments on his blog. Thanks for sharing your impressions.

  2. I can understand why you like it so much… many similarities to your style of gardening. Those grasses are fabulous. I can also definitely recommend Persicaria, as I love mine (Firetail) and I think the plant you identify as Veronica might be Teucrium hircanicum (Germander). It has spread in an area of my garden where nothing else grows and i am very grateful for it!

  3. Great post, Jason; I love your new name for Rhone Street Gardens! I was so excited, too, to visit Scott’s garden since his was the only Portland blog I read rather regularly before the Fling, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. It reminded me more of home with all the natives and more prairie-type plants, which is probably the reason you and I both liked it so much. I was drawn to the persicaria, too, and want to plant some here. I hope to do a post just on Scott’s garden myself before the year ends.

  4. Pingback: Driveway? What Driveway? | Hortitopia

  5. Oh wow! What a delightful garden, y’know you are really converting me to grasses, since I have been following your blog I have added about six different types, my curly one is my favourite.
    I did enjoy this, what a clever title, and such a handsome cat!xxx

  6. What a lovely garden and what a great combinations of plants.
    I don’ t think that is an Astrantia. It looks more like a yellow Scabious: Scabiosa columbaria var. ochroleuca to me. Sorry, Jason, I just can’ t help being pedantic.

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