Floramagoria Part II
Floramagoria, a private Portland garden I discussed in the last post, has a lot of stuff that can make you smile, even giggle. But this garden is not all giggles, no. It is a seriously gorgeous garden.
The front garden is quite attractive, in a restrained sort of way. It gives you no clue of what’s out back.
Neither does the shaded path along the side of the house.
But then … once I arrived in the back garden, my first impression was of a botanical fireworks display. I loved the big patch of blue Nigella with orange Kniphofia. You don’t see much Nigella around Chicago. West Coast gardeners tell me it can be a pest, but what a lovely pest. I’m guessing it would be more restrained in the Midwestern climate.
The mix of plants seems part English cottage garden and part Southern California, with a bit of the tropics thrown in for good measure.
Yet all the pieces fit together without seeming like a mishmash. I’m trying to remember what those orange poles were all about.
This is a garden in glorious technicolor.
There are also plenty of bog plants, including carnivores, some in containers and some in the beds. They add an element of surprise and, well, strangeness.
Aside from the variety of plants, another striking quality of this garden is how it is able to combine many distinct spaces and moods. This is done without garden rooms separated by tall hedges as in Sissinghurst.
For starters, there are many spaces conducive to socializing. This includes a covered patio, where our gracious hosts left out homemade chocolate chip cookies and other refreshments.
There’s also this fire pit. I like how those big green leaves stand out against the orange wall.
The fire pit provides a destination at one end of the back garden. The cross baby in that pseudo-shrine is just a bit creepy, to tell the truth.
This colorful carpet built into the path provides a sort of welcome mat for the area around the fire pit.
But if you want to get away, there is this shaded bench in a quiet corner.
This water feature against a blue wall provides both a focal point and a space to congregate.
Last but not least, I have to mention the space created on one side of the house for beehives and growing edibles in large stock tanks.
Floramagoria is an uninhibited and joyous garden, fearlessly incorporating many disparate elements into a whole that works amazingly well.