A Grand Finale for the Portland Fling
So this is the last post I’m going to do about the Garden Bloggers’ Fling held in Portland last summer. Fittingly, it is about the garden that hosted the event’s closing reception.
This was held at Bella Madrona, a five acre garden on the outskirts of Portland. The garden has been lovingly created over more than three decades by two retired physicians, Jim Sampson and Geoff Beasley.
Bella Madrona is a garden of many faces. It has borders mixing annuals and perennials, all exhibiting bold colors.
It’s also a garden of paths, mostly gravel, cunningly designed so as to almost always disappear around mysterious bends.
And all those paths lead to many niches and nooks, areas to sit and chat or just contemplate the view.
There were water features, of course.
And lots of garden art – some macabre, some playful.
And I can’t forget the ducks. Why is it that urban chickens have become kind of fashionable, but not ducks? All in all, I’d say ducks are cuter. Much harder to cook, though.
Bella Madrona is frequently made available for fundraising events and weddings. It certainly provided a marvelous setting for the Fling’s closing reception. In fact, people stayed far longer than the allotted time.
It’s a bit sad to write this last post about the Portland Fling. On the other hand, I’m glad to have finished before my memory of these gardens fades any further. And now I can look forward to the 2015 Fling in Toronto.
Oh….I just loved this one, probably my favourite. Sighs….imagine having five acres!
I am besotted by those arches and paths and simply loved the garden decor….what a clever idea for a bike chain, hubs may not have one on his bike tomorrow!xxx
I know … five acres … what joy that would be! Don’t let your spouse ride that bike if you’ve removed the chain – could be dangerous!
That’s what a garden looks like after a generation of love and care. Wow. So many moods, so much going on. How big is the area I wonder.
Five acres – lots and lots of space to play with.
-blush- I realized after I hit the send button that you actually mentioned that in your post. A big F for reading comprehension today. =/
Couldn’t possibly be any worse than mine?
I think this one is my favorite, mostly because of the paths.
The paths were great, made the garden seem even larger than it was.
Beautiful garden. I like the arches and the columnar trees very much.They give the garden an extra dimension.
Yes, the arches are wonderful. Not sure how I feel about the columnar trees.
The old world quality of this garden was enchanting. Thanks for bringing it back to life with this post.
I loved wandering through the pathways. It was a place where you could easily forget the time. The perfect spot to end the fling 🙂
Could you imagine having 5 acres!!?!?! This is so amazing! They really did a fantastic job creating all of those spaces throughout their garden and yet it feels completely unified! Thanks for sharing this series Jason! I have gotten so much inspiration through these gardens! Wish I could go to Toronto…maybe when the beans are bigger! Have a great weekend! Nicole
No doubt you will travel more when your kids are older. And yes, I can imagine having five acres – it would be a dream come true. Of course, I’d have to quit my job…
Lovely garden. I especially like the pathways meandering to so many seating areas. The columns the arches and the columnar trees are a nice touch that give a strong element of verticality, rather than just being used as a traditional punctuation mark at the end of a path or to frame a vista….it’s an interesting twist.
I do like the arches, I’d like to have a few more in my garden. The seating areas are also nice, makes me think of investing in some benches for home.
This looks like a garden you could get lost in, physically and lost in thought too. I bet it’s a full-time job keeping it looking so lovely. Somehow it’s formal and informal at the same time. I like it. 🙂
I didn’t ask, but I imagine the owners had at least some paid help. With all those winding paths you really could get lost there.
It has been delightful to stroll through these warm looking, beautiful spaces this winter. Thank you and your talented wife for transporting this nearly frozen garden admirer to warmer climes. I have seen many flashes of inspiration in these gardens.
Thank you! So did we!
Thanks so much for sharing this, Jason. I left early on Sunday to spend some time with my daughter on our last full day in Portland and had to miss this garden. From your photos and others I’ve seen, I certainly wish I had stuck around to see Bella Madrona!
You certainly would have enjoyed it – but family is more important. Maybe next time you are visiting in Portland you will get to go ther.e
That looks like a real well tended garden that’s also got a bunch of fun spots to it. I guess now that you’re through your Portland pictures it’s time for spring to come!
I certainly think so, but it’s 10 degrees today with a nasty wind, so somebody’s not with the program.
Lovely pictures of a lovely garden. Quite a grand finale to your Fling!
Thanks – I thought so.
Lovely Bella Madrona garden and it’s enough large Jason. I liked the chairs, benches and water features like water lilies and fishes.
It looks like a great place for entertaining. And what an awesome arch! The fling sounds like it was so much fun!
It was a lot of fun. This was the second time I have gone.
It is large and very unique with all the oddity of ornament and unusual selection of seating. I can see many of your readers loved this garden.
I would say it was a big hit with the Fling crowd. Plus a great place for a party.
Hey, that’s me! This was one of my favorite gardens. :o) I just loved how ungardened it seemed, as if everything had just sprouted on its own, including all the art. It was the perfect way to end the Fling.
It is you! This garden did have a very relaxed feel, even though a lot of thought and effort had obviously gone into it.
I love a garden that can provide a variety of cozy and interesting spots to sit, admire, rest, read… supplying the perfect setting for every mood. This garden does that nicely.
Very true! We could have stayed there all day to really appreciate everything this garden had to offer.
Hello Jason, Bella Madrona looks like a truly stunning garden, from the pictures, it has such an established feel, as though it and its mysteries are timeless. The scattered art is amusing and eclectic and the planting is incredible. Overall, this garden has “atmosphere” deeply engrained within it.
Well said. Actually, you could say it contains several atmospheres or moods.
Beautiful gardens, I enjoyed pics
Glad you enjoyed them.
Oh this was a great to see Jason…thank you for posting about this event and garden.