Friday, July 27, 2012

Live Dangerously!

Minutes after stepping off the plane in Portland, we were on our way to tour our first garden of IU9.

As a blogging newcomer, I doubt I've even scratched the surface of all the blog world has to offer but I was thrilled when I found out that Loree's Danger Garden was on our itinerary.  Thoughtful, well designed plant collector's gardens are a favorite of mine.  Loree has transformed a small city lot into a kick ass garden using cool plants and clean, innovative design.  My pictures don't do it justice but here goes...  
I had never seen this very cool wingthorn rose before (Rosa sericea ssp. omeiensis f. pteracantha).  Sources list it as hardy to zone 5b but it only seems to be available on the left coast.  Loree has effectively used it as a dramatic focal point in the front garden.  Burglers beware! 

Beautiful vignettes were everywhere you looked, both in attractive pots and in the ground.

Every inch of the garden is neat and meticulously maintained.  No flowers, no problem.  With all this foliage color and texture who needs them?

Since originally seeing stock tanks on Loree's blog, I have been scouting a place in my garden for one.  Loree also uses them in her driveway for container vegetable gardening.  Either I haven't been to the cutting edge gardens or gardeners are not using them in my area.  I wonder if they can be left out through the winter?

Normally my tastes do not lean towards modern but Dangerous modern has it going on.  In keeping with the innovative use of small space, this pergola converts to a winter house for succulents requiring protection from the wet winters.

Loree didn't seem the least bit rattled with a bunch of strangers dashing madly around her garden asking questions and snapping photos. But I guess when you have an arsenal of horticultural weapons at your disposal, visitors tend to be well behaved. 

From Loree's house we walked to lunch at McMenamins Kennedy School, a funky restaurant located in an old school building.  In addition to great food, gardens surrounded the building and outdoor courtyard where we ate.  Strolling through Loree's neighborhood was a real treat as well.  So many people have interesting front yard and hell strip gardens.  Florida schmorida, I want to retire to the PNW!

For a good read with lots more information and some history on the garden, including an interview with Loree, check out an article recently featured on Apartment Therapy.

Thanks for sharing your garden with us Loree! 


  1. Nicely done Sue , you hit the nail on the head. Lorees garden set the tone for some of the really cool plants we saw on this trip .

  2. How fabulous! so wish I'd been there. Looks like an incredible collection and so artfully displayed. Love this post Sue

  3. What a wonderful post that really captures the spirit of Loree's DG. Far Reaches had a really dark-thorned cultivar of that wingthorn rose that was so tempting. It'd have been a great antidote to the soccer balls flying into my yard!

  4. Looking green hub. thanks for this.keep it up dude.
    Landscape Design Virginia

  5. It is the small city garden that I miss in many ways these days: knowing every individual plant on your property and being able to concentrate on design, textures and foliage. This is a gorgeous garden that I am very sorry to have missed. Proof too that flowers alone do not a garden make.

    Thank heavens Sue was there to capture it for us!!!

  6. It looks like such an interesting garden. The water gardens are quite cool. The lack of flowers is so unimportant in a garden like this.

  7. Who needs flowers when the textures and colors and artistic displays work so well. You captured and shared it all beautifully, Sue. Makes we want to dash out to my garden and weed non-stop.

    1. What a great trip we had, Lee! We were fortunate to get into some fine private gardens.

  8. What a nice post Sue! I'm sorry it took me so long to read it, I know I added your blog to my google reader but for some reason it wasn't updating, Thank goodness Denise linked to your posts.

    It was a pleasure to meet you and feel so lucky you'll could stop by! As for your wondering about leaving stock-tanks outside all winter I doubt that would be a problem, I've seen a few planted up in Spokane (zone 5) with no problems at all...and my husband from Nebraska grew up with them all over the family farm full of water during all seasons.