Last February, I had the great pleasure of vising my BFF and she, being the consummate hostess, took me to visit some wonderful gardens. They were all great, as Portland (City of Roses) is a divine place to garden. You might remember my post about Portland's Japanese Garden? If so, you know I love the moss (we'll see more). Well, this garden, The Bishop's Close (aka Elk Rock Gardens) just spoke to me.
We arrived in late afternoon on a very typical Portland-type day...misty, very damp and grey. One of the things I like about Portland and Portlanders is that the weather makes no difference...and truly, I think, on this day and in this garden, it was just about perfect.
As we parked, this was the first taste of the garden (can't you feel that it's going to be a special place??):
Nearby were some hellebores for sale. Totally in keeping with the spirit of the place, yet amazing this day and time, you were on the honor system for making a donation for the hellebores:
You can just glimpse a hellebore in this picture, but notice the moss covered wisteria:
Isn't this amazing?
Because it is easier, I'll just post the labels when available:
But, let's get going...I know you're as eager as I am.
It's Portland, so it's okay to bring your dog, albeit on a leash (How my dogs would have LOVED to visit!).
This was amusing. I said to my friend, "Oh look. It looks like they've just left and are going to return any minute." My friend looked back at me (you can imagine) as just then, coming into view were the owners of these tools, complete with wheel barrow. As if anyone would leave Felcos just sitting around...even in a special garden like this one.
Here we go. I should tell you that my pictures will, unfortunately, show moisture at times, even raindrops on the lens (it began to rain heavier) and then get dark as daylight left us.
We're going up...and up...
But, so worth it, don't you think?
Isn't this color amazing?
More information here and yes, that color is for real.
Never forget to look down in gardens, although as we'll see, looking up and out in this garden are not to be missed either:
Who doesn't like snowdrops? Just wait until later....
I couldn't decide if this was just happenstance, but I liked it anyway:
A glimpse of the mighty Willamette River:
These trees had the most amazing bark color. More on them in a bit:
Do you see our little friend here?
You can tell we're walking above the river with the most gorgeous views:
But these trees, can you tell the incredible color of their bark?
It's fascinating how they lean out over the river:
Wow. This tree is much more than its beautiful bark that was apparent to us on this day. Check it out.
Ferns growing out of the moss on rocks:
Another little guy. You can see why they like it here:
Lichens, I think...
More fascinating moss...so pretty:
This may be the last picture with good light...gotta love the moss:
Witchhazels were blooming:
Need a seat, do you? (Me and my love of benches...)
It's a shame it's getting so dark, so fast...this is a beautiful bridge...maybe you can see it, trying clicking to bring it closer:
This is a pagoda dogwood...notice its shape...beautiful even without leaves:
It was lovely standing on the bridge and I did take my usual pictures each way...but, alas, they are too dark (there must be a way to lighten them??)....at any rate, look how the blooms of
Edgeworthia Chrysantha Paperbush stand out. Reading in that link that this shrub requires plenty of water, one can see why it thrives here:
One of my very favorite trees, a Stewartia:
You can see from the next picture, that it is not so dark out, yet in the shaded parts of this garden it is. Look at the evergreen trees in the corner up against the sky. It is those trees and that view that I think of when I think of the Pacific Northwest:
A majestic fern:
This was so pretty...too bad the rain is falling and the light is gone:
Do you see what I'm seeing around these snowdrops?
That's right...winter aconite:
It was actually lining the pathway, on both sides, with little escapees in the path itself. Oh, I wished so bad they had potted up some of this for sale! Woe is me that I cannot seem to grow it (I have tried numerous times). I am thinking, though, that if I could buy it in the green, I bet I could establish it. I didn't want to leave, I was so enjoying all the winter aconite! However, it was closing time and we didn't want to be shut in here...delightful as it is. So, hurry on, we must.
Still, I am racing along in this dark shady fabulous garden, trying to snap pictures here and there...to remember this garden.
No time to contemplate sitting, although it does look a bit...err, damp:
See the two lights to guide us out?
And, yet, it is not quite dark...just damp and rainy...
I'll end with this...it looked charming...begging for me to knock on the door and exclaim to this gardener (and staff) how wonderful their garden is...of course, they had probably gone home by now (hehe)....
Thanks so much to you, W....you are the best! I just loved this garden (can you tell?? Despite the fact that you had to drag me out of there...)....
More gardens to follow....we have lots to see...this winter will pass before we know it! (She says as one for whom winter has not even really started...yet...)