Garden touring season has given way to what I’m learning to treat as a second dormant period here in the high desert: the extreme heat of midsummer. And how convenient that is, since now there will be time to mull over the many photos of gardens that I’ve accumulated during the last couple of months, to see what I can learn from those gardeners.
And may I say, I find this whole process of touring other people’s gardens and then examining the photos highly useful, and I’m very grateful for gardeners who are willing to open up their private havens to the rest of us for a day. (Also, I’m grateful for those gardeners who are kind enough to provide iced drinks to make the touring even more pleasant.)
I’ve begun the mulling with the garden I saw most recently. It’s an amazing hellstrip garden all along the front of the Portland Nursery parking lot (on Stark Street in Portland, Oregon). This demonstration garden showcases all kinds of effects that any gardener can experiment with, using site-appropriate plants in their own garden, whatever its location.
During a tour, there is so much stimulation: multiple gardens, crowds of people, the need to find a way from one strange place to another, the time limit. My pondering brain can learn much more from poring over the photos afterward than from trying to capture any snatches of insight that flit through during the tour itself.