Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Mom and I joined the Hardy Plant Society this year and one of the funnest parts is getting to go to open garden days to view Portland-area gardens. A couple weeks ago we lucked into seeing the garden of Lucy Hardiman, aka my dream garden.

Located in inner S.E. Portland, this place has everything I love in a garden: lots of little nooks and crannies each with their own mood, a unified color palette, a touch of whimsy, a mix of tropicals balanced with English formalism, and loads of chartreuse.

As soon as we pulled up across the street, I knew we were in for the treat. The parking strips were bursting with colorful plantings and walking up to the house my eyes fell on these amazing magic carpets made of stones. I suspected that they were the work of local magician Jeffrey Bale, and a little subsequent research has confirmed that.

You could tell by the turn-out that this was a hotly anticipated event of the year for garden-oglers. Lucy was there, very graciously answering questions and chatting with people, but there were just SO MANY plants I wanted to know about that I am fantasizing about offering my weeding services just so I can go hang out in her garden and hopefully learn more about her plants.

I'm sorry for the lousy photos--I didn't bring my camera, not knowing what a treat I was in for and had to rely on my iphone. Another reason to go back to Lucy's!


  1. Offering your weeding services is a brilliant idea!

    I love that (as you mentioned) Lucy's garden extends beyond the private space out into the parking strip where the entire neighborhood gets to enjoy it!

  2. Yes, very generous of Lucy! Especially putting the piece de resistance (in my mind, those amazing mosaic carpets) in the parking strip.

  3. I LOVE the bohemian vibe of the stone carpets.....great garden tour!

  4. Incredible garden! How lucky you were to see it and how lucky we are that you posted about it! I've been a big fan of Jeffrey Bale's work since I first saw his garden featured in the book A Man's Garden. Portland has so many cool gardens!

  5. How clever of you to visit this garden right off the bat. I have been a member for years and just got around to it...posted and linked to you.

  6. Those stone carpets are brilliant - such a good idea!
    Be great to do one of those in the seating area of a garden to create 'outdoor home-ness'. Love it!

  7. Lovely garden. Can u tell me where exactly the garden is. Looks like I will be able to enjoy quite bit of it front the side walk.

    Thanks for posting the pics

  8. Great choice for your first Open Garden, Bria. Lucy has got it going on, and it's always a treat to see the private parts of her garden as well as the public sidewalk areas. If I were looking for cozy urban digs, I'd apply to be one of her tenants and get to enjoy that back garden every day!


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