things and places for homes and gardens

That’s me in 20 years

Thursday 4 February 2010 - Filed under Gardens + Plants

A while ago, I wrote about a garden that wins the award for Most Small Trees and Shrubs on a Small Lot. I thought I packed the plants in, but this gardener has all kinds of tricks up their sleeve, having created mounds of soil to plant more where there is most likely a solid mass of roots below the surface. I debated before whether this garden was a labor of love or an all out obsession, but seeing it in winter leaves me leaning away from the OCD theory and toward a gardener who is in love with interesting trees and shrubs. Anyone with this many good winter-interest plants was clearly planning ahead.

Summer 2008

Heavily planted yard

Winter 2009-2010


I’m guessing some sort of single camelia, I’m not familiar with it, but it’s unusual, and I can get behind that.
Update: Cindee at Moonstone Gardens identified this plant for me as C. ‘Spring’s Promise’

I’m not really sure what this is either, maybe a Chimonanthus praecox? Something by this shrub was sweetly fragrant.

Some sort of deciduous azalea/rhododendron. I’m not wild about the bright profusion of blooms you sometimes see on azaleas, but these are nice, glowing against a backdrop of bare branches.

And what’s a winter garden without a good witch hazel?

I’m not sure what this is.

I’m thinking this is edgeworthia chrysantha.

Not only flowering shrubs here, some foliage plays a role too. They have several clumps of hardy cyclamen.

More cyclamen I think.

Oakleaf hydrangea.

Not sure what this is, but it’s a nice color combination with the green backdrop.

I have to give them credit, they’ve packed a lot of interest packed in a small space.

2010-02-04  »  megan

Talkback x 9

  1. cindee
    4 February 2010 @ 7:34 am

    Hi Megan,
    I believe the Camelia is called ‘Spring’s Promise’.

  2. teza
    4 February 2010 @ 9:03 am

    Now this is my kind of garden. Obsessive cumpulsive gardening for sure! Yay! Almost makes me want to focus on shrubs for 2010!

  3. tina
    4 February 2010 @ 11:16 am

    Holy smokes! The trees and shrubs are packed in! A bit too tight though as it looks like a cave.

  4. Patricia C, Portland, OR
    4 February 2010 @ 11:21 am

    I stand by my original comments from your June 2008 post:

    Well, it probably wouldn’t look so dumb and stupid if it wasn’t surrounded by all the trappings of modern civilization–creosote poles with telephone, cable, and power wires, which by the way are a leading cause of many a massacred tree; cement streets, patched over with unsightly blacktop (which looks suspiciously like crosses;) pom-pomed, if not outright maimed trees, and row upon row of pansies, marigolds, and petunias from the economy pack at your favorite super store.

    So sure, I admit, it’s a little different, but I still say it’s inspired by nature, which from all indication, fully embraces OCD.

  5. Loree
    4 February 2010 @ 2:38 pm

    I mean this in the nicest possible way (a compliment even)…but really 20 years? I think you’re on track for matching in 10, tops!

  6. Karen
    4 February 2010 @ 11:00 pm

    Wow, there’s a lot going on there… something to be said for the ability to edit, which I think maybe you are a lot better at. You will look down the line to 20 years and make a more pleasing overall design. Plus, can it be good to mound up soil over trees? That will kill them in the long run, they don’t like having their soil level changed once they have been established. Well, I like a lot of their plants. Maybe they dreamed of moving to the country and just couldn’t limit their plant choices to a city lot!?! Nice find.

  7. ricki - sprig to twig
    5 February 2010 @ 12:43 pm

    So many different types of gardens and gardeners. Obsessive, I can relate to. Wouldn’t it be interesting to meet these folks?

  8. Jessica
    9 February 2010 @ 9:07 am

    Hi Megan,

    As recent home buyer, with a first opportunity to have my own garden, I recently discovered your blog, which I enjoy immensely. These days I can hardly keep my mind on my work, as I am obsessed with the garden. It’s like an advent calendar, every day a new surprise of things popping up from the earth. Can’t get enough!

    I thought you or some of your readers might be interested in a presentation this Thursday (the 11th) at the NPSO meeting. Nick Otting, (my step-father, and PNW sedge expert) is giving a presentation on sedges. I’ll be there hoping to glean some useful species and habitat tips.

    Here’s the description:
    Thursday, Feb. 11th, 7pm!
    Talk: The Diversity and Beauty of Carex: Do All Sedge Species Really Look Alike? Carex is the largest genus in
    Oregon, with species adapted to habitats ranging from emergent wetlands to semi-arid deserts. Join Nick Otting,
    coauthor of the Field Guide to the Sedges of the Pacific Northwest, in an exploration of the wonders of Carex.
    Location: Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church, SE Belmont at 54th–church lot parking OK.
    Info: Billy Don@503.515.1708

  9. Conrad
    12 February 2010 @ 12:12 pm

    The “I’m not sure what this is” plant is a shrubby Honeysuckle, Lonicera × purpusii.
    If you look at the flowers closely you’ll notice that they’re like miniature versions of those found on the climbing Honeysuckles, they’re also beautifully scented.