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The award for best acanthus goes to…

Monday 14 June 2010 - Filed under Gardens + Plants

Portland World Trade Center Garden
They have some of the best acanthus I’ve ever seen growing in the gardens in front of Portland’s World Trade Center. Big, glossy, deep green leaves that always seem to make it through the winter intact.

Portland World Trade Center Garden
I was at an event at the building recently, and got a closer look at the plants. They have a pretty decent mix of foliage, uncommon for a commercial garden.

Portland World Trade Center Garden
They’ve used rocks to create some dry steam beds.

Portland World Trade Center Garden
This, I don’t understand. I see someone got ahold of some vacant ground in there and blanketed it with some color spots. Hopefully they confine their new planting efforts to this small space. I’d be heartbroken to one day find those acanthus replaced by some boring goofy installation.

2010-06-14  »  megan

Talkback x 8

  1. Loree / danger garden
    14 June 2010 @ 8:03 am

    Very nice!

    Just think if the original gardener is still there. Coming back from vacation or something to find the color spot insult in their plantings!

  2. Jane/MulchMaid
    14 June 2010 @ 8:14 am

    Maybe they lost something big over winter. Then again, maybe they put those ornamental kale there in winter…
    Those acanthus are great! I just moved one out from under some callas that had completely overtaken it. I hope it does even half as well as these.
    I also like the hinoki cypress and that open, skinny pine-thing in the third picture.

  3. Grace
    14 June 2010 @ 10:12 am

    Actually, I was wondering what happened when viewing the third photo, all those snapdragons, evenly spaced like they belong in a marching band. Even if the curator chooses to grow something wintery in those spots, they could have found a better use for it during summer. Those orange gazanias are nauseating. How about one or two of those massive cardoons from your other post?
    Or a few tall, arching hardy fuchsias? Or a bulky Miscanthus? Or a bright yellow Berberis? Or….. Possibilities abound!

  4. Grace
    14 June 2010 @ 10:14 am

    Sorry, I almost forgot. You are so right about the Acanthus, blue ribbon worthy for sure. Absolutely dazzling! And I love the surrounding plantings too.

  5. Laura
    14 June 2010 @ 2:58 pm

    I love happening upon a garden. Especially such a creative one deep in the city. Most just go for that boring planting scheme of one or two plants. The mainstream building landscapes are overrated.

  6. Christine B.
    14 June 2010 @ 5:13 pm

    Hi Megan,

    I will turn to dust before we get creative commercial plant installations like that! Adding perennials around buildings is revolutionary here…no kidding.

    Hope I didn’t presume too much but I linked to an old post of yours about a fake boxwood for my latest post on plastic plants.

    Christine in Alaska

  7. Patricia C, Portland, OR
    17 June 2010 @ 6:28 am

    I wonder what happened to my Acanthus. There was a time they looked fantastic, and now they’re all scrawny and pitiful looking. Maybe they need to be divided? I not very good when gardening gets confusing.

  8. ricki - sprig to twig
    17 June 2010 @ 1:27 pm

    This is what happens when a client decides “Oh, we can do that in-house, rather than pay the professionals”. Scuze…it’s a pet peeve from a former graphic designer. Probably most of the bloggers who comment here could have stepped in and done a smashing job.