Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Ferrante Garden

Well, I think I've wallowed in self-pity long enough over not getting to go to the Garden Bloggers Fling in Portland. (Wah, wah, wah! Time to get over it.) I made up for it by taking part in the Hardy Plant Study Weekend, which I've covered in a couple of June blog posts, as well as attending the HPSO/Garden Conservancy Tour in Portland in late June with my friend Annette. Also, while I was away in Massachusetts I managed to take a day to visit a couple of gardens which I have yet to post about. And just this past weekend I went down to Long Beach, WA for the Music in the Gardens Tour. So...I'm behind on posting, which means I better get my finger out and start writing and sorting through my pictures.

You can read about the HPSO/Garden Conservancy Tour here. Basically, it was a joint effort of the Garden Conservancy and Hardy Plant Society of Oregon that focused on 6 gardens in North and Northeast Portland, small urban gardens with the stated theme: "Within the City Limits: Minimum Space - Maximum Results."

Once I start sorting through my photos it's usually easy to see which gardens were favorites -- it's the ones where I took plenty of pictures. We actually visited the Ferrante Garden third that day, but it stood out immediately. It's obvious even with a cursory glance that Jenn Ferrante has a great eye for color-matching plants, containers and garden art and for placing art and creating plant combinations that work.

From the website, in the words of the gardener: "A wonderful large corner lot is home to a seven-year-old garden filled with luscious plants and quirky art. Foliage rules here, with featured areas of both shade and sun plants. I have a definite color scheme, focusing on black, chartreuse and burgundy. No pastels in this garden! Gravel hell strips frame both sides of the garden, containing plants that thrive with little water. The west-side garden is a lovely respite containing an angled deck that puts you right in the middle of all the plantings."

I took a bad establishing photo of the lovely Craftsman style house, but I'm not going to share it.

This hanging multi-paned window and matching containers were on the front porch.

Love this fabulous rusty container

Leaf and flower belong together

These glass lanterns matched not only the foliage but also nearby chairs and seat cushions on the deck.

I love terra cotta containers

This line-up of terra cotta clay cylinders was just below the stairs

Many Flingers have remarked on Facebook and in blog posts that orange seems to be a signature Portland color. Here it is again.

Enormous Kirengeshoma palmata

This metal trough planted with succulents hung on the fence, and was topped with a dead moss-covered branch.

Simple table vignette

The purple barberry and Panicum are pretty common plants, but still make perfect companions.

Water-loving Acorus gramineus is a perfect plant for just below a rain chain

There were quite a lot of rusty garden ornaments featured here as well. We asked Jenn where she got her garden art, and she said she'd bought quite a lot of it at the Cracked Pots Art Festival, which is an annual art show that is taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, in Edgefield, OR. It showcases Northwest artists who make provocative art from reused, recycled and reimagined materials. Read about it here.

I hope you enjoyed this look at Jenn Ferrante's garden in Portland, OR. It was a fun day for me and my friend Annette. We even ran into Loree of Danger Garden and the MulchMaid herself Jane Finch-Howell.