Scene from the movie 'Coneheads"
Recently I decided to run away from home yet again, this time all the way to Oregon, to The Oregon Garden, an 80-acre botanical garden and resort in Silverton, Oregon, which required an overnight stay. On the way I stopped at Joy Creek Nursery to visit Tamara, blogger at Chickadee Gardens, who works there. While I was there she introduced me to Maurice, one of the owners, who recommended a morning stroll through the conifer garden.
It was a great idea!
When I first got there it was still incredibly hot and I was sweaty and uncomfortable, so I relaxed for a while in my air-conditioned room. Eventually I ventured out to the restaurant for supper, and after that, into the garden, right around sunset, when the temperatures had finally started to go down a bit.
|The sun setting over the garden -- pretty but also pretty smoky, the result of wildfires|
|A bit dark and mysterious, but I ventured in anyway|
|I know little about conifers, but I was pretty sure I recognized the one on the right as a deodara cedar|
|This graceful, wispy creature on the left with its Hakone grass tutu intrigued me, but there was no sign of a tag|
As I ventured around a curve, I saw the shape in the photo below against the darkening sky, and at first I thought it was a cloud-pruned conifer. Then, something clicked in my head and I recognized it as an Agave bloom spike. I actually quickened my pace despite the heat to see if I was correct, and I was. I took a couple of bad photos and made my way back to my room.
In the morning right after breakfast, while it was still relatively cool (in the 70s), I headed back out to see the Agave and the conifer garden in the morning light.
|Don't ask me what an Agave is doing in the entrance to the conifer garden -- perhaps it's just the sunniest spot with the best drainage|
|The tag says Agave havardiana|
|As tall as many of the surrounding trees|
|Swarming with bees|
|One last look at the Agave spike|
|A look back up the slope toward the main resort building|
|The deodar cedar again|
|Its lowest branches droop over the berm and rocks|
I found myself drawn to the texture contrasts, between conifers, and between conifers and rocks and various perennials.
|With Sedum spathulifolium|
|Pinus thunbergii 'Shirome janome'|
|Very drought and heat-stressed, I realized, after Googling it and doing an image search|
|In the daylight I still couldn't find a tag for the wispy conifer with the pendulous branches|
The conifer so heavily laden with cones is Abies koreana 'Horstmann's Silberlocke' and it's enormous!
I have a 'Horstmann's Silberlocke' in my garden, but it's nowhere near this big. I don't think I realized it would ever get this big. According to the history of the garden on the website, the conifer garden was created in 2000, so I can't help wondering how big it was when it was planted. That's only 18 years ago.
More great textures...
|Picea abies 'Cobra'|
|The lower branches snake over the ground, and are interplanted (probably not deliberately) with horsetail|
|The lower branches droop to the ground|
|The tip also droops|
|A nice bench for Beldar and Prymatt|