Many of the planting combinations found on our site are based on the practical, real-world experiences of our founder, Darcy Daniels of Bloomtown Gardens, as she creates her home garden, makes gardens with her clients, and visits beautiful gardens wherever her travels take her.
And everybody loves gawking at gorgeous gardens, right? We do for sure, so periodically we present virtual garden tours and, when possible, identify plants and combos from our site that are included in the garden.
Enjoy the tour!
THE TURNER GARDEN — Portland, Oregon
Since its transformation in 2013, this sliver of backyard space has become the hub of happy outdoor activity for this family of four. Every inch planned, every inch used; this garden is an example of just how much living can be eked out of even the smallest of spaces.
Beyond a doubt, designing a garden on sloped terrain presents a unique set of challenges, as special care must be taken during planning and construction to ensure a functional and safe end result. Darcy Daniels and Tryon Creek embraced the challenge of working on sloped ground and were able to take advantage of the change in terrain to segment the garden into different living areas and increase the overall livability of the outdoor spaces surrounding this home.
Dividing a garden, even when small, often has the paradoxical effect of making it seem larger; resulting in more interesting, functional and dynamic spaces.
An elevated dining patio, tucked in the upper corner is wrapped on two sides by raised beds made of concrete walls. These two wrapping corners create a cozy, enclosed space and allow for the overheard canopy to be elevated which assists in creating an enclosed and private dining patio.
A Virtual Garden Tour
The outdoor living room with cozy seating around a fire occupies a spot previously relegated to a failing patch of lawn. The garden remodel brought new life to the spot and now a functional and beautiful outdoor room with an all-season, all-weather floor of pavers gets much more use than the previous incarnation of ineffectual grass.
Steel and concrete with their slim profile were natural choices for retaining the slope; a stacked stone wall or boulders would have consumed far too much of the precious garden beds for this plant-loving gardener.
The incline of the garden faces the house’s main living area and is quite visible from inside throughout the year. A rectangular fountain is aligned with a window in the main living area and is a central feature.
Because the entire garden is largely visible from all areas and seen all-in-one-swoop, the plantings were treated as one flowing composition. Selecting the plant palette for the site was challenging as it goes from being quite shady in winter, to quite sunny and downright hot in summer, though only for a few, intense midday hours. Selected plants have to be able to adapt to these sun patterns, which Darcy describes as “shade, shade, BLAST!” Additionally, plants were chosen with an emphasis on achieving that magical and often elusive balance of high-impact, low-maintenance and all-season good looks.
Some of the Signature Plants Used in This Garden
Pictured below are some of the plants used in this garden. Follow the links for full information and to get even more ideas of what to plant with each.
These Plant Combos are from this Garden
The planting combinations pictured below are from the Turner's garden. Follow the links for more details, including the list of plants in each.
Focus: Contrasting Foliage and Texture, Foliage First, Low Maintenance, Mixed Border, Small Space
Exposure: Full Shade, Open Shade, Bright Shade, Shade, Morning Sun
Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8
Focus: Foliage First, Color Theme, Low Maintenance, Mixed Border, Small Space, Winter Interest
Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Morning Sun, Filtered Sun, Bright Shade, Sun
The Design & Construction Team: