A Garden on the Edge
Pat Moore loves to live on the edge; the zonal edge. A plant geek since he was four, he’s had a major fascination with big bright beautiful tropical looking plants for years.
Pat purchased his Northeast Portland bungalow fourteen years ago. He tried to make the shady back garden into a bright vivacious tropical retreat, but he was never satisfied. With two large evergreen trees overshadowing the garden, an old concrete patio, and poor drainage it was not an easy place to garden. Pat used lots of pots full of cool plants to spruce it up, but he had no eye for arranging them. Nothing he tried seemed to help.
When the time was right he contacted Bruce Hegna, an old friend and budding landscape designer. Pat had seen Bruce’s work and liked it. He valued Bruce’s aesthetic sensibilities and his easy going nature. Bruce looked at the yard and understood what was possible. He created a wonderful hardscape and then incorporated Pat’s eclectic collection of zonal challenged plant material into the plan. Bruce wasn’t afraid to use the bold bright colors that Pat wanted. The results are stunning. Bruce incorporated a lovely out building that works as a green house in the winter and a studio in the summer.
The back yard has two garden rooms separated by a riot of lively plants and raised concrete planters. After following a diagonal paved walkway into the back garden, a gravel path breaks off and leads you to a small patio area in front of the sun filled studio. From the shed area you can follow another gravel path to the large patio or circle back and follow the original path. Both lead to a wonderful paved patio that is surrounded by faux-rock walls, wood pergolas, and a plethora of exuberant plants vines, shrubs and perennials.
The garden was installed by John Stone, who has extensive training and experience creating faux-rock walls. “They look amazing. Most people don’t realize they are created. They don’t have that Disneyland look,” Pat commented.
Maintenance has been simplified by having well-prepared garden beds and easy access around the beds. It is also much more fun to be out in the garden working.
Pat’s favorite spot in the garden is the back patio. He loves entertaining there in July and August when the garden is at its vibrant peak. The warm colors are really on fire at that time.
His neighbors were a little skeptical when the garden was being torn up in March, but they changed their tune to “amazing’ as it came together. Now a lot of his friends would love to have such a wonderful make-over in their own gardens.
Pat is very pleased with his back garden, and looks forward to working with Bruce and John Stone to renovate his front yard.