Husband and wife team Nani Waddoups and Ron Wagner created a fanciful garden with Thai influences on a half-acre slope in Portland, Ore.
E-mail This Page to Your Friendsx
A link to %this page% was e-mailed
The highly original garden Nani Waddoups and Ron Wagner created in their Portland, Ore. home is a sophisticated blend of gardening styles incorporating influences from Thailand, which the couple has visited several times, and the Pacific Northwest.
At street level, the garden grabs the attention of passersby with a hilarious, giant topiary face complete with a pink flowering hairdo. After walking through the Thai entrance gate, a hill leads up to the house, which has been renovated to include features from Thailand as well. Along the way, the areas on both sides of the driveway are chock full of low plantings that hold the soil and provide textural interest.
The couple made pebble mosaic tiles to embellish the patio of the house. A potato vine grows up some bamboo, and a piece of driftwood serves as a focal point. In the back of the house is a dead cedar tree that holds whimsical, tornado-shaped baskets made from sweet autumn clematis vines.
The upper garden contains a lap pool, a vegetable garden, berry and herb beds and a greenhouse. A path leading to the topmost part of the garden is lined with oregano, and a euonymus hedge weaves around the back of another Thai-inspired structure — a teahouse overlooking a waterfall that flows downhill. The space is designed for contemplation of the entire garden.
Escallonia (Escallonia sp.)
The plant: Native to South America, this evergreen shrub is named for 18th century Spanish plant explorer Antonio Escallon. Depending on the species, the plant can grow up to 12 feet. White, pink and dark pink flowers occur in summer. Hardy to 15 degrees, escallonias are tolerant of sea spray but do not like hot, humid climates.
How to use it: This evergreen lends itself to shearing for meticulous hedges or topiary. The flowers attract hummingbirds. It is also wind hardy and very clean looking when clipped.
Cultivation: Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. Fertilize in early spring.
Source: Tiny Treasures Nursery
Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alata 'Lime Green')
The plant: Abundant two-inch-long green flowers are shaped like a trumpet on stems that are three feet tall. The flowers are fragrant in the evening.
How to use it: Excellent for a country cottage garden or a natural garden. Plant where its fragrance can be enjoyed in the evening hours.
Cultivation: Grow as an annual, and start seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date in the spring. After danger of frost, move seedlings into the garden where plants should self-sow from year to year.
Source: Kitchen Garden Seeds
Variegated Potato Vine (Solanum jasminoides 'Variegatus')
The plant: A vine with a vigorous, twining habit, the leaves are green with butter yellow margins. Clusters of non-fragrant white flowers appear on this tender vine.
How to use it: On fences to ramble over a small outbuilding or up a tuteur.
Cultivation: Plant in sun in well-drained soil. Not freeze hardy.
Source: Glass House Works
Evergreen Blueberries (Vaccinium myrsinites)
The plant: This is the shiny leaved blueberry native to the eastern United States. Fruits are blue-black fruit. The red and white tubular flowers have both male and female organs and are pollinated by insects. Shrub grows to three feet tall and two feet wide.
How to use it: The fruit is edible and is especially good in pies.
Cultivation: The plants fruit better in a sunny location. Plant in moist, but well-drained acid soil. Dislikes root disturbance. Protect from strong winds.
Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus)
The plant: This biennial produces fragrant, carnation-like flowers arranged in dome-shaped clusters on 15-inch stems. Colors range from red to pink, white and bi-colors. The flowers bloom in late spring to early summer. Hardy in zones 3-9.
How to use it: For lovely spring color to go with iris, roses, peonies and foxgloves; a great cut flower. Plant where the fragrance can be enjoyed.
Cultivation: Grow in full sun in well-drained, fertile soil. Benefits from lime added in fall. Remove spent flower heads to encourage re-bloom. The plants re-seed and will often make crosses.
Source: Plant Delights Nursery, Inc.
Interior designer Susanne Hudson lists her favorite plants in her 3-1/3-acre garden.