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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, July 7, 2017

McMenamins - Gardens at the Anderson School

Two words:  Blown Away!  Anna (Flutter and Hum) said of Riz Reyes, Garden Manager of the gardens at McMenamin's Anderson School, " Everything that man touches turns beautiful!" I couldn't agree more.  From his fabulous floral designs to his stellar display garden at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, everything he creates is stylish, beautiful, and chock full of enough unusual plants to make a plant nerd giddy.  The gardens at The Anderson School are no exception.  The gardens have only been in place since 2015 but look well established!



Colletia hystrix is also known as Crucifixion Thorn and is one sharp character!

Several passersby were transfixed by the Eryngium, they'd never seen anything like it.  Notice the opuntia in the bakground.

Callistemon AKA Bottle Brush.

Fatsia polycarpa 'Needham's Lace' 
The grounds are those of a former school and contain a hotel, three restaurants, an indoor saltwater pool, a couple of pubs, a stadium and vegetable gardens to supply the restaurants.  Between all of these are the gardens.







A caged Agave ovatifolia AKA Whale's Tongue Agave.  Free Willy!

 This xeric garden makes one wonder what part of California he's visiting.



In front  of the Tiki Bar and pool building, the mood swings to some larger leaved tropicalismo.


Moving on past the Tavern on the Square and toward the hotel are paths lined with fabulousness and a meadow garden. Clover is used as one unifying theme of the meadows.  It took me a moment to adjust my thinking from an if it's in the lawn mow it or if it's in the beds, pull it mentality and simply enjoy the beauty of clover which fixes nitrogen in the soil and really is a lovely plant.



Oops, back to California. 

In the jungle, the mighty jungle the metapanax sleeps tonight. 







How lucky the future inhabitants of this building going up next door will be to have the pleasure of looking out on such gardens and being able to stroll them as often as they wish. That's really low maintenance gardening eh? Hey, I'm seeing a retirement plan:)



These huge allium seed heads are everywhere.  Is this 'Globemaster'?  I've seen it in other gardens recently and I want to grow it next year!



We parked near California so I got to pass these gardens a couple of times. 

Riz has worked his magic again.  These pictures don't do justice to the scale and beauty of these expertly designed and planted gardens.  I stopped inside some of the buildings and they are, in the inimitable style of McMenamins, over the top amazing. Superlatives fail  when describing the experience of the entire complex.  This place is worth the trip for the gardens alone but the interiors are equally top notch.  Just go!

Speaking of just going, Justin Galicic is hosting the sixth annual Normandy Park Garden Festival on Saturday.  This is a fun and free event for the whole family in a truly amazing  garden.  This year's guest speaker is Sean Hogan of Cistus Nursery in Sauve Island, Oregon.  Of course there'll also be a plant sale... For more details, look here.  To see posts of some previous festivals look here.  Hope to see you there! 

21 comments:

  1. You'd have to arrive a half hour early just to enjoy parking your car in such a place.

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  2. An inspiring garden with so many take away ideas. Some of it looks very familiar in Texas too. Now I know what to do with extra barrel rings that have been hanging around. Looks like it is time to Free Willy which is hilarious. I'll keep them away from the whale's tongue.

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  3. Thanks for the visual treat, Peter. It was every bit as lovely as I expected We are heading up to BC later this summer. I will definitely try to work in a stop at the Anderson School - it looks fabulous!

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  4. Ha! Free Willy! snort coffee. I am not sure I could make friends with clover in my own, garden, but on a grand scale, low maintenance meadow it could work. The iron fence, right above the allium photo, is gorgeous.

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  5. Thanks for this post, I've been trying to figure out a way to get up there myself but so far no go.

    I had no idea the gardens were so large, Riz really has a lot of space to work with! He'd mentioned getting an Agave or two stolen, I wonder if the caged A. ovatifolia is in response to that? I hope he has a plan for freeing, uhm, Willy, sooner rather than later...

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  6. So much fabulosity! Thanks for sharing your photos. Looks like this garden rivals the Kennedy School, both in size and plants. I need to get my butt up there soon. I've left some clover in a couple of my beds this year, and almost cut some for a bouquet once earlier this year. The big purple flowers are pretty. Of course, I have it everywhere in the front lawn, in fact the front lawn is mostly clover.

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  7. All parking areas should look so nice!

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  8. since 2015? If only gardens like this were made in Los Angeles!

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  9. Oh my goodness! To me it is amazing how many different gardens and nurseries you have around your area.

    If you moved into that building that is awaiting occupants, I know you'd be out there volunteering to work in the gardens. Once a gardener, always a gardener.

    Happy Summer ~ FlowerLady

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  10. I am amazed that in such a short time this garden has filled in and looks like it is so healthy. Beauty abounds.

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  11. Yes, those people who will be living there are very lucky! I agree, the guy is very talented. Some people have an amazing talent with design! Thanks for the tour: Now I know what I must see when I travel out there!

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  12. Great tour! Ha ha, yes the perfect retirement plan-move in next door to someone else's high maintenance garden.

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  13. I can see why you are gaga overt this garden, but I'm not so sure. Why are we doing desert landscape in the northwest? What will this look like in the winter time? I guess I'll just have to go see for myself.
    Thanks for the tour. We didn't make it to this one.

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    1. A good question. Possibly it's a maintenance thing as this desert area will thrive with very little. Perhaps water conservation? It's a curiosity, like elephants and tigers at a zoo. The desert garden was only one part of the whole series of different gardens that weave around the former school buildings but I focused more on that area because it's so different and unexpected.

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  14. It's great when a garden is managed by a plantsman, so much variety and so many unusual plants!

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  15. I think Reyes does California better than California does California. My favorite combination may be the one featuring Allium, clover and grass - simple but effective!

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  16. wow. I thought I might need a gravel garden now I know!

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  17. Love the mix of plants - especially the CA poppies planted with blue Campanulas (or are they Geraniums?).

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  18. It's so great that McMenanmins plants real gardens in their venues where space allows.So much nicer than the souless arrangements of tortured mown and blown meatballs and cubes grown in most commercial environments.The beer's good too.

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  19. Having known him only for his floral arrangements (which are truly drool-worthy) I must say you're right: he has the Midas touch.

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  20. That's a real CA garden, Peter. When I've seen caged agave I thought the owners cover it for winter, ha! That's force of habit! I liked Eryngium, it grows well in my garden too, is hardy enough. Your retirement plan might be successful in such place like this :-)

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.