I have a membership to the Lan Su Chinese Classical Gardens. Of course, that means I hardly ever go–because, after all, I can go any time I like. It reminds me of a million years ago when I had a free season ski pass at Timberline on Mt. Hood. Megan‘s dad was a part time ski-instructor there, and it came with the territory.
It’s amazing I learned to ski at all considering how much time I dedicated to Blue Ox Bar in Timberline Lodge. Ai yi yi. Why must they waste youth on the young? Now that I know I’m mortal, I’m less inclined to take risks involving head and body trauma. I know, this is a pitiful picture of me below, but I’m just saying. (I hope you’re not weary of me mentioning this injury. It’s with me every day, and I’m always planning around limitations of headache and fatigue. Goldangit anyway.)
It’s been ages since I last skied. And even when I think of how much fun it might be, I consider the time, travel, and expense necessary to reach the slope’s edge–for that brief glorious run downhill. That’s a lot of lost gardening hours. (One little caveat: if anyone has a ski chalet and gear and champagne, I’d totally be up for a downhill weekend. )
The other day, I was driving past the Chinese Garden, all by myself, and I thought, if there’s a parking place nearby, I’m stopping. Sure enough, no peanut gallery to object and a parking place right beside the garden.
Turns out, I didn’t have my pass with me–because I’d switched purses before leaving home. I always forget essentials when I switch handbags, but in my defense, the smaller bag is much better for waltzing around downtown hands-free.
The nice man at the entrance window was able to find me on the membership list and issue me a day pass.
Chinese New Year Decorations
The garden is decorated for Chinese New Year. I almost made the mistake of going on opening day. Saved by the Yard, Garden, and Patio show the same day–where I attended two seminars, one by Roger Gossler and another by Vanessa Gardner Nagel. Much better. In fact, Vanessa’s talk got me thinking about mass plantings and its importance in the garden. I knew that, because little Ms. Megan taught me ages ago. But in my zeal for every plant I see, I sometimes forget.
More big bold decorations.
Seems I’m off on a rambling tangent, so I believe it’s time to show you the money.
Lan Su Groundcovers
Lan Su groundcovers are spectacular, and so many of them. I realized with all of these I may periodically conflate Ophiopogon and Liriope and Acorus–even Carex. Understandable, no? Is there a foolproof way to tell them apart, I mean, other than just knowing?
Here’s a closeup. Does that make i.d. easier?
Knowing where to break up the mass planting appears to be an art. I have these plants, just not in this combination. Hmmmm.
I have the tiny Mondo Grass too. I need to showcase it better. It looks great at the foot of surrounding shrubs.
The red berries are no doubt a dead giveaway. I’m sure I’d have done a better job of looking for identities had I worn a warmer coat. Oh I have plenty of warm coats, but I didn’t have one with me. It was so much colder than it looked from inside. I have a great App for weather, but did I push the button? Noooooo.
I know the identity of the plant below, I think. Iris confusa. Pretty sure.
Groundcovers are stars in their own right.
Glorious groundcovers every which way.
Chinese Garden Shrubs
I did look up a couple times. I don’t have any Camellia in my yard, but this would be a dandy. I like its attitude. There’s an online guide to some of the garden’s plants, but not all the plants–at least not that I’ve discovered yet. I bet there is one out there.
This flowering Quince looked lovely with its supporting cast of mini Mondo Grass.
Gorgeous Rhodie with Jasmine or Sarcococa and Bergenia.
What are some of you favorites for mass planting? I’m in the mood–and I’d be thrilled to employ your best ideas.