My Sister’s New Garden

My sister’s new garden is nestled within hilly SW Portland. It is compact and lush.  I didn’t realize you could harbor such variety and fullness in a small space. Chalk it up to my sister’s sense of order and tidiness.

Meandering nasturtiums splay over the edge of the patio. They thrive on the concrete’s radiant heat.

A curvy flagstone path wends into the back corner, as if there were more to see just around the bend. Crocosmia has nearly finished blushing scarlet; a few sunflowers reach skyward (why aren’t the centers going black, she wants to know).

In their midst stand gayfeather (liatris spicata) and a staked tomato!

The piece de resistance anchors the back wall – two significant clumps of bamboo confined to an elegant wood planter she purchased up the coast. It is both an appreciation of things past and a recognition of bamboo’s beauty constrained by reality: you don’t want these aggressive grasses overrunning your main garden.

My sister tends her new garden with care and delight. Whimsey and prudence. Premeditation and pluck.

The first thing she installed was the incandescent string of lights vining the translucent, shed-like roof over the sitting area, which is the perfect place for enjoying the flora while reading, writing, sipping – or, finding a brother savoring Sauvie Island Blueberries with Barbados Cream. Heaven.


11 Responses to “My Sister’s New Garden”

  • Kate:

    Beautiful garden Jennie! I remember being very impressed with your emerald thumb.

  • Luisa Torres:

    This is so thoughtful! Very organized and vibrant page. Thanks for sharing my mother’s garden with everyone, she definitely tends to it like a work of art; transforming a blank canvas into a unique masterpiece.

  • Awww, I want a photo of the night-lit garden. What is the dimension ?feet x ?feet. Love the curved path and the wild feeling Jen has created. Sauvie Island… so fertile.

  • Meg:

    It is an enchanting place, I can attest to that! And to note, that many of the plants come from our shared succession of gardens over the years, starting in 1982 in NW Portland… passing perennials back and forth, until we cannot recall who started what!

  • it is also a garden of surprise!! I awoke this morning to find gladioli in bloom; the leaves masquerading among montbrecia up til now. ( Michael, come back to see!) I wonder what might emerge next?

    • By montbrecia I’m assuming you’re referring to crocosmia… Glad to hear about your new discovery, may the garden continue to surprise and delight!

  • reining in bamboo and nurturing elaborately simple design makes this little area seem big and uncluttered. You’re magic!

  • Sherrie:

    This is great! Does your sister remember where she got the container? At least which town? It’s exactly what I’m looking for!

  • jen torres:

    Hi Sherrie,
    I’m still in love with that planter, so I hope the info I give you is of some help. I purchased it at the Bamboo Garden in North Plains, OR. A fellow named Lloyd makes them to sell there. In a booklet from the garden there is an ad for his company with an e mail address. the website is and his address is I haven’t had to yet, but these planters are made so that slats can easily be removed to get at the clumps to separate/divide them. Good luck!

  • MichelNat:

    Существует такая услуга – добровольное медицинское обслуживание .
    Она предполагает, что пациент платит небольшую сумму за то, что ходит на прием целый год бесплатно.
    Однако соцопросы показывают, что лишь 4% жителей Санкт-Петербурга знают о ее существовании.
    По какой причине?
    Да потому что частным клиникам выгоднее сдирать с людей деньги за каждое посещение.
    А если честный врач попытается посоветовать добровольное медицинское обслуживание клиенту – это сулит ему увольнением.
    Информация о ДМО уже вызвала много скандалов, после того как информацию об этом распространил один возмущенный врач.
    Его уволили “по собственному желанию”, после того, как он посоветовал ДМО постоянному клиенту.
    Самое невероятное, что официальные положения по ДМО находились в открытом доступе, просто находили на эту информацию единицы.
    Как отстоять свои права?
    О правилах оказания услуги и обязанностях клиник можно узнать, сделав запрос в Яндексе: “добровольное медицинское обслуживание”.
    И именно обслуживание, а не страхование.


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