Thursday, February 23, 2012

Portland Walks: Japanese Garden

Droplets Gutter in action

We had a wet President's Day in Portland. But it was also a free day at the Japanese Garden. When I'm actually savvy enough to be aware of these free days a little bit of rain is not going to stop me. Okay, so it was a lot of rain, I got pretty wet and a good number of the pictures I took were deleted because they were covered in water drops. But that's okay because the Japanese garden looks amazing in any and all weather. For example, even though "the tree" was leafless, it was still amazing to stand under because every single little branch was collecting a droplet of water. Hard to capture, but the picture above is one little piece of the tree.

More Salal or Gaultheria Shallon Pink  P1460880

There was actually a little bit of color (other than all the shades of green that moss can manage) in the garden. There were still red berries throughout the park, scattered bushes with pink flowers, and my new favorite - because I finally think I've intentified - the cascading Salal or Gaultheria Shallon. I've found it hard to resist taking pictures of this plant, without knowing what it was, since we moved here. It was neat to read that it's a native plant to the Pacific Northwest. And it has some interesting hangers on, Groundcones,  which I'd like to see in person someday.

Fence and Bench Stone Bridge Tea Garden

And then there's all the neat construction/design elements through all the park. So many different types of fence construction, like the one on the left, which has full reeds of bamboo alternating with planks, or the simple low fences tied at the intersections. And stone bridges. I think the rain scared away enough of the usual free day crowd that I could actually hear the transitions between wood bridges and stone walkways - just lovely. And all of these pictures help illustrate how especially mossy it seems right now, and how wet it was that day. 

I'm really looking forward to the expansion by Architect Kengo Kuma. Anything that expands this great garden seems like a good idea, and it is fantastic that they've selected Kuma, his work is a great fit. In the mean time I need to get back for many more visits as spring starts up!


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