Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Walking on the wrong side of the tracks…

Most of you are probably familiar with the “Winter Walk-Off” challenge posed by Les at A Tidewater Gardener, the idea being that we get out and go for a walk, photographing things that catch our eye along the way. Since I frequently take my camera on walks around the neighborhood I was hesitant to subject you all to another outing. Then it hit me. I never walk east! Okay that’s not entirely accurate, I walk as far as the park but beyond that is a busy street with only one (inconvenient) intersection where you can safely cross. This is uncharted territory! Let's head east...

This house is very close to me, just up the street. I'm not sure exactly who she's hoping to keep out with the chicken wire. Perhaps squirrels?

This is part of the park I mentioned, or at least it's an empty field attached to the park. It belongs to Portland Public Schools and has been empty since they tore down a middle school almost 7 years ago. There is talk of turning it into an urban farm project. They just completed soil sampling and we'll see if the project goes forward.

This is the biggest plant in the whole field. I think it acts as a message board for the neighborhood canines.

Now we've crossed to the "other-side"...

Let me explain. When I say “the wrong side of the tracks” it’s because when I drive through parts of this area it seems a little on the sketchy side. I’d heard there were some nice homes over here but the first block or so looked like a car repairman’s dream. The camera stayed in my pocket. Slowly things started to change. On this side of the "tracks" the lots are bigger, and there are no sidewalks…it has an almost rural feel to it. Although this image looks windswept and coastal...

I was intent on getting a good photo of this beautiful eucalyptus when I noticed...


Is it what I think it is? A schefflera of some sort, maybe? Maybe not?

I walked on...next this "wall" caught my eye. Look at all those patterns and textures!

Horizontal wood...

Triangles of split firewood...

And bricks and blocks...

Across the street was "the side yard"...I had no idea what this was about but a quick internet search told me "The Side Yard is a small scale urban farm...established in 2009...We provide local restaurants with creative organic produce" who knew?

A pair of Christmas tree candidates (why do I have Christmas trees on the brain?)

Pretty pink snow under the camellia...

Comparing the different stages of euphorbia blooms around town is interesting this time of year.

I saw a lot of this pink ribes (?) on my walk.

Would you believe solar panels sell in cloudy Oregon? I'm seeing a surprising number lately.

In front of the solar paneled houses was a bio-swale (very popular in Portland).

This is turning out to be quite the eco-conscious group of houses! I do LOVE this style of permeable paving and wish we could afford to have this instead of our cracked ugly driveway (which we would of course tear out and giveaway free on Craigslist to someone wanting urbanite).

I think an artist lives here.

Whoa! Now for something totally different. This house is in-between the two matchy solar panel houses shown above. As I stood there staring in awe I realized this was vaguely familiar. Oh yes! It's the SIPs House (click on the link and you can see pictures of inside the house too). Love the design, but it's too bad about the tarp on the roof. That's not a good sign. At least it kind of blends and isn't screaming blue.

Love the covered area to hang out during our rainstorms.

They've got a cool driveway too.

The house just down the street had some cool plants.

I really liked this one. It's form is euphorbia-ish but I don't think that's what it is. Anybody know? It is familiar in a "love the foliage hate the flowers sort of way"...maybe I've seen it before?



And another one on the edge of another bioswale. This one has crazy curvy seed pods and babies at it's knees.

Kinda gives me the hebie-jeebies but also pretty...

They're doing the Dusty Miller thing!

Euphorbia lathyris, reminding me I need to plant my seeds!

Another windswept manzanita.

And more solar panels! Nice tawny grass garden too...

Wow, that's quite a green house!

I first noticed the cement accessories under the tree.

But then spotted this...

And this!

And a piggy too!

Turns out the "other side" of the tracks is a pretty cool place to explore, I think I'll do it again sometime! We're getting close to home now, having worked up the nerve to sprint across traffic and end up safely back on my side of "the tracks." Just a few more pictures, after all I had to share this twisty poncirus...

And who doesn't love an in bloom edgeworthia?

I do enjoy a good crocus show (especially when it's in someone else's garden).

That's a happy hellebore!

A yard like this belongs to a certain generation don't you think? Impeccably groomed, but boring.

It's the same type who have this in their driveway (yes I know...not all people of that generation have boring yards...)

And that's it! We're back in the park, near where we started this journey. Thank you for tagging along, and thank you Les for the inspiration to finally explore an area I've avoided for almost 8 years. My bad.

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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