Argyle Park Topiary Garden (Public Demonstration)

Argyle Park, near the Portland Zoo, hosts a 5-acre topiary garden, complete with turtle pond, that was built with funds provided by the state lottery. The garden is pet-friendly, and people can often be spotted walking their dogs amongst the spiral, oval, and animal-shaped trees. Our initial design sketch shows the complexity of the overall … Read more

Three great flowering trees for Portland gardens

Magnolia Blossoms

A spring stroll through nearly every neighborhood in Portland will reveal an interesting commonality. Portlanders love their flowering trees. However, not all flowering trees are created equal, and some are just more suited to the local environment than others. Our three favorites, which are also included on the City of Portland’s recommended plant and tree … Read more

Five must-have plants for a cottage garden


The English-inspired cottage garden is a wonderful way to create a loose, flowing, eclectic landscape that attracts lots of wildlife, especially various bird and beneficial insect species. While this type of landscape screams variety, there are five plants that are especially desirable in the cottage garden. 1. Coralbells Coralbells are tiny pink, red, or white … Read more

Save water with succulents

Succulents cactus variety

While “drought” might not be the first word you’d associate with Portland, water conservation is still a goal of many local gardeners. Whether your interest in a drought-friendly garden is primarily for cost-savings, eco-consciousness, or the unique style, you’ll find that gardening with succulents is extremely easy, rewarding, and relatively inexpensive. Just make sure to … Read more

Rock Garden (Private Residence)

An eco-conscious family wished to convert their landscape to a water-saving rock garden, with succulents and other low-water plants. This can be tricky in a rainy climate like Portland, but with the appropriate gravel-based soil and subsurface drains, the resulting landscape is thriving in the Oregon climate. Lavender and tufts of dryland grasses peek out … Read more

Cottage Garden (Private Residence)

The owner of this 4-acre property, just outside of Portland, wanted a cottage garden reminiscent of the summers he spent as a child at his grandparents’ home in England. The result was nothing short of spectacular, with tons of color and lots of cobblestone features.

Controlling weeds without chemicals

Planting inside weed barrier

April rains bring more than May blooms. They also bring weeds, weeds, and more weeds that quickly destroy the look of that perfectly planned garden. However, don’t immediately reach for chemical-based weed killers. Today’s fabric and plastic weed barriers do an excellent job of keeping weeds at bay until a desired groundcover is established. Once … Read more