Pat Moore’s exuberant garden in Portland, OR

I must admit that I’m stuck in the summer doldrums at the moment. I’m not feeling much motivation to work in the garden, either because it’s too hot or because the garden is in its brown phase—the color of summer around here. Summer is my least favorite season, and I long for cooler weather and hopefully some precipitation in the fall.

But I still have plenty of photos from our recent Pacific Northwest trip where, in spite of unusually hot weather, green was still the dominant color. Today, let’s go back to Portland, Oregon. After touring Doug and Bruce’s garden, Doug took me to see the garden of a friend, Pat Moore, a few blocks away. Even though it would end being another hot, sunny day, at 9 a.m. the sky was still overcast, providing the kind of even light that’s perfect for garden photography.

This is the first thing I saw of Pat’s garden as we were approaching on the sidewalk:


Lush, leafy, and very Portland.


Abutilon megapotamicum

The front yard is on a fairly steep slope as you can see from the stairs. Pat loves Annie’s Annuals, and even though he’s never been to their nursery in Richmond, CA, he’s a loyal mail-order customer. Many of the plants in the front yard had originally come from Annie’s Annuals.



I love the views from the top of the stairs. So many plants, so many colors, so much variety!



There’s even a small collection of potted succulents.


As you can see in the next two photos, the front garden also encompasses the roof of the garage. I don’t know how many potted plants there are—definitely more that I would ever want to count. Pat says it takes him two days in the fall to move the tender potted plants into the basement, and two days in the spring to bring them out.






Moving around the side of the house into the backyard, I saw potted citrus…




…and even a plumeria! All of them spend the winter in the basement.


The first glimpse of the backyard was perfection. I love how the gate is framed by tropical-looking foliage and you see just enough of what’s beyond the fence to tantalize you.


The backyard itself is every bit as beautiful as I hoped for when I saw the vignette above.


Vibrant colors and eye-catching foliage combinations wherever you turn!















It turns out the backyard was redesigned a couple of years ago under the guidance of Bruce Hegna, Doug’s husband. Read this article about the makeover; it also contains photos of what the backyard looked like in the summer of 2013 after the project had been completed. Amazing how much everything has grown in the two years since then!

Doug, thank you again for taking me over to Pat’s. I wouldn’t have want to miss his garden for the world. Pat, thank you for taking the time to show me around. I hope my photos do your garden justice.


2015 Pacific Northwest trip index


  1. I agree: too hot to work outside after 10 am. Ugh. Summer is my unfavoritest season, too. So I thank you very much for showing us these photos. Brightens things up a bit with so much color and verve. To me, this garden has much more color and many more flowers than the typical Portland garden (which is conifer green). A bit out of the mold. A very summery garden. I love that bright red double poppy and the bright low growing chartreuse-y thing with the flat leaves like grass but isn't. But what does this garden look like in winter? Again, thank you, I am happily just scrolling up and down (three times so far) admiring this lush well-watered flowery garden.

    1. This garden was so lush and flowery, it felt great just being there. I bet things are very different in the winter. Unlike us, most gardeners in the PNW live for the summer.

      The chartreuse grass-like plant you were referring to is Hakonechloa macra, hakone grass. I've managed to keep one going for five years now in my own backyard. It does well here in mostly shade. Seems to be OK with weekly waterings.

  2. What a delight to see such a beautiful garden. What incredible dedication to move pots into or out of the basement for two days! Gardeners in harsher climates seem like they work harder--though I guess we make up for it a bit by gardening year-round.

    Thanks for the tour.

    1. That's a good point about our gardening year being longer here in California than elsewhere!

  3. Such a wonderful, packed-to-the-gills garden - my kind of place. I think I see more tropical plants in the PNW gardens than I do in SoCal gardens - the difference must be the availability of water. I hope you get a break from the heat soon, Gerhard. It's warm here too (mid to upper 80s) but not absolutely miserable (yet).

    1. I think if we had more water, we could have a tropical paradise, too. We certainly have the heat for it!

      It's supposed to get into the low 100s this week here in Davis. NOT looking forward to that!

  4. Loving the exuberance of their beautiful garden! So many different textures and on different levels too.

    Summer is for being lazy :) enjoy before things become busy again in just over a month or so.

    1. You're right, summer is for being lazy. But in my case it's often laziness forced on me by the hot weather :-).

  5. Vibrant foliage in the backyard is right -- wow! This looks like it would be a fun garden to visit, but I do wonder about the basement winter setup -- that's a lot of plants to bring inside!

    (It's also telling that you describe a group of about 30 potted succulents as a "small collection")

    1. I tell you, those folks in the PNW are a committed group of gardeners! Virtually everybody I know in Portland and points north moves plants inside in the winter.

      Wait, I know somebody in St Louis who does that, too :-).

  6. Wow, what a great garden! Everything looks perfect! I love all of the colorful blooming plants! What a treat!


Post a Comment