Return to the Danger Garden: back garden in September 2018 (part 2)

Danger Garden back (part 1)

If you think of the Danger Garden as a symphony, the front garden is the first movement, the front half of the back garden the second, and the rear is the third movement with its rousing finale.

Looking back to what I showed you in my previous post:

Even though it's not huge, the chartreuse Circle Pot from Potted is like a beacon: You can see it from just about anywhere in the back garden.

Loree swaps out the plants in the Circle Pot periodically to keep things fresh.

Chartreuse is one of the signature colors in the Danger Garden. Orange is the other. The largest structure in the back garden is orange and impossible to miss:

But before we get there, let's look at the shady corner behind the garage (the dark brown wall):

Ferns, bromeliads, and other shade and moisture lovers:

Since all the plants are in galvanized metal containers, there's a cohesive and harmonious look:

Podophyllum pleianthum

Alright, time to take a closer look at the signature feature in the back garden, the Shade Pavilion:

In the summer, the Shade Pavilion is a wonderful place to hang out...

...perfect for conversations...

...for reading...

...or relaxing in the company of wonderful plants:

But the Shade Pavilion has another purpose: In the winter, it becomes a greenhouse. Loree described her winterizing process in a 4-part post last year. Start reading here if you're interested in finding out more.

Even though I wasn't thinking of winter when I was the Danger Garden in mid-September, it wasn't far from Loree's mind. "Winter is Coming" is the motto of House Stark in Game of Thrones, but it might as well be Loree's, too, at this of year. Since she has so many plants that are too tender for USDA hardiness zone 8, or that need to stay dry in the winter, she either moves them into the basement, or into the Shade Pavilion-turned-greenhouse.

So let's enjoy this straight-out-of-a-magazine view while we still can:

Everything you see—plants, containers, accessories—was deliberately chosen by Loree because it adds to the overall picture, either in terms of shape, texture, or color.

It's impossible to improve on perfection, isn't it? 

Well, maybe add a few pink flamingos? Or a multi-colored piñata hanging from the ceiling in the Shade Pavilion? Just kidding.

Looking at the bamboo behind the patio furniture:

And looking at the far corner of the backyard (the bamboo above is now on the left):

Below are the potted plants you get glimpse of in the photo above (in the 11 o'clock position behind the furniture):

And let's not forget to take a closer look at what's on the table:

Craspedia globosa cuttings, a couple of agaves, a cactus, and a couple of Venus fly traps:

So original, so unique, and so Loree.

Echinofossulocactus species

Agave utahensis var. eborispina

The grouping of potted plants in the next photo introduces a new pot color: turquoise.

It's hard to tear oneself away from the big picture...

...but there's so much more to see:

Towering over the potted plants is Sammy, the Yucca rostrata:

Someday, when I have more time, I'll take individual portraits of each container.  

Now we're getting into my favorite containers at the moment:

Galvanized metal with just enough character, but still neutral enough to let the plants take center stage.

Loree bought at hers at local nurseries and florist shops in Portland, but I found them online.

More pot dwellers:

And more (there's always more):

Looking back at the Shade Pavilion:

And looking in the other direction:

This used the be area Loree referred to as the "Privetlands," but the privet is long gone. What's there now is far more interesting:

Sometimes it pays to go low:

Another perfect vignette in my book (one of so many):

Notice the green and red pitcher plants (Sarracenia sp.) in the back:

There's always an agave, even in the farthest corner. It looks particularly good paired with passion vine on a metal trellis.

One last look at this corner, this time with a better view of the pond-in-a-stock-tank:

And one last look at the patio and Shade Pavilion:

I know I sound like a broken record here, but the Danger Garden is a neverending source of inspiration for me. It's charged with so much creative energy, you can almost hear it buzz in the air.

I came home from Portland energized and full of resolve to be less timid in my own garden, less controlled by doubt, and more confident in my own instincts. And above all, cram in more plants for a fuller look. You can always (re)move stuff later on!

© Gerhard Bock, 2018. No part of the materials available through may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of Gerhard Bock. Any other reproduction in any form without the permission of Gerhard Bock is prohibited. All materials contained on this site are protected by  United States and international copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Gerhard Bock. If you are reading this post on a website other than, please be advised that that site is using my content without my permission. Any unauthorized use will be reported.


  1. Loree is an outstanding curator. Each and every piece in her collection is worthy of careful examination. Thanks for sharing your visit!

  2. Once again I must thank you for your generous words and amazing photography, I’m still not sure I deserve it, but I’ll take it! As I share these posts with Andrew I continue to be amazed by his reaction, you’re highlighting things that he’s not been able to take the time to appreciate previously, thank you for giving him (and me) that!

    1. Loree, you may not fully realize how much you continue to inspire others.

      I'm so happy to hear that I found some vignettes Andrew doesn't often see.

  3. What's also impressive to me is how clean the garden is... not a noticeable weed or scrap of debris. And there's no staff to maintain it this way!

    1. I did spend three nights at Loree and Andrew's house, and there were all kinds of noises in the garden at night. I think that was the elves picking up leaves and combing the lawn.

    2. Gnomes! You did see the gnome post, didn't you?

  4. This series has been a treat. So glad you had some time to visit with your camera! And I can't believe I spied a nursery gallon in the 11 o'clock position photo ;)

    1. You have eagle eyes! These are plants Loree received from Monrovia to trial. I believe she was still trying to figure out where to put them.

    2. Sunset Western Plant Collection, I rather like their chartreuse and orange branding, it seems to fit!

  5. Lorees garden is so damn photogenic, and it looks like you had some nice diffuse light.Love all the details you captured-an exhaustive tour ! Would that I had about a tenth of her design skills.

  6. You're killing me here. Danger is an element but this is a master colorist's graden too. Color is not something I can bend to my will but Loree obviously can.

    If only I could re-arrange my NW trip I would start with this destination. I love seeing what people do in their own gardens to please themselves. This one is a real treasure.

    Gerhard I may need some help kicking myself in the part of my keister I can't reach.


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