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5050 SE Stark • 503-231-5050

9000 SE Division • 503-788-9000

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Portland Nursery

Summer leaves
make me feel fine

Featuring Stephanie Mack
Tree and Shrub Buyer

stephanie160Each month starting in 2007, we have written-up a tree or shrub that is in season. Usually “in season” means that the plant is blooming, so when I set out on this glorious cool morning I was on the lookout for something very particular.

First, it obviously had to be a tree or shrub in bloom. Second, it should be something that we had not written about previously. Third, it should be highly inspiring, because if inspiration did not strike, the article may never be finished.

I wandered through the yard with my camera, stopping at the usual suspects to snap photos. Rose of Sharon? Pretty flowers, but boring (apologies to the lovers of the plant, but it’s just not my cup of tea).

Crape Myrtle? With glorious flowers and leaves and bark it looked like a winner, but alas, had been done years ago. Hydrangeas, Summer Sweet, lists of plants for Dry Gardens, all done before. (Continued below the photos)

Stephanie's Summer walk through Portland Nursery!

Finally at what would have been the end of the path, I snapped a shot of ‘Summer Chocolate’ Albizia (Silk Tree) and inspiration hit! It’s about the leaves! Leaves are sooooo pretty.

And summer is full of gorgeous leaves that we often completely ignore behind show-offs like dahlias and roses and tomatoes.

After that point everywhere I looked, foliage jumped out at me: stalwart needles with flushes of creamy new growth; sexy lacy purple Sambucus; fat blue banana leaves that appear lit from within when the sun hits them just right; the perfect symmetry of palms; the fuzz that covers the new leaves of some Rhododendrons.

So many colors! So many textures! Leaves begged for their photos to be taken and I complied.

My hope is that some of the clear inspiration I experienced this morning will rub off on you, and you too will be seduced by the wiles of the leaf. They are much more than just clothes for branches and backgrounds for flowers.

Stephanie Mack

Tree and Shrub Buyer