Friday, August 26, 2011

This garden is Crazy Colorfully Cool!

I recently had the opportunity to spend the afternoon in the garden of JJ De Sousa, designer and owner of Digs Inside & Out here in Portland. Wow…wow. So much fun, so much color, so much spiky goodness all packed into one small urban garden. Heaven. These pictures are all of her back garden… JJ carves up space like I’ve never seen anyone do before. Her back garden feels so much bigger than it is because of all the individual spaces she has created. Plus I think she has even more containers in her garden than I do! (a friend started counting the ones on and around my patio one evening, she stopped at 60, and she wasn't even finished). I wish I had been able to suspend myself 20 ft in the air, or climb up on her roof to capture a great overall shot. Luckily I hear her garden has been the subject of several recent photo shoots (Sunset Magainze and the Oregonian Newspaper just to name a couple) so you will be able to see better photos soon I’m sure. One of JJ’s secrets (yikes…I’m giving away her secrets!) is to always have a place in the garden to lay down. You’ve got to be able to enjoy your space, leisurely! (I just barely made the grade on this one since I’ve got two vintage metal loungers…rarely seen in my photos, but ready to roll out of the garage when the weather is right). I complemented her on this gorgeous Mangave 'Macho Mocha' and guess what, it came home with me! Turns out she had fallen out of love with it and didn’t feel like having to buy it a container (it was still in the plastic pot it came in). Her generosity came back around because guess where I went to buy a container! Yep, her store, Digs. I got myself a nice bright orange one! Back out in the front garden the light had changed and there were too many harsh shadows to do the space justice. Luckily I was able to capture this project she was working on when I arrived, transforming these ultra rad vintage chairs from orange to turquoise. That woman knows how to work a spray can let me tell you! The paint job is professional quality. When I asked if these were for her garden, or the shop, she answered “the shop” fairly convincingly. You’d better hurry in and grab them before she has second thoughts and takes them back home! Finally as I was leaving I made sure to take note of her new custom entry gate just beyond the fence… Exactly what you would expect to great visitors to the garden of a woman so creative and colorful right? Thanks JJ for a very memorable afternoon!

31 comments:

  1. VERY cool! Only thing that would improve on that spikyness is some good beer. I long for the time when it is comfortable to lay outside here - about 9 PM to 7 AM.

    Such great spaces to lounge around in that landscape.

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  2. I think my brain just exploded with garden inspiration. Plus that red fireplace is phenomenal! Great post, much thanks!

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  3. Jeez...this is just gorgeous - thanks for sharing!

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  4. I love all the orange and red! And it looks like she spray-painted cement blocks in one of the pictures, to hold plants? Hmm...might have to rethink how I feel about those drab cement block succulent walls.

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  5. Wow...full on gorgeousness. Now, you must have come back with the answer to yesterdays trellising post ? With all that to take in. Did you ask her for any ideas ?
    I've been after that red fire orb for years.

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  6. What a colorful, fun and interesting garden. I'm still lusting after all that montbretia.

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  7. Wow, that is a cool garden, but full of my my favorite hot orange. I guess the cat is cool, but I love that dog.

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  8. You brazen woman, get your hand away from that agave pup --kidding, Loree! What an astounding garden, such close kin to your own danger garden. My mangave just had a little pup, which was thrilling, but look at the size of yours. Wonderful use of color.

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  9. Loved seeing this beautiful garden, thank you! I like the corrugated metal fence, so chic.

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  10. Sooo amazing! I dont think anyone could drag me inside to do housework with a property like that! I am so impressed.

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  11. Spectacular garden! I can see you empathize with JJ's spiky tendencies. The glimpses of the gabion walls is intriguing. They're supposedly getting to be popular, but I as yet have to see one in person where it's being used in a domestic garden. It works well with the other metal surfaces.

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  12. I could spend hours looking through all of her containers. See has a great eye for color pop!

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  13. Totally amazing! Didn't notice any petunias or marigolds, though. Thanks for sharing this fabulous garden!

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  14. It's wonderful! Seems like JJ has the ability to take color right up to the edge, then temper it with enough neutrals (brick, paths, etc.) and all her soothing greens to make it work together perfectly. That woman is talented!

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  15. The real question is what does she do with all those plants in the winter.........

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  16. DD, I hear there are often wicked cocktails enjoyed amongst the spikes!

    Jen, would you believe me if I said she got the fireplace for free, because some friends didn't want it? OMG!!!

    Deb, my pleasure!

    Alison, looking at the photo I can see why you would think the blocks have been painted, it didn't occur to me when there that they had been. Definitely a good idea though if you don't like the raw concrete!

    Linda, to tell the truth my blogging doesn't always match the timeline of "real life" I visited JJ's garden before I had the Clematis so no, I didn't get a chance to ask her thoughts.

    Lancashire, ah you taught me a new word, I had to look up montbretia to see what you were lusting after!

    Les, both animals were cool "in person"...and yes the garden was definitely HOT!

    Denise, you know me well! I can see why you'd think that was my hand but actually it was JJ, she was showing me how many pups were in the container, and promised me one when she divides!

    Hoover, I went home and immediately started seeing that fence all around my garden. Perfect!

    Three on Grove, and that's why you'd hire a housekeeper!

    James, and in this case the walls were a little more refined, since they were filled with concrete rectangles rather than rocks.

    Darla, me too!

    Peter, oh god...you have me thinking of doing a little guerrilla gardening and sneaking in a container or two when she's not home!

    MulchMaid, yes she is...and makes it all look so easy when we know it's not.

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  17. Beech Street, she's got a small greenhouse (hidden behind the orange loungers) and the new shed (the pictured black, orange, and metal building) has a clear roof to let in light so some will go in there. Others I believe she just leaves in place!

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  18. wow. container / color heaven!

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  19. That place is amazing! It is arranged with such skill and attention to detail. The tucked in seats everywhere are great too!

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  20. What great form (s) in your garden. It looks like a great place to visit. As a country gardner, I am envious of al your pots which don't mesh well with my low-water home.
    nellie

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  21. All the red and orange really speak to me. Even her shop, cool as it is, would not prepare me for this! Fabulous!

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  22. Great garden tour. I want to see it next time I'm there! I love the corrugated steel fencing, the stacked steel planters, the use of concrete or metal cylinders as planters, and the hot color. So great!

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  23. Incredible! I love all the different settings! The area with the sofas (and lounging cat) I would guess is a great vantage point to sit and enjoy it all- along with the lounge chairs. I love all the color, the variety of containers, just everything. Thanks for sharing. There is not one area that looks neglected.

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  24. A seriously FUN garden.
    Thanks for the colorful tour.

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  25. Wow! I kept scrolling back up and down. Couldn't get enough of the pictures and had to examine them in to the minutest detail. Does she accept house guests? I want to live there. Hahaha!!! :D The agaves in the ceramic containers are amazing. LIned up and in the corner beside the orange loungers.

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  26. What a delight it must have been to walk these garden paths! Thank you for taking such delicious photos, Loree.

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  27. Stunning garden: plants, planters, ornaments, furniture, and arrangement! I've actually bookmarked this page on my list of inspirational gardens...

    I really must veer off from my 'terracotta pots only' comfort zone and start collecting bright, glazed pots, which gives that blast of colour on a foliage garden.

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  28. Splendide !! your posts are always inspirational. I adore your blog.

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  29. The fireplace was free!!!??? Why doesn't that kind of cool stuff happen to me! LOL What a wonderful place. I loved everything! You photos were super and I am with Jen!!! Great idea's are just surging through my brain. Can't wait for spring!

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  30. Shazzam!!!! This amazing place is off-the-charts cool.. ur, hot! Thanks for the virtual visit - would love to find my way there in person.

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