|turquoise metal bistro set, Pomarius Nursery, Portland (May 2016)|
One day last May, I stumbled upon Portland's Pomarius Nursery while walking from a bus stop in Slabtown up to an appointment in the Alphabet District. Pomarius is what the British would call posh, meaning not your average suburban-chain garden center but a nursery for dreamers and those in higher tax brackets. Sections of the nursery are set up like rooms, complete with bright-colored bistro sets and potted table décor atop neo-modernist rusted-metal occasional tables, the pea-gravel paths like textured rugs. Caged parakeets, tropical houseplants, and trickling fountains were tucked inside a humid enclosure. With plants staged in groupings in furnished rooms, the feeling is small-space intimate: a secret garden of topiary nestled within a former industrial district, now turned into high-end apartments and condos, cafés, and doggy-day-care centers with puns for names.
A few months later, feeling a bit homesick for green space in dense, sprawling London, a walking trip to London's Clifton Nurseries reminded me of Pomarius in Portland. In fact, I preferred Pomarius for its modern, casual, confident mixing of global styles—West Coast American, European, Asian—meaning the world has grown much smaller when a small, progressive Northwest American city can, at least in part, compete favorably with a former Empire capital, particularly when that capital is known for its garden culture. Portland is moving up in the world—or rather, the world is moving to Portland.
|peachy-pink rose, Pomarius Nursery (May 2016)|
|Pomarius Nursery sign, Portland, Oregon (May 2016)|
|planter pots, Pomarius Nursery, Portland, Oregon (May 2016)|
|parakeets, Pomarius Nursery (May 2016)|
|indoor pond, Pomarius Nursery, Portland, Oregon (May 2016)|
|round metal table, Pomarius Nursery, Portland, Oregon (May 2016)|
|jade plant, Pomarius Nursery, Portland, Oregon (May 2016)|