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Gardening with Nancy Goldman: It’s All About the Details


Nancy Goldman is an active member and past president, and board member of HPSO. She leads HPSO tours, and is instrumental in putting on our large programs. She gardens in NE Portland, and regularly opens her garden to members. Lucky us!


Oh I do love gardening, especially in the Pacific Northwest. I was born and raised in North Dakota and also spent time in northern Minnesota where gardening is, at times, challenging. I do appreciate the prairie and it is a great place where tomatoes ripen and zinnias and petunias excel. But upon moving to Oregon I quickly realized there was a much wider and broader plant palette.

Nancy Goldman

Photo of Nancy in North Dakota

I’ve been a member of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon for over 25 years. This organization has a plethora of opportunities for gardeners and anyone interested in horticulture… from plant sales to workshops, from speakers to tours, and a big perk is visiting other member’s open gardens. If you are not a member I encourage you to check us out and join. There’s something for everyone and it’s a group of gardeners from all levels who are happy and willing to learn and share experiences.

Nancy Goldman Garden

HPSO Open Garden Sign

I live and garden in NE Portland at Nancyland. Our property is a lot and a half and I’ve been busy filling the space. The front garden, open to the public, has everything from trees and shrubs to perennials and annuals. The back garden is much larger and features over 40 containers along with a bevy of other plants.

Nancy Goldman Garden

Front Garden – Photo by Phillip Oliver

Nancy Goldman Garden - Jeffrey Bale Mosaic

Jeffrey Bale mosaic in the hell strip – designed with found objects

Nancy Goldman Garden

Unique spider on closeup on ‘Miss Lucy’ lily – photo by Craig Quirk

Nancy Goldman Garden

Unidentified dahlia enjoying it’s place in the front garden

Although the garden as a whole gives me pleasure I tend to focus on the details. If you know me you won’t be surprised by that! Even when I visit other gardens I often focus on the details… little treasures, plants up close and personal, and the artistry of a well placed garden accoutrement. Personally I am always looking for new ways to incorporate these things in my own garden. Some of these elements are high heeled shoes planted with succulents, “faces”, and even a sink provided by Sean Hogan, noted horticulturist, planted with shade loving plants. One man’s treasure is another man’s delight!

Nancy Goldman Garden

Containers in the back garden

Nancy Goldman Garden

Close up of colocasia in container in the back garden

Nancy Goldman Garden

Another Jeff Bale mosaic adding color and sparkle to the back garden – photo by Phillip Oliver

Nancy Goldman Garden

“Planted” shoes filled with succulents – a good use for high heeled shoes! Yes, they do have drainage holes drilled into the sole of the shoes.

Nancy Goldman Garden

One of my favorite “planted” faces

Nancy Goldman Garden

Sweet Papillion Jacques enjoying the garden. Quarter ten gravel is our friend! – photo by Janet Loughrey

Nancy Goldman Garden

Is a dog an accoutrement? Yes, I think so!

Nancy Goldman Garden

Jacques loving the garden and enjoyed his favorite pastime – stealing slippers!

My garden is open for this year’s HPSO’s Garden Conservancy Tour on July 14th. Become a member, and Please check out the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon website,, and come visit.

Nancy Goldman Garden

Hummingbird captured in flight while feasting on mahonia ‘Charity’

*Featured photo at the top of the post by Loree Bohl


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2 responses to “Gardening with Nancy Goldman: It’s All About the Details”

  1. Jeff and Diane Wright says:

    Love the Images of your Garden; and it’s so good to hear from you, Nancy. I didn’t know you came from ND. My great grandfather Adam Lemke emmigrated from the black sea to the area around Ellendale in the late 1800’s. He was the green thumb of the family who was known for his constant planting/transplanting around the farm. I believe him to be the source of my gardening genes. Take care!

  2. Rosemarie Eckerle says:

    Würde deinen Garten sehr gerne mal in Natura sehen, den süßen Hund streicheln, ist aber leider zu weit weg für mich, ich habe Flugangst. Ich wünsche dir weiterhin viel Freude in deinem Garten und schaue mir dann wieder deine Bilder an Liebe Grüße Rosemarie

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