This past weekend a friend & I picked up food from Malka (used to be Carte Blanche Food Cart) at their popup at Elevator Café & Commons here in SE Portland. Carte Blanche used to be right around the corner from our house, and to say we were obsessed is putting it mildly. They did the popup to celebrate finally getting the permit for construction of their new restaurant – yay! They closed down the cart just over 2 years ago, so we’re thrilled with the prospect of visiting Malka on a regular basis sometimes soon.
Anyway, this is a gardening blog… so what am I going on about with all this food stuff?! While we were waiting between ordering & pickup (we had a LONG time) we explored the patio behind the cafe.
They had these awesome steel planters that acted as a patio edge. It’s a repurposed industrial space, and they kept industrial finishes, but softened it with wood and nice plantings.
Of course I’d like to replace the bark mulch with some ground cover — like sedum, ajuga, carex, ophiopogon, and some ferns — but for an area on the north side of the building, these plantings are pretty great.
I have no idea who did this for them, but it’s a pretty attractive, easy-care planting that would be nice in any shady spot. The plants include Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant), Dicentra (Bleeding Heart), Mahonia (Oregon Grape), Beesia, and Acanthus (Bear’s Breeches).
You’d have to do next to nothing to keep this looking great year-round, which is a goal for many. If you’re in the neighborhood I’d encourage you to grab a cup of coffee & check it out!