"I grew Knautia macedonica for the first time last year but have come to adore it. I love how the foliage stays fairly close to the ground, but the flowering stems are these tall, spindly affairs reaching up to 5’ tall. I love how they twist and turn, insinuating themselves through other plants. Also, they are covered in tiny hairs, which means they are amazing backlit." — Scott Weber

I recently paid a visit to Scott Weber, an avid gardener whose evocative photography graces the pages of his popular blog, Rhone Street Gardens. As it happens, Scott is also on staff at Portland Monthly Magazine in the production department.

Scott recently showed me and my friend Josh McCullough around his small but densely packed floral orgy of a garden. I noticed that nearly all his plants are herbaceous perennials – barely any woody plants, except some Clematis vines and one Rhus typhinia ‘Tiger’s Eye’. Scott is a true perennials-and-grasses guy, with a clear fascination with the endless lush combinations produced by planting flowers and grasses together.

I asked him to pick his five favorite grasses and perennials at the moment. His first response: “WOW! Choosing five plants is hard!” But he knuckled down and gave it a shot, whittling his list of beloved plants down to five favorites, and giving me some photos from his own garden to boot (click on "View Slideshow", above), which I hope will let you see why these are such magnificent choices for Portland gardeners. May you find his images as inspiring as I do.