Meet your neighbors: Vicki Lynn Wilson and John Larsen

As we gear up for the Garden Tour this year, we want to take a moment to introduce some of the wonderful Hosts you will be meeting along the way…

Vicki Lynn Wilson and John Larsen
Wilson & Larsen Studio, LLC

Tell us a bit about yourself and your lovely garden:
John and Vicki are visual artists. Vicki is a sculptor and Adjunct Professor at Portland State University. John is a web designer, musician and visual artist with a background in large scale Theatrical Art Direction. Together we create Public Art and are currently working on a permanent installation for the Oregon Zoo’s Cascade Marsh and African Flamingo Aviaries. Our garden is a peaceful extension of the studio. Artwork is often conceived in, sometimes produced in and occasionally retired to the garden. It is enjoyed as a snack and goes well with a cup of tea. We like it best in the morning when there is occasionally sunshine and in the evening when the birds come.

What unique aspect about your garden or its history would you like to share?
4 years ago it was an all grass yard but we understand that the previous tenants were diligent gardeners. Occasionally we still find Shizo or lettuce coming up through the pavers and rocks. Sometimes we let it stay.

What are your gardening inspirations?
We think about design in the garden. Variety in textures and colors and the thick sculptural quality of certain leaves get us inspired. The yard is small so we like a really functional space. Walls and fences are not overlooked. We like an organized garden that is still comfortable to hang out in.

What brought you to the Foster Powell Community?
We moved here from Woodstock about 4 years ago. We wanted to buy our first home in Woodstock but as we looked, we started seeing real potential for the cool neighborhood that is developing here. Little did we know at the time that we’d want to be so involved and that owning a home would make us feel so proud. We used to be the neighbors who would get notices from the city for not cutting our lawn!…Hence the lack of grass at our house.

When not gardening, what is your favorite way to enjoy the neighborhood?
We love to eat at Bar Carlo and the Foster Carts, sip coffee from Speedboat and Sweetness, drink at Slingshot, and shop the good deals at “I’ve Been Framed”

Tell us about community events you enjoy or would like to see in Foster Powell?
It’s so great to see the Bob White Theater coming back to life. More cultural stuff-the street was MADE for it! We would like to paint a mural on Foster. Our wall of choice at the moment would be the Berg Christian building that towers above the Round Table pizza but we are not ready to pursue it yet. We also dream of organizing an annual Portland Art Parade right down the heart of Foster. We are working on starting a community garden at 62nd and Powell.

Your top 5 plants or elements of your garden
The spiral hens and chicks garden can be seen from Google Earth. The raised veggie beds are waist high and operate all year round. Porch covers on the side and back let us work and play outside when it is raining, and it’s always-well, you know. The little cactus box reminds us of our Southwest adventures. Alex “the Destroyer” Jack Russell-because there is no light without darkness.

Your top 5 gardens to visit in Portland
Leach Botanical Garden The Japanese Garden The Grotto Any of my neighbors who will have me Keely and Josh’s garden-(who live in the FoPo but are always busy at Garden tour time!)

Your Top 5 Haunts in Portland
Portland Nursery
The Oregon Humane Society
Georgie’s Ceramic & Clay Co.
Tani’s Sushi on Woodstock
City Bikes

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One Response to Meet your neighbors: Vicki Lynn Wilson and John Larsen

  1. I love Leach Botanical! I grew up just around the corner from there and got married there.Vicki and John’s garden sounds great and I will look for it on the garden tour.

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