Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Garden of Denise Lane

Just up the road a bit  from Wells Medina Nursery is the garden of Denise Lane,  We entered the garden from the side and found no gate or fence just stone paths that looked very natural.

It's almost as if the existing landscape was simply augmented with some choice plants.  However, reading the description of the garden, one finds out that this was all created by a very clever gardener.

"My garden is about an acre, with many challenges.  The base'soil' here is clay.  This, in conjunction with the high water table and underground springs, dictate plant material choices.  Drowning in the winter is a reality in many parts of this garden.  Since the property was purchased in 1988, it has undergone many changes."

"What started with a sport court, ringed with a photinia hedge and native trees, tree stumps and many undesirable plants (ivy, blackberries, 150' cottonwood trees, to name a few,) is today a lush garden with garden rooms, various habitats, and many special features including a natural pond, huge rocks (the largest over 20,000 lbs.) a stone seat wall and stairs, Little and Lewis ruin, and iconic column carved from a tree."

 "Several years ago, a formerly wet, boggy, impossible-to-garden area was improved by building a new water feature with waterfall, stream and of course more large hunks of Cascade granite."

In talking with Denise, I mentioned the many well-situated seating areas in the garden and we shared a laugh talking about how gardeners seldom actually sit in their gardens but guests do.

Which path to explore.  While the garden is about an acre, it seems much larger because of the way the rooms are divided by trails that make it seem like one is walking through the woods and  discovers the various garden areas.

Is that heron landing to go fishing in the pond or just taking off? 

Oh, the choices. 

Oh, there's a house.  Perhaps we've wandered too far.

The Little and Lewis ruin

The use of walls, this one painted terracotta,  as dividers adds structure as the garden becomes a bit more formal closer to the house.

The column carved from a tree.

It's true, there's always an agave!  

"An outdoor kitchen was built in 2007 followed by the transformation of a former sport court into an 'entertainment terrace,' complete with fire trough."

 "Come visit my garden and see for yourself what else might have changed.  Never a dull moment around here!  My husband calls it 'The Neverending Story.'

One of the most healthy specimens of Wollemia nobilis I've seen. It obviously loves it here. 

Aha!  Here's the guy who really does all the work.

Here's Denise in her masterpiece of a garden.  "Your garden must bring you great joy," I said.
"It keeps me off the streets and out of gyms," she replied.

An unusual mushroom growing on an old tree. 

Speaking of unusual mushrooms. 

Time to head back from whence we came. 

One last look back.  Who would have guessed what thrills lay beyond?
Thank you, Denise, for opening your beautiful garden for so many to enjoy!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Garden of Chick Stamschror and Rick Guttu

Chick and Rick's Bellevue garden was open for the Northwest Perennial Alliance earlier this month.  Little did I know that this garden was near Tom's childhood home.  On the way to the garden we visited his elementary school,  the church his family attended in his early years,  and other neighborhood points of interest. 

"I started gardening about 23 years ago when Rick and I moved to Bellevue from Seattle.  I started by removing overgrown shrubs.  The prior owners had very few perennials planted so I started going to nurseries to add color and texture and continued adding plants every year. It didn't take long to realize I was hooked on my garden."

 "My garden is a mix of things I like with no formal plan.  I have a home business and people who come over ask if they can have a tour and say they enjoy my garden." 

My jaw dropped when encountering this bistro set that is exactly the same color as the Astilbe blooms.  Chick said it was a happy accident.  She saw the bistro set at a grocery store at an end of the season sale one year and decided it needed to come home with her. 

You may have noticed that Chick is fond of  purple.   "My side yard is mostly shaded with a purple bench ariea I call my Secret Garden." 

Glass butterflies exploring a tree. 

Surprises abound. 

Did I mention purple?   This repetition of color creates a rhythm about the garden that is soothing and still fun.

"My back patio area gets morning sun and evening shade."

And what color are the doors?  You guessed it!  Love this.

Two glass floats and a matching bowling ball.  How fun is that? 

Thank you so much Chick and Rick for opening your lovely garden for so many of us to enjoy!