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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.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Garden of Trang Tu

Back on the Northwest Perennial Alliance open garden tour trail with Alison back in July, we had the pleasure of visiting the garden of Trang Tu.  One of the many things that the organizers of the tours did well, in my opinion, was to include a wide variety of garden situations and styles.  We visited only some of the open gardens this year but were treated to sprawling country estate gardens, much more compact gardens in  urban settings and everything in between.   
 

Of the gardens we saw, this one was the smallest but was clearly the garden of someone who loves making her garden, spending time there and welcoming others to enjoy her creation. The house sits way back on the lot.  Notice how we're in the middle of the two houses flanking this one.  

Off to one side of the concrete drive is this  lovely vignette.

Utilizing every inch of available space, the wall of the shed behind the house is covered with interesting ornaments and colorful plants.


Love this repurposed  object dragonfly.


Succulent gardens in containers.  The rusty iron pot is  outstanding used  as a sedum planter.

Simple and effective!  Notice how the lavender bottle picks up the similar color of the blooms.


Let there be light!

Every nook and cranny of this garden holds whimsical pieces to enjoy! 


One of my favorite containers in Trang's garden is this metal locker/drawer thing.

It's especially thoughtful that the hosts provide refreshments for their visitors.  Notice the repetition of the shiny copper color in the lanterns milk can and hosta leaf casting.

Vegetables mingle with ornamentals. The hand made bamboo trellises are very nice and have given me an idea about what to do with my garage full of timber bamboo that must be cut from my grove every year or so.


Looking back from the vegetable garden to where we entered the garden you can see that the space here is limited but it's used so well that this feels like a garden of larger proportions.





 Watch out, attack kitty on guard.  Dig the steely look in his eyes!  (Yes, you may groan.)
 Window sash with mirrors replacing the clear glass are a clever way of visually expanding the garden.  What a nice garden, wonderful gardener and thoughtful host. 
Thank you so much for opening your lovely garden for us to enjoy!

30 comments:

  1. All the gardeners we've met on the NPA tours have been so nice! This garden really packed a punch, with so many subtle touches like the lavender bottle that matched the flowers. I saved some beer bottles from my son's recent visit, but they're all brown. I'll have to use chocolate flowers to match them!

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    1. You know, most gardeners seem like really wonderful people! You could use a bowling ball, preferably brown, as a base and glue (silicone) the bottoms of the bottles all around and create an interesting looking piece. Leave the thumb hole open to place the thing on a piece of rebar. Make a few in different colors and you could have a bouquet

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  2. I like this garden, especially all the garden art and found objects. Small gardens can be very cool because they force the gardener to be very deliberate about their choices.

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    1. The more gardens I see, the more gardens I like! Each reflects the personality of its gardener and it's interesting how that plays out with a variety of resources like space, time, budget, etc. This garden was full of well chosen and interesting objects.

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  3. It is so important to have a mix of garden sizes on a tour, who wants to look at big expensive estates all day long. Bringing it down to "our" level every once and while is important, part of why I love the HPSO Open Gardens so much. They're real!

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    1. Preach it sister! I agree wholeheartedly that the variety is vital to keep things from getting boring!

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  4. I always tune up my groan & giggle mechanism before reading your posts...but thanks for permission.

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    1. It's nice to know that you still find my predictable and low form of humor amusing after so long. Thanks for laughing!

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  5. Beautiful it all looks. I like the atmosphere :) Regards.

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    1. It shows what can be done with a small space like your beautiful balcony garden Joanna. Happy Wednesday!

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  6. An enchanting garden, I like the last shot with the mirrors, very pretty.

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    1. Although most gardeners wish for more space, we create our versions of Eden wherever we find ourselves, blooming where we are planted.

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  7. I'm glad this cool garden was included on the tour. Sometimes tour gardens seem so inaccessible because the gardener is either filthy rich, has a garden crew, etc. They just don't seem achievable with a winning lottery ticket or a sprinkler system. I like how spunky this garden is. It's an excellent example of using what you've got. I like it! :o) Happy back to school! Let the stress train begin....

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    1. Great use of a small space! OMG, I've been at school working and it's quite an adjustment. Although I do several things at once at home during the summer, there's a more relaxed pace. Being back at work preparing for the year would be o.k. except that soon there is a call from a confused parent arriving at the same time as three emails demanding attention and updates in paperwork that must be completed before school starts and filling out forms for H.R. to document the classes I took this summer and wanting to catch up with all of my coworkers. And there is a line in the office of parents who've waited until the last minute to register their kids for school. Did transportation get the correct form from me for that new one? And what goal area will we be choosing to be evaluated on in the federally mandated new teacher evaluation tool. Have you aligned your curricula to the new common core standards? I can't wait until the kids come so that we can actually do what we all got into the profession to do, nurture young thinkers! (And laugh with them!)

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  8. I'm always amazed at people who can do garden art and just OWN IT. I always feel so clueless and wishy-washy. I guess it's like they say, you have to have the courage of your convictions :-)

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    1. You have to really have to make a commitment and go all the way or it doesn't work. I also admire those who can really make it happen with found objects.

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  9. Nice mix of fun/funky and planned. But a blue fescue that's alive and so large as in photo #2...now that's a huge novelty for me!

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  10. I always open your posts with anticipation, the cute beaming boy with his hair standing up straight sets the mood, fodder for my predictable and low enjoyment of the humor I came here to read.;-0 I admire people who can think of garden ornaments, I am pretty much just a dull gardener type, all work and no play, so it's a treat to read playful gardening stuff. The mirrored windows look cool, and the window boxes. Since they have so little space they really make use of every inch.

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    1. Oh Hannah, you are anything but a "dull gardener type!" Plants are the main event, the thing that is most exciting about our obsession. I mean hobby. Some gardeners don't like yard at I their spaces preferring instead to let the structure of the plants do all of the talking. It's all good. This was an interesting garden and used the small space extremely well.

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  11. A charming garden with bags of character!

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    1. Charming is a great descriptor for this garden.

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  12. i just found this post and sent a link to Trang. she will be so pleased to see your photos, the praise, and the comments. And I get to see it too, since I was busy showing my own garden that day. Thank you.

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    1. Always a pleasure to share a beautiful garden!

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  13. Thank you, outlaw gardener, for visiting my garden and sharing it on your blog. My fellow garden group member Linda just sent me the link. Especially as a new gardener, I am so grateful for and humbled by your appreciation and comments. Gardening is truly a joy and so is sharing our labors of love. :)

    Happy gardening! Trang

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    1. Thank you Trang for the opportunity to see the result of your love of gardening. You have a wonderful eye and are very creative. It was a pleasure to experience your creation!

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  14. THIS garden with its creative use of space & yard art is MY ideal. I absolutely ♥ it.

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    1. I'm glad you love this garden, it's pretty special!

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  15. What a delightful, personable small garden. The scale of plants, pots and fun objects is just right for its size.

    Your Perennial Alliance sounds like a great group for promoting individual garden tours. And kudos to these gardeners who brave the (admittedly gentle) scrutiny of their fellow gardeners in opening their gardens!

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    1. Trang has a good eye for matching her selections of plants and objects to the scale of the garden!

      Our Perennial Alliance tour schedule is much like your HPSO slate of tours. It's great to have these organizations so that we can see so many cool gardens.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.