-

-
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, September 13, 2013

So, There was This Good Looking Cowboy Standing by the Side of the Road... The Garden of Shayne Chandler

As our group of garden bloggers made our way to the Heronswood sale and garden open, we passed a cowboy standing by the side of the road next to a sign that read "Rare Plant Sale."  One of my passengers said that she didn't even notice the sign.  I decided before we got to Heronswood that we'd have to stop and look at the plants on our way out because one never knows where a green treasure might be found.   Really, it was all about the plants, right ladies?!

There were indeed some interesting plants in the bed of this truck.  When I asked if this fellow had a nursery or some sort of business at which he grew these plants, he invited us to see his garden.  Polling the group, and calling the ever gracious Sally Priest at WeHop to let her know that we'd be a little later than we thought, we followed this stranger down a hilly dirt road.  The strains of dueling banjos were playing in my mind as we followed deeper and deeper into the woods.   We were in for a surprise alright, a truly delightful one!


It turns out that our roadside cowboy was none other than Shayne Chandler,  garden designer, plantsman, and genuinely nice guy!




His five acre garden in Kingston is quite a change from the much smaller urban garden in Seattle that he left behind only a few years ago.  Believe it or not, this garden is still fairly young.


this Mahonia bark had all of our cameras clicking.  Great texture, yes?

Shayne was extremely generous with his time and  was happy to answer our many questions about his truly gorgeous garden.

Several water features throughout the garden gently flowed.  They were so well integrated into the landscape that they seemed as if they were naturally occurring rather than man made. 


Shayne's garden is full of great plants like this Fatsia japonica 'Spider's Web'



Impressive Nolina perfectly hardy in the ground.  The Cussonia, not quite so hardy, adds a nice foliar contrast.


Yucca recurvifolia  'Margaritaville' is one of Shayne's favorite yuccas.  It's a stunning plant!

We had the good fortune to walk through part of the house to get to the  garden in back.  The views from the large windows were serious eye candy!




One of my favorite things about this impromptu  tour was that the garden wasn't primped to the point of being nearly sterile. This is a tremendous collectors garden, beautifully designed and also beautifully lived in and enjoyed!  Hooray!

We may complain about our damp winters sometimes but where else but in this region can one have this kind of evergreen backdrop for his/her garden?


This Schefflera delavayi must have been nearly fifteen feet tall, the largest that any of us had seen. 

A pirate, three fair maids, and a cowboy.   A Gilbert and Sullivan moment if ever I saw one. 



Trachycarpus fortunei underplanted with Iris confusa is a terrific combination.! 



Another beautifully integrated water feature.

Love this tropicalismo area.  If Gilligan, Ginger, and the Professor popped out at any moment, no one would have been in the least surprised.
The paths just keep drawing you further and further into the wonder of this place.  It's interesting because in each area, you think you've seen the whole garden but when you follow explore a little further, you find that what you think might be little side paths suddenly open to wonderful vistas like this one.

I was drawn to this abutilon & just today realized that I already have it blooming its sweet head off in my own garden.

 
The delicate softness of this pine along with it's silvery color are thrilling.  Fortunately it was close enough to touch!

Looking up the sledding hill where Shayne's boys play on the few snowy days we get in this area.

This is one of those places where one can simply point a camera in any direction and get fabulous pictures!



Handsome agave!  I've been amazed at how tolerant these plants are of a little shade. 
The pavilion looks very comfortable.  I wonder how much time Shayne actually gets to sit here with five acres of garden to tend?


The other side.


Lovely collection of xeric plants.  Is that Agave ovatifolia in the foreground?  Where's Loree?
 
There she is of course!

Just when you think that there can't be any more, there's a kitchen garden with a greenhouse behind .

A path back to where we parked.

I just bought a climbing Aconitum a few weeks ago, now I know where I'll plant it! 

How fortunate we were to be allowed the privilege of seeing this special private garden!  Shayne has invited us back to see more gardens that he's designed so friends, let's think about sometime after the Garden Bloggers' Fling in Portland.  Perhaps late in July or early August before the Fronderosa Frolic.  Thank you, Shayne, for sharing your beautiful  creation with us and for inviting us back!

P.S. we learned the term "Indoor-Outdoor Plant" from Shayne.  Although it reminds me a little of the rug type, it perfectly describes the many plants that many of us grow that are part of the spring/fall migration  or at least need to come inside for the coldest parts of the winter.  I call these plants perfectly hardy here (in the summer.)  Now when I see a plant labeled zone 9 or above, I'll simply think, "Indoor-Outdoor Plant."

38 comments:

  1. My kind of garden ...my kind of cowboy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, wow, wow! What a discovery! I forgot about my morning coffee reading your post. A piece of paradise right here, in our woods! Water features are great! And the plants... I am speechless. Thank you SO much, Peter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are more than welcome Tatyana! I wish that you had been with us to see this spectacular garden. Hopefully next time you can come and explore this garden with us.

      Delete
  3. That was such an amazing garden! I'm so glad we got to see it. I guess you never know what you'll see when you stop for someone selling his wares at the side of the road. I would love to see more gardens that he's designed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a serendipitous stop! It was so nice of Shayne to let us see his private garden & I would love to see more of his creations too!

      Delete
  4. How lucky we were! You captured all the great shots...fun, fun, fun! Thank you Shayne!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait to see everyone else's posts about this garden!

      Delete
  5. Just driving along looking for gardening adventure and you find this amazing garden. The best gardens combine look and feel of a collector's garden designed to be enjoyed and lived in. The plants, the pavilion and the water features set with the surrounding natural woodland is just gorgeous.

    It's a bit surreal to see all those xeric plants in such rainy, green locations but I do like the contrast. You are right, we cannot grow the lush green plants of PNW even in containers so the flip side is not possible in our xeric climate.

    Many agaves are high altitude hillside and canyon growers so they get a good bit of shade in their natural habitat. My A. ovatifolia suffers a bit from too much sun sometimes so they would do quite well with your limited sun.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved that about this garden - amazing plants everywhere and still space for a sledding hill!

      We are pretty lucky in the PNW to have this ubiquitous beautiful towering evergreen backdrop.

      I really should learn more about agaves as I now have quite a few of the buggers!

      Delete
  6. Oh Peter - you got some great shots of Shayne's Eden. We were so lucky to be able to visit it! YES! Let's go back and see more of his work - I love the idea of next summer. I have a feeling we could spend an entire day just touring his gardens - fabulous indeed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm wondering if we could spend a couple of days on the peninsula; one for the Heronswood summer sale/Shane's gardens and another for nurseries, some of which we missed this year. Congratulations again on your big news and let me know if I can help you in any way!

      Delete
  7. Oh...to have 5 whole acres...can you imagine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can imagine that one would probably simply live outside from late February through November. Sounds heavenly, right? I think that a bunch of us should buy a large piece of property somewhere (maybe Sauvie Island?) and each build a home on five acres or so. We could each have our own gardens & privacy but could jointly maintain parts (orchard, vegetable garden, etc.) and could enjoy each others gardens. Sort of a gardening commune or planned community.

      Delete
    2. So, when you're done organizing the Fling, you'll get right on the plans for this, right?

      Delete
  8. Beautiful! I see Debbie T in there with her camera. I envy you having so many wonderful gardens to tour and friends to tour with. We only have four garden tours a year in our area!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Debbie and her camera are never very far apart! I'm very fortunate that there are so many open gardens in this area and that I have gardening friends who like visiting them with me!

      Delete
  9. Wow, great garden, cute cowboy. Thanks for the tour!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Fun chance encounter and a wonderful Northwest garden! Now I know what I want to plant under the Trachycarpus when they get tall enough - iris confusa!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's nice when you see an idea in another garden to use in your own. I saw many in this garden that could translate to my own tiny space and am so looking forward to seeing more of Shayne's work!

      Delete
  11. Oh my....on a few levels. ;) Seriously, you lucky ducks! Amazing, impromptu garden tour. I am in awe of the design, from the textures and foliage to the large variety of plant types. Yes. sign me up. Next year I should be freed up from coaching soccer in the fall and I will be there for a weekend of peninsula tour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hooray! It would be wonderful to have you come up too! I'm thinking that he Portland fling will be a crazy good time!

      Delete
  12. You all have the gleeful look of kids in a candy store. I'm sure the cowboy picked up on the glint in your eyes and knew that you would appreciate a tour of his garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were thrilled to see such a splendid garden by chance!

      Delete
  13. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! That is paradise!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I would have been drooling and you would have had to drag me out. Amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, there was some serious drooling going on!

      Delete
  15. Many thanks for all the nice comments. It was super fun having y'all. I loved showing the garden to a group of like-minded garden and plant fanatics.
    I am definitely up for a garden tour next summer.
    Shayne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you again, Shayne, for sharing your amazing garden with us and for the invitation to visit your gardens next summer!

      Delete
  16. Yes please, do not ever complain about your weather. When I see the pictures from your blog and other northwest gardeners, I am amazed at the diversity that you can grow, plus you have fabulous places that sell really cool plants. I hope all of you appreciate what you have going on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am grateful every day for our climate and spectacular nurseries!

      Delete
  17. I'm late to the party (came via Loree's post about the same garden), but wow, what a spectacular garden and a fun surprise. How cool that you made this connection with Shayne. And I'm chuckling and nodding my head in agreement with Les's comment above, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are indeed lucky to live here. Although some of the amazing plats we saw growing in the ground in San Francisco made me think that moving a little south might not be such a bad thing. I'd miss our green hills and mountains though.

      Delete

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