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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.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Garden of Paula & Duane Rutan

Meanwhile back on our July 27th tour of "Treasures of the South Sound," the next stop for Alison and me was the Rutan garden on Lake St. Clair in Olympia. 

 Scenes from the driveway.

Paula has a keen eye for color.  The leaf color of Pelargonum (zonal Geranium) 'Indian Princess' mirrors the color of the Antirrhinum (Snapdragon)

Paula is also has the magic touch with mixed containers.  Look at how the center coleus brings together all of the other colors.  Very well done!


I'm a fan of lilies, especially oriental lilies with their heavenly fragrance and this garden included large drifts of lilies at every turn.  Paradise!

This garden and it's setting are stupendous and since I've run out of superlatives, I'm going to share with you part of Paula's statement about her garden.

"Welcome to my crazy-quilt garden!  Here you will see a 3/4 acre home garden that I consider to be a very personal expression of my life-long love of gardening.


There are no plans from professionals or garden books here.  I am an old-fashioned flower gardener who has found the Pacific Northwest an exceptional place to enjoy experimenting with bulbs and perennials.  This is a layered garden.


I have planted thousands of spring and summer bulbs and perennials since 2005.  In summer the display of flowers is lush.

The front yard border is overstuffed with Asiatic and Orienpet lilies, poppies, daylilies, crocosmias, nepeta, and warm colors of snapdragon grown from seed every year.

The bark berm  along our property line is now a garden of roses, fragrant oriental and speciosum lilies, hardy fuchsias, bleeding hearts, and foxglove. 



 More lilies!  'Conca D'Or' towers over all of them.  There is no excaping their fragrance!



Arbors, some built by my husband, are draped with golden hops or clematis in my favorite blue hues, along with the rose 'Madame Alfred Carriere' and musk roses.

"Lakeside Blue" ceramic pots are everywhere, overflowing with edible and floral displays.  The back hill, a natural tangel of blackberries when we came here, is festooned with mophead, lacecap and paniculata hydrangeas in colors that reflect the lake's presence, reinforced by perennial geraniums."

A lovely surprise was coming around a corner and seeing the lake in the background!
 
The garden continues all the way down to the water! 







Close to the house is a raised garden of tomatoes, many grown from seed.


There are plenty of spots to sit and enjoy the fragrance, the view, the beauty of this special garden.








Looking back up from a lower seating area.


Paula's right, this pot perfectly echoes the colors of the lake!

Gorgeous Aconitum!  (Yes Scott, you need some!)  
 
 Ever closer to the lake.  I'll bet that the frogs sing the Rutans to sleep in the summer.  Sweet!


 Now this is what I call a well-integrated water feature!

This is one of those places where you can just point the camera anywhere and find something incredible to fill the lens.




I so would have loved to have stayed here, dipped my feet into the lake and savored the gorgeous day and the heady fragrance of lilies.  That sort of thing would probably not be appropriate although it's not specifically mentioned in the Garden Tour Etiquette section of the Northwest Perennial Alliance open garden  book.


Here's the bark berm that Paula mentioned with the roses and one of her husband's arbors.
 
 
"Sunglasses recommended!"
 
Many thanks to Paula and Duane for opening their garden to NPA members and for the yummy cookies and cold drinks! 

25 comments:

  1. This garden was so lush and colorful! I took quite a few pictures, but they just didn't do the garden justice or get across the sense of how big it was. She says only 3/4 acre, but it felt so much bigger. I loved looking at your photos, it helped cheer me up, remembering our summer and how much fun we had. I want it to always be summer with everyone's garden at the peak of perfection.

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    1. It's hard to see how expansive that garden felt and how wonderful. Just a few bulbs to be planted, a few more plants to come inside, maybe I'll heel a few of those pots into the soil for the winter for protection and oh yeah, the begonias all need to make their way into the basement, then the garden will be sort of ready to relax into fall. I hear what you're saying about being summer all year - California, Hawaii, Mexico? Oh well, it is what it is. We did have a lot of fun this summer and should probably plan sometime to go junking once your back is feeling better.

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  2. I could smell the lilies! Well, almost.

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    1. A very floriferous and fragrant garden. It's awesome what they're doing with the internet fragrance transfer!

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  3. Oh, no! I love those blue hydrangeas, a head full of succulents, colorful flowers, lake. Beautiful! Happy new week, Peter!

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    1. Thank you, Satu! Happy new week to you too. This was a stunning garden and setting.

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  4. What a way she has with container plantings...and everything else!
    One day our driveway will look like that. Sure. We refer to it as 'Delusional Drive', which about says it all. Oh, and while we're at it, I think we'll dig a lake out back.

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    1. Yes, a lake out back would be divine! And while you're moving earth around, could you put my house (totally fixed) in the middle of some acreage? (Heronswood would be fine.)

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  5. Gorgeous garden in a gorgeous setting...oh, it must have smelled like heaven...and now to add more Lilies to my list of "must-haves" for next year :-)

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    1. There were so many layers of beauty here, the setting, the beds, the fragrance, the hospitality. Yes more lilies!

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  6. Ah! A timely reminder: plant more lilies.

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  7. Wow! Love the rose berm, and all the borders! So lush, so full, and so colorful. And those lilies! Again, I'll just say - Wow!

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  8. Amazing garden! I love all the lilies and the arbors covered with blue clematis!

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    1. Do you think they'd notice if we just sort of moved in?

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  9. Crikey ! The lilies, the lake, and all that lawn one could dig up for...more plants !!!

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  10. Peter, you showed the big garden, big lake, many flowers, plants and water lilies. All is beautiful. I love canna, its leaves and flowers are there everywhere, as lilies are stunning. Thank for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for coming along, Nadezda! It's always a pleasure to share such lovely gardens.

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  11. It's the "layering" that I appreciate, too....along with the beautiful lake, colorful tables & chairs, those squares of concrete (can't think of the right words this morning) arranged like checkered carpet underfoot...Blue hydrangeas always catch my eye; and the "drifts of lilies"!

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    1. Lots of interesting elements here alright. Blue flowers of any kind are so unusual and attract my attention as well.

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  12. It's good to know that there are still some member gardens I have not yet seen. Maybe next year my calendar will allow me to visit here.

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