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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, June 30, 2014

Tatyana's Secret Garden

Tatyana writes the blog My Secret Garden which I've read and admired for quite some time.  Her garden and photographic skill are exceptional!  How exciting it was that her garden was one of the Northwest Perennial Alliance's open gardens and that we'd get to see it in person. 


Having been a fan of this garden via the blog, I was prepared for an elegant and structured garden tended by a gardener with impeccable taste.  What I didn't know was that both the garden and the gardener are full of playful energy and joy.

As soon as Alison's friend Annette, Alison, and I got out of the car, Tatyana almost ran down the drive to greet us.  It was like seeing an old friend.  Such is the phenomenon of the garden blogging community.

 Tatyana says that she might not have chosen this exact fountain (gorgeous isn't it?) but that someone wanted to get rid of it and  she got it for next to nothing.  What a great find!

Tatyana's Fatsia japonica is heavy with fruit. Why don't mine do that?  So lovely.

On to the shade garden.  Isn't that rich green incredible?  sometimes we in the pacific northwest forget how lucky we are to experience this.

Tatyana has a gift for mixing natural and structured elements.  Several northwest natives surround this elegant column.

This is an actual work space which Tatyana spiffed up for the tour but I'll bet it's equally interesting when there's not a tour.  The doll on the lower left is her garden fairy.

A special hosta hybridized by "Hosta Jim"  in a tall pot punctuates the curve to the back garden spaces. 


The gorgeous evergreen backdrop gives the garden a feeling of maturity.  I love them but don't envy the difficulty of growing plants beneath them!     


Here's one way that Tatyana deals with those thirsty evergreen roots.  Clever!



Here is the first Sphere that Jim made.  Unfortunately, due to his health, he's not making them any more but it's nice to know that this first one is in such a special place.


A creative way to deal with a septic tank!


Hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle! 


The cow jumped over thee moon. 

The little frog laughed to see such sport!

This beautiful seating area with potted palms and stunning perennial garden background seemed familiar from Tatyana's blog.


Tatyana's eye for detail shows everywhere.  Love this casual arrangement of artichokes and poppy seed heads!

It's difficult to chose a favorite bird bath as all of them in this garden are exquisite!

You never know what you'll find in this enchanted place.  Notice how the frog echoes the color and a bit of the texture of the tree bark.

Here's Tatyana being as playful as her garden!

Tatyana, Alison, and Annette posing for the camera.  Plant people always seem happiest when they're around plants and/or each other.  Am I the only one who is hearing "Three Little Maids From School" from The Mikado?


 A fabulous perennial border in the side garden. Swoon!

Another playful denizen of the garden.

While some of us were playing, this busy bee was hard at work on an Eremurus.

Poppy season! 



A moment in time.

Back around to the front, this mossy fellow greets us.  Another of Tatyana's thrifty finds, he seems to be saying "Don't cry over spilled milk."  Of course, he looks like he's pouring it out intentionally.  Is this a passive aggressive statue?

We bid a fond farewell to Tatyana and her splendid garden but long will linger in our memories the beauty of the garden and it's creator!  Thanks Tatyana for the warm welcome, the personal tour, and for your inspirational blog.  I hope you had a great time opening your garden!

37 comments:

  1. What a divine pleasure it was to meet her and to see her fabulous garden! You got some great photos, especially that one of her peeking around in back of me! I have to get my own post together now.

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    1. I agree! She's such a nice person and her garden was glorious!

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  2. "Playful energy & joy" coupled with time spent with gardening friends whose skills & personal tastes create and inspire = a bit of Heaven on Earth!

    I admire her statues, pots, and that sphere...

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  3. A great collection of statuary. I was tickled by the frog playing chess, and the mossy gentleman at the last photo. In the PNW, nothing remains naked for long. I'll have to research Eremurus: I've had mine for a couple of years now but it refuses to bloom.

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    1. Yes, we live in a great climate for growing moss! I've never grown Eremurus before but admire it. Maybe next year...

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  4. It's always fun to tour a blogger's garden through the eyes of another blogger and you have given us a wonderful tour from your perspective. The garden is just gorgeous as it always appears on her blog. I love all the classical elements with a touch of humor and especially liked the photos of Tatyana and friends.

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    1. It was great fun to visit the garden and especially to meet Tatyana!

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  5. Wow. Gorgeous and lush. I didn't even know Fatsia japonica could bear fruit.

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    1. I knew that it did but I keep cutting mine back so they seldom do.

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  6. I've been following her blog too, but you have added a new dimension, capturing the spirit of the garden and the gardener.

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    1. She and her garden were so playful - an additional special surprise!

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  7. Those evergreens create a wonderful backdrop for Tatyana's beautiful garden. Those poppy pictures are perfection.

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    1. We're lucky to have so many gorgeous evergreens here! Poppies are so photogenic!

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  8. How absolutely wonderful. I'd just love to visit that garden sometime. I adore mixing classical elements with plants and whimsical collections. This garden has it all and is arranged with exquisite taste. TFS

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    1. This is high praise coming from such a master of arrangement!

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  9. I saw on Tatyana's blog that both you and Alison visited. Great to see your take on her stunning garden!

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    1. I still smile when I think of the visit!

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  10. Thanks for another beautiful tour. I see I missed another wonderful Open Garden.

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    1. It was quite a treat. Perhaps her garden will be open again next year.

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  11. How can there be so many awesome gardens in just one part of the world?

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    1. We live in a gardener's paradise! So many things grow well here and there are lots of avid gardeners. We're very lucky!

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  12. After following her blog for awhile I finally met Tatyana briefly during the Seattle Fling at Dragonfly Nursery. Lucky you getting to visit her garden!

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  13. What a beautiful and well-tended garden!

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  14. Wonderful planting in all that shade, such an inspiration! Such a good idea to have pots of plants where the tree roots prevent planting, I'll have to think about that one!

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    1. Those beautiful trees we love do make a lot of shade and Tatyana does a terrific job with it.

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  15. Tatyana has long been a favorite blogger. Your text made the visit truly special. Pretty maids all in a row, too.

    That garden looks so cool as we approach 101 degrees tomorrow.

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    1. Her blog is stunning!

      101? Yikes! We're going to have temps a bit above 80 and we're thinking that's too hot.

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  16. My fatsias often produce ripe fruit, but not this year! Our coldest winter in 20 years killed most of the stems to the ground, although they're recovering. The immature fruits overwinter on the plants and ripen in the spring if the winter isn't too cold; in my experience they're killed by temperatures lower than mid-teens.

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    1. What an interesting plant! I wouldn't have thought it would make it through your winters.

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    2. Supposedly marginal in zone 7 but they've proven much hardier than I expected when I first planted them. My plants have been in the ground 10 years or so.

      http://dctropics.blogspot.com/2013/11/fabulous-fatsia.html

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  17. I'm still at the fact that Tatyana ran out to greet you. What a dear, sweet soul. I hope I get to meet her someday. Her garden is fabulous.

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  18. Peter, it was my pleasure to see you, Alison and Annette that Saturday!
    Thank you for your nice words about my little amateur garden!
    I like your pictures! I guess I automatically choose garden spots and views that I like when I take pictures, and it was so interesting to see my garden through someone else's lenses! I spotted several things that I will certainly change!
    I loved chatting with you, and I think that NPA is doing great things bringing gardeners together!

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  20. Like Loree, I had the pleasure of meeting Tatyana at Dragonfly Nursery during the Seattle Fling. Just as you described, she ran up with a big hug -- so friendly! I love seeing her garden through your lens. And I love imagining what it must be like to live in a place where you can wear sweaters on a summer garden tour!

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