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, July 14, 2014

Karen Mashburn's Garden

The next garden that Alison, Annette, and I visited on the Northwest Perennial Alliance Gig Harbor Garden Tour was that of Karen Mashburn.  Karen is obviously a lover of plants and whimsy!

The Mashburns, Karen and Al, began gardening here 15 years ago.  Al makes metal art and wooden garden pieces including this beautiful garden arch.

Glass flowers needn't always be colorful to attract attention. 

Wine cabinet cleverly repurposed as a potting bench. One more thing to look for at yard sales!

An imaginative way to bring color to a window box!

Karen enjoys working with Portland cement; her leaf castings and other hypertufa creations appear throughout the garden.

Al also built this Tom Torrens structure, the deck of which hangs over the pond.  Sliding glass doors and huge windows make this a great place to sit and enjoy watching the wildlife that visits the pond.  the pond is natural and fed by ground water.  The Mashburns decided to keep it and simply surrounded it with Lynch Creek rock and add flower beds around.

Fab plant stand.  I bet Karen made this as well.

Love this combination!

Speaking of combinations,  isn't this combination of blues and yellows delightful?  A great way to brighten up a shady spot.

In the Mashburn garden, one never knows what he'll find!

Silly mermaid, the pond is the other way!

Elevated moss path through the moist woods.

The variety of paving materials adds interest to the garden!

Because of the natural setting and the wild creatures, including Mallard ducks, owls and many other kinds of birds, the Mashburns garden organically.  There's not a deer problem probably because coyotes and an occasional bear have visited.  Hope the pets stay inside!

I wondered if these snags were the result of a forest fire but Karen said that when the land was logged in the 1930's  they burned off some trees.  These have been standing since that time.  One would think that they would have rotted by now.

Several of them exist around the property and make lovely natural sculpture.

Lots of running water features exist throughout the property and I thought that they'd done a lot of wiring.  Seems that all one has to do in the lower part of the place is drive a pipe into the ground and water runs out.  I'm betting that irrigation of this garden is not much of an issue.

Loving the huge pond.  Notice the large eucalyptus. 

Another view.

Another of Karen's leaf castings.

Another beautiful garden with that spectacular Pacific Northwest evergreen backdrop.  The garden blends seamlessly into the woods where the shade gardens exist blending cultivated with native plants. 
A big thank you to the Mashburns for opening their creative, fun, and beautiful space for the tour!  We have a great deal of fun visiting open gardens!


  1. Thanks for making it possible to view yet another beautiful garden! I like the paths - 'specially that raised, mossy one...

    And the blue bottles in a window box went to my yard & garden pinterest collection :)

    1. One of my favorite things about touring other people's gardens both in person and virtually, is getting great new ideas! I bless the people kind enough to open their gardens!

  2. Karen Mashburn has a lovely garden Peter! The pond is awesome, love this half-house structure with a deck,is very romantic. Also I liked the arch with liana.
    Have a nice day!

    1. So many things to love about this garden! I wish you a nice day too, dear Nadezda!

  3. Oh, to have a pond - a natural one at that - on one's own property! I love the little deck and shed too. Thanks for sharing your visit.

    1. I was a little envious myself but not so much of the visiting bears and coyotes!

  4. That cool forest garden is the perfect antidote for a hot, muggy day.

  5. Oh, another one I haven't seen before!

  6. Thank you for the beautiful photos. I love to see my garden through other peoples lenses. After seeing your yard on your blog I see we share a whimsy side. Love your blog!

    1. Thanks Karen! Your garden really spoke to me & I loved the surprises around each corner! Thanks for opening your garden for the enjoyment and delight of so many!

  7. The seamless mesh of nature with human gardening. Love all the art and hidden treasures. I wish my snails were made of wood!

  8. What a beautiful garden! And what luck to have a natural pond, though I imagine the overall wetness can be a blessing as well as a curse. They've done a great job taking advantage of it with their plant choices and the raised pathways. I love the idea of being able to drive a pipe into the ground and have a running water feature. I love that glass flower. I think it's one of the better executed ones I've seen.


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