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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.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Revisiting A Blogging Friend's Garden; Tom and Linda Reeder's Paradise

It was three years ago when Alison (Bonney Lassie) and I first visited Linda and Tom's garden on an Northwest Perennial Alliance garden tour (here.)  When we asked if it was okay to take pictures, Linda replied positively and said that she took garden pictures herself for her blog, Linda Letters.  How about that, we discovered each other before we discovered each others' blogs.   This year, Tom and Linda opened their garden again and Alison and I wanted to see it again and to enjoy the delightful Reeders! Such fun to see in person those whose lives are shared online.

We'd forgotten about the driveway.  Tom and Linda made the urbanite (not someone who lives in an urban area but broken up slabs of concrete that are now all the rage in haute green design.) wall years ago, ahead of the trend.

A welcoming entry.

Echeveria and Primula vulgaris. 

One of many fancy leaved geraniums (pelargonium) that Tom winters over in the form of cuttings in the greenhouse that he built himself.  These people are seriously talented and motivated.


Going past the entry this guy welcomes us in his own inimitable way.

The path meanders past some glorious old trees. 


And leads to this newly reconstructed seating area beneath a wisteria-covered pergola.

Some of Tom's self-made bonsai. 

Linda taught me a better technique than what I'd been using for making these flowers on our first visit.

Red, white and blue.  Betcha this was in bloom for the fourth.
 Wonderful refreshments, some of which were served in mid century ceramic planters which Linda collects.

Coming up from the lower area we arrive at  the sunny upper garden. 

"We have lived on this half acre property for 36 years.  Plants and plant fads have come and gone.  Failures were replaced with things that might be happier in their habitats.  Wind and weather have lent a hand in changes. However, in this park-like garden, the bones have remained constant since our first back-breaking days of clearing brush and building walls.  Those bones include many native plants: mature fir and cedar trees, salal, sword ferns, mahonia and vine maples".


"Vegetables and cut flowers share the raised beds, backed by espaliered fruit trees and raspberries."


The loss of a tree in the middle of this bed last year have caused changes in this bed. 




Beautiful Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon'



 "There are stuffed pots on the patio, benches on the newly rebuild garden deck, a place for contemplation in the secret garden (which I didn't find) and for the young at heart, you can pretend in the garden shed that converts to a granddaughter's playhouse. This is the garden we live and play in."
Linda said she blames me for her succulent collection which includes the lovely Agave lophantha v. quadricolor.  I love to lead people astray!

More of Tom's bonsai collection.

Simply beautiful!

Cool container.  I'll bet there's a story.

One last peek.

Thanks Linda and Tom for opening your beautiful and inspiring garden!  

31 comments:

  1. It's a lovely garden! And oh to have all those mature trees...

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    1. Lovely indeed and those trees are wonderful!

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  2. What a place. Yay for the native plants and for the 36 years and the fabulousness of them both. Thanks for the tour!

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    1. They're pretty special people and their garden reflects that.

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  3. Their garden is so lovely, full and lush, and it was fun to see them both again.

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  4. 36 years gardening on the same plot!? Wow. It's lovely, and how wonderful that the both of them are gardeners, if Andrew decided to take it up we'd definitely need more land.

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    1. It's so cool that both of them love to garden. You're right, if Andrew got into it you'd need a lot more space!

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  5. What a lovely, lush garden. I'd love to get a closer look at Tom's bonsai collection. What a lucky guy to find a wman to garden with him.

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    1. They're very lucky that they both share the same interests. They're also both rabid sports fans.

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  6. Thanks, Peter for the praise and the photos! We do enjoy sharing our little paradise.
    About that "cool container", yes there is a story. Our NPA Neighborhood group had a little workshop on hypertufa. Sondra, are instructor, encouraged me to get creative, so I did. That is the result.

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    1. My pleasure, Linda. I love your garden! Impressive that you made that container yourself!

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  7. Awesome (and big) garden. It's so true that one needs to listen to nature; she has the final say at what will be happy in the garden and what will succumb. What are the tall spiky bloom in the "4th of July" picture? Love Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon': I may be the only one who love it's pungent scented leafs. I found it too invasive and finally ripped it all out.

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    1. And would you share the tips for making the glass flowers? Linda has such lovely examples I'm encouraged to try it too...

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    2. I share your enjoyment of the Houtttuynia leaf fragrance and am probably the only gardener who has killed the plant twice unintentionally. I saw it grown beautifully in a pot on a garden tour so may try that. (Because there aren't already too many things growing in pots here!)

      The flowers: Simply gather a collection of plates/bowls and glue them together using silicone (aquarium sealant or you can buy a huge thing of it at a box store. 100% silicone clear.) On the middle back of your assembly, glue a bud vase. (Long narrow neck bulbous at the bottom. Once the glue is cured, the neck of the bud vase will fit nicely over a piece of rebar that's been bent slightly at the top. (you can use a rebar bender or, wearing gloves, hold the rebar at an angle and step on the area you want to bend.) It's a great technique that requires no tedious glass drilling, nuts, bolts, etc.

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  8. It's magical what a 36-year commitment (and hard work) can build. That variegated ivy geranium looks like the variety called 'Crocodile'.

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    1. Their commitment to family is as wonderful as that to their garden. Very special folks!

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  9. Really great, as I expect for a garden that's been around for decades. Would love to see this in person someday. Very strange to see "Beautiful Houttuynia cordata..." written, as anybody I know who has grown it are always trying to get rid of it! (I just added it last year to my maple-shaded bed...)

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    1. It is a swell garden with a nice mix of natives and cultivated plants. I've killed Houttuynia codata a couple of times early on so I'm still in love with those colors. Looking forward to seeing how it does for you in you maple-shaded bed!

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  10. My eyes are hurting from so much lushness! This is pretty much my idea of a quintessential PNW garden. And there even was an agave or two!

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    1. It's a lush garden for sure! Those big old trees and all the fab foliage do make this a quintessential PNW garden.

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  11. How nice to see the lovely garden of the delightful pair I met when we had the plant swap at Alison's garden. Their 30-plus years in the garden are evident in every image. They must love living there!

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    1. It's a treat to wander the Reeder's garden; it's as special as the gardeners themselves and they do love living and playing in their garden!

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  12. Wow! They are seriously good gardeners! Thank you for the great tour!

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    1. They sure are. Always a pleasure to share!

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  13. I think "1/2 acre" is my favorite phrase in the English language. Incredibly high hort. standards. That's so interesting that "urbanite" is trending there. Recycling concrete for walls and paving goes way back here. I know designer Chris Rosmini was prominently featuring urbanite in her work in the '80s at least. I always think of it as LA's version of "local stone."

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    1. LA's version of "local stone" made me laugh out loud! "1/2 acre" does sound perfect!

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  14. Those geranium leaves are way cool. You know it is the job of an outlaw to lead us all astray.

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