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, July 1, 2016

The Garden of Marcus Phelps-Munson and Gary Epperley

Garden touring season is well underway and last weekend we headed out on a Northwest Perennial Alliance tour "Along the Foothills" [of Mt. Rainier.]  the purpose of these tours is to allow members to see what others are up to in their spaces.  First up is the Phelps-Munson, Epperley garden.

This is a new home in a development where the houses are pretty close together.  We parked up the street in front of the neighbor's place (on the left.)  You can't tell in this image but if the curtains/blinds are open on the window at the front and back of the living room/dining room area (right side of both houses)  one can see through the windows directly into the back yard.  Through the neighbor's house, I noticed a big toy for the kids in the back and wondered what we would find next door.

You can't see it in this image but through this window, one could see lush foliage with a beautifully blooming clematis in bloom climbing through the middle of it all. Pretty clever!

Approaching the front of the house, seeing all the pots of cool plants, it was clear that a like-minded plant collector lives here!

A sign directed us to enter through the side gate.

They've really made the most of this narrow space utilizing multiple layers of great foliage.

"Ten years ago the yard began as a simple grass rectangle for the enjoyment of our dog.  During that time the dog aged (gracefully,) and we took out successively larger areas of lawn as our love of gardening in this unique climate grew.

My favorite color of Impatiens glandulifera.  

"We have become compulsive 'plant collectors;' however, between my passion for perennials and my husband's of trees and rhododendrons, I believe we've struck a delicate balance."

"I'm not a thirteen-time winner of Ciscoe Morris's 'Viewer Pick of the Week' and president of the Pine Lake Garden Club."

"Our garden is serious fun throughout the year - combining color, fragrance, texture, edibles and dinosaurs in a layered, part -sun, part-shade garden that leaves nary a bare patch of soil."

 Dinosaurs and carnivorous plants work well together.  This reminds me of seeing dinosaurs at Floramagoria in Portland. Must copy this idea!

So many great plants like this Acer pseudoplatanus 'Esk Sunset.'

 What magic is afoot with these daisies?  

Happy weekend all!


  1. I love garden tours. The West Seattle garden tour is coming up later this month.
    Treatment of the narrow shady pathways on the sides of a house can be challenging and they did a wonderful job of it! I recognize Brunera Jack frost, an old favorite of mine, that lights up any shady corner. Are your Angel Trumpets in bloom too?

  2. Wow! That Brug in glorious bloom is wonderful to see! Not a sign of a bud on mine, they are so far behind. Thanks for sharing your photos from this tour.

  3. It's a great garden, although my favorite things may be that giant hand in the front window pointing to the door and the dinosaur hiding among the carnivorous plants. Have a great holiday weekend, Peter!

  4. They packed a lot into the smallish yard that is typical of large houses these days. Guess we can quit worrying about the demise of gardening.

  5. Very nice, I've been wondering if any of these small lot home constructions could possibly produce serious gardeners and it looks like I have my answer!
    Love the patch of impatiens, but good luck to the gardener who has to find room in the beds for those potted plants!

  6. Thanks, Peter! We met this couple on an earlier NPA tour, and wanted to see their garden, but opted for the Gig Harbor tour instead. This looks like your kind of gardening, stuffed full of all kinds of interesting plants.

  7. Plant lovers' gardens are the most fun to tour. This was a treat, Peter, thank you.


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