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.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fall Color Garden Tour: Lavonne's Garden

Over the weekend, I got to see Camille's exquisite garden in person (more pictures to follow) and afterward, the gracious gardener walked with me through other gardens on the tour. Lavonne's garden was a short walk.  How fortunate to live in a neighborhood of passionate gardeners!  

Lavonne is a master of pruning Japanese Maples.  

Although Acers are often the show stoppers, don't think for a minute that they supply all of the color in these gardens.

Some are still green!

Lavonne was sure to warn me not to touch the Gunnera as it's so spiny.  I like the sand-paper texture of the leaves but others don't.

Acer palmatum 'Koto no ito' (strings of a harp) is one of the few whose name I remember as I lusted after it for years before I got my own. Now it vies with A.palmatum 'Fairy Hair' for the stringiest-leaved maple.

Like several of the gardens on the tour, Lavonne's is on a hillside and there is wonderful rock work, including many curving flights of stairs which replaced the straight shots of railroad tie steps which were inherited with the property.

Beautiful views at every turn framed by trees wearing their autumn best.  Here a pair of Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweet Gums) frames blue sky.

Skillful pruning has created what appears almost like an undersea scene complete with undulating and exotic creatures.

There is a stream that meanders down the hill, over rocks, creating small pools, one with a stone bridge and ending at the large koi pond below which is covered for the season to catch the falling leaves.

Here's the aforementioned rock bridge.

A stone bench from which to appreciate the sounds of water and birds and one can even spot those giant four-legged slugs (deer.)

This is half of the largest expanse of Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra') I've ever encountered.

How vibrant are the maples right now?  Compare the fuchsia  boom to the maple foliage. The popular Albert Camus quote “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower,” comes to mind each year as the trees scream warm colors at the moody gray northwest sky.

More grand examples of pruning.  One day I hope to learn how to do this.

This is a mature garden, full of treasures large and small. 

Thank you, Lavonne for allowing me to preview your beautiful garden which will be open to the public on the Fall Color Garden Tour to benefit the Chase Garden.  The tour is preceded by a presentation by Julia Graham, whose garden is also on the tour.  The presentation is limited to fifteen people due to the size of the space at Chase but the tour is open to as many people as want to experience these wonders in person.  Admission to the tour only is five dollars per garden per adult. Children are free so bring the whole family to appreciate the sights, sounds, and fragrances of autumn.


  1. Exquisite! How come everyone else's gardens seem to hold it together so beautifully in autumn, where as mine seems to just fall apart?

  2. So mouth-wateringly gorgeous. Such brilliance. Such TLC shown in the pruning. And you're right: looks its best against gray skies.

  3. Such pretty foliage! I loved that photo with the Japanese blood grass. The Gunnera, a plant I don't dare even trying to grow in drought-stricken California, is magnificent.

  4. Wow, that is just gorgeous--especially the scene with the Japanese Blood Grass and the foliage surrounding it. Wow! Our color in S. Wisconsin is the worst I've seen since I've lived here. Usually it's very vibrant in October, but the combination of abundant rain, no frost, and warm temperatures is making this autumn kind of a dud. It's still pretty, but we mostly have greens, browns, and a few patches of gold and burgundy here and there. It's very comfortable outside, though. Thanks for sharing this beautiful view of autumn as it should be!

  5. So many ideas here, a truly inspirational garden. I love the paths and steps down through the glowing canopies of leaves. It's just magical.

  6. Just think, I almost didn't click on this post because I'm not quite ready for autumn color yet (worst seasonal denial of my life so far!) but so glad I did! I really love this garden, and am certain it is as wonderful during the other seasons too.

  7. Every view is more beautiful than the next. Loved that "underwater" scene.

  8. Oh My, such beautiful autumn color and wonderful stone work. What a treat!

  9. I love the color and the texture in this garden, but all the stonework is amazing!

  10. What a wonderful garden showing the beauty of autumn tints. The Acers are all amazing and the Japanese Blood Grass is a show stopper! You must have had a wonderful time in this garden, I know I would!

  11. Lavonne's garden is such inspirited, Peter. I love your pictures, especially those you say about creative pruning. The red leaves are really stunning decoration in this garden.


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