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, August 7, 2018

Something Fishy is Going on Here: The Garden of Joyce Hawkins and Ken Ness

It was a beautiful, sunny summer day in July when we visited this wonderful garden.  A great day to enjoy the garden but not the best for taking good pictures.  However, I hope the magic of this wonderful garden shines through the bad images.

A fish out of water.

Joyce is known in the area for creating wonderful concrete/hypertufa leaf castings and spheres. 

The CBS eye?

She'd just purchased this faux bois mailbox holder and decided to try her hand at making some of her own faux bois creations.

The results are impressive! It's difficult to see in these pictures but the sandy soil topping the beds was all meticulously raked in patterns, like sand in a zen garden.   

Let's see more of  the garden, shall we?

Look at those crisp bed edges.  The play of shadows on a big expanse of lawn like this is a delight. 

 The "smoke" on my smoke bush never looks this red.  Isn't it gorgeous?

In a sunny area what do you suppose Joyce is growing?  That's right, agaves! 

These were just outside the greenhouse so I think they may get put  there for the winter. 

"As gardens mature, occasional rejuvenation helps keep them fresh and interesting.  Alongside this garden's smaller pond, several overgrown shrubs have been removed and the cedar, Chinese fir, and Cryptomeria trees limbed up - all of which has created a totally new look.  This allowed for more shade gardening, expanded sight lines and even room for two hammocks for tired gardeners and guests!

Propagating podophyllum.  I forgot to ask Joyce if she divided hers or if these are from seed. 

Hypertufa pots filled with succulents.  

"Elsewhere in this beautiful 1-1/2  acre garden, the two crystal clear ponds with large colorful Japanese Koi continue to take center stage, along with many different varieties of trees, shrubs and perennials.  Contrasting foliage has been sited to highlight the native evergreens."

The Koi seemed very happy to have such ample space to live.  

A bridge spans the larger of the two ponds. 

Although keeping Koi can be a lot of work, I love the year-round flash of color they add and that they cause one to slow down and enjoy them.  I could have stayed here for hours just watching these beautiful creatures but there was more of the garden to explore.

Behind the garden is a pasture with a spacious chicken coop and several outbuildings.  I've a feeling that one of them is the studio where Joyce makes her creations. 

Thank you Joyce and Ken for opening your wonderful garden for us to enjoy!


  1. Hello there Peter : )
    You have me TOTALLY with these ponds and the Koi .. I too could watch them forever .. so serene and graceful .. nothing like it.
    What wonderful gardens and the hypertufa planters are something I would love as well .. and what a gorgeous day you had to take these photos .. talk about serendipity for a garden adventure .. Well done !

  2. I am obsessed with the koi ponds. They're so well done-- like something at a botanical garden! I spend quite a lot of time watching my goldfish every day, and these ponds & gardens are so nice I would never want to leave!

  3. Two ponds! Another marvelous garden and I'm mightily impressed with those hypertufa/concrete creations too.

  4. I know this garden, and I own one of her faux bois stump pots. I love it. It currently holds a lovely, spreading fern.

  5. Yes, her hypertufa creations are really special, as are the succulent arrangements and that pond! It looks like they have a stunning, expansive property!

  6. Joyce must rarely sit down, what a beautiful garden.

  7. My concrete sphere is one of Joyce's, when I went there to pick it up I got a quick peak inside the outbuilding that is her studio, so you're right about that. Her garden is such a dream!

  8. I'm always impressed about all the creativity and the effort other gardeners worldwide apply in their gardens!


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