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, August 9, 2012

Kelly's Hydrangea Jungle

I've a co-worker (or coworker depending on which side of the debate you're on.  Probably a moot point anyway because she just retired) and friend who, for the last few years, has been telling stories about her husband's newfound passion for gardening.  I've listened with delight to Mary Lou's tales about my fellow plant addict.  Recently, I was invited to see what Mary Lou calls "Kelly's hydrangea jungle" and the rest of his garden.

Beside the driveway I see some hydrangeas and they're lovely but could this be the jungle?

In front of the house there are a couple huge bushes of these beautiful white ones.  Well, maybe my friend, being a non-addict, thought that this was a jungle. 
On one side of the house there is this exhuberant planting.
On the other is a huge rockery stuffed with sedums, sempervivums, and herbs topped with a tomato bed.  Hmmm.  Beautiful indeed but jungle?  Really, these non plant feinds are prone to hyperbole, aren't they?

Here's Kelly leading us past his sweet peas.  One must stop and smell!

 And by this river of nasturtiums.  Do you remember sucking the nectar out of the back of  these when you were a kid? 

And behind the house to a beautifully maintained lawn with towering cedars and douglas firs.  If you look very closely, you can see a little bit of purple & blue just right of center in front of the two tree stumps. 

We get a little closer...
Take a left turn and...
BAM!  Hydrangea jungle!

 The path kept winding through glorious vibrant blues and purples
Behind all of these vibrant colors were whites which set them off beautifully!
Keeping the soil's ph more acid on one side of the bush and alkaine on the other yeilds these two - toned results.

Love this one with the jagged edges!
 'Harlequin' always gets a lot of attention.
Kelly told me that he got most, if not all of his hydrangeas from The Rhododendron Garden Nursery (not to be confused with the Rhododendron Species Garden - Both are in Federal Way.)  about which I'll post tomorrow.

After wiping the drool from my chin, I was led out to a sunny border which included this dahlia. 
 Another long border had quite a few ceanothus bushes underplanted with hundreds of dianthus.  The contrast of the foliage alone was delightful but can you imagine the sight of deep blue contrasting with pink?AND the heavenly clove-like fragrance?   Maybe I'll sneak back next year! 

I'm covetous of the great views from their back deck where we enjoyed a delicious repast including home made ice cream!

 I'm a sucker for tall evergreens.  They just scream Pacific Northwest!
 The sun is  close to setting as I say good bye to Mary Lou, Kelly and their stunning garden. This is partial view of the garden as seen when exiting the front door of the house.   Are there MORE hydrangeas back there?  Is someone obsessed?   Thanks for  the entertaining stories over the years, the wonderful evening,  and the tour of your amazing garden! 


  1. Beautiful garden! Incredible colors. I'd love to walk through that jungle of hydrangeas.

  2. my favourite is the white hydrangea. There is something about the green and white combo that just speaks to my heart.

  3. A lovely collection but I didn't see many H.paniculata? I have tried H.macrophylla over the years to little or no success. Of course my personal fave is H.serrata [the Japanese lacecap] but it too seems to be lost amongst the mopheads!

    1. Give him time; he'll surely find these as his plant lust drives him further along our path of insanity.

  4. What a lovely garden! So much room, and so colorful. It feels very restful.

    1. It is beautiful. I was jealous of the amount of space and those huge trees...yum!

  5. Such a beautiful garden! Beautiful colors and the trees were amazing.


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