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.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Fabulous Fronderosa Frolic Part Two

Judith Jones's Garden

Judith Jones, The Fern Madame and owner of Fancy Fronds, opens her garden not only to be the setting of the Frolic but also to visitors to her nursery. Let's take a stroll around, shall we?
So, what does one do with objects created for 24 years of  show gardens created for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show? Why, place them around one's property of course!

It all started with these gryphons which were made by one of Judith's friends for her first NFGS garden. 

What garden is complete without a giant snail?  I'm tempted to make a giant bottle of Sluggo to place in proximity to this beast.
 There are plenty of shady characters to be discovered!  Our native Adiantum pedatum mingling with  some out-of-towners like Kirengeshoma palmata.

 Do you suppose that we could train this dragon to eat a few  Starlings?

 There are plenty of places to sit, relax, or even eat a picnic in the afterglow of new plant purchases!

 There is a wonderful feeling of welcome in this garden.  One is free to wander anywhere except inside the house because Jutith's family and friends are busy cooking three meals a day for her vendors.

I love this outdoor sink placed on a treadle sewing machine base!  What an elegant way of cleaning up after gardening without spreading dirt all over the house.  Like most folks, I quite inelegantly use a hose but I may just copy this idea.
 Everywhere you look there are little collections of interesting stuff.

Every garden needs a pet or two scampering around.  Don't worry Triceratops is an herbivore.  I think this is the way Judith trims the hedges in her maze. I couldn't get a good shot of the maze but at the center is a  monkey puzzle tree, a great visual prize for finding your way in!
There's a zip line that goes out over the river and a trampoline in case you desire some recreation after lunch.

I was drawn to these headstones, made by Judith for her Victorian Graveyard garden at one years NFGS. Judith explained that she was thinking of people who had influenced her life; made her who she was, when she created the Victorian graveyard garden. When some folks were not entirely pleased with her creation's reminder of death, Judith responded, "I didn't invent death; It's just part of the natural cycle."  I think I love this woman.
Ave Atque Vale - Hail and Farewell originally from Catullus (ca.84 B.C. - c.a.54 B.C.) 101

Through many countries and over many seas
I have come, Brother, to these melancholy rites,
to show this final honour to the dead,
and speak (to what purpose?) to your silent ashes,
since now fate takes you, even you, from me.
Oh, Brother, ripped away from me so cruelly,
now at least take these last offerings, blessed
by the tradition of our parents, gifts to the dead.
Accept, by custom, what a brother’s tears drown,
and, for eternity, Brother, ‘Hail and Farewell’.

More collections

Here we are at the front of this picturesque log home nestled among the second growth trees.

 Arisaemas along  the shadier side of the house had me swooning.

The large deck on the back of the house has plenty of seating as well.

My advice?  If you can, make an appointment to see this very special nursery and garden.  When talking with Judith, you'll learn something, I can assure you, about ferns, life, or just about anything else in which you might be interested!  Whatever you do, mark your calendar now and plan to attend next year's Fronderosa Frolic!


  1. Beautiful setting for a garden. Looks like a fun and relaxing place to wander. I have a super shady spot that just might work for ferns.

    I always enjoy visiting gardens like this for ideas. The thrift shop glass terrariums and the sink are just two good ideas I see here.

  2. I see the home and garden fit the lady well! She's a character and I would expect nothing less from her garden.

  3. I love those maidenhairs. Also the triceratops, wish I knew where to get one of those when our kids were small.

    1. Judith and her friends make all of these cool pieces. Glad you enjoyed her garden.

  4. Loved it! Now, who do I contact about getting ahold of that giant snail?! Reuben at ranchoreubidoux.com

  5. Where were those blue tables and chairs? My husband was looking for somewhere to sit, and ended up on the ground under a tree. I have a feeling we didn't explore this anywhere near as much as we should have.

    1. If you keep going on the big path in the center of the sale, you'll come to the log house. The tables and chairs are on the lawn on the back side of that house.

  6. What a fabulous place!! I love gardens like this one so much more than perfectly trimmed museums of green. "I didn't invent death" is the best quote I've heard in a long time. I wish I lived closer so I could attend. :o)

    1. I agree and not just because my own garden is so far from perfectly trimmed that friends sometimes get lost in my small city lot. Judith is quite a character and chatting with her is a treat!


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