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.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Tatyana's Secret Garden

Tatyana writes the blog My Secret Garden which I've read and admired for quite some time.  Her garden and photographic skill are exceptional!  How exciting it was that her garden was one of the Northwest Perennial Alliance's open gardens and that we'd get to see it in person. 

Having been a fan of this garden via the blog, I was prepared for an elegant and structured garden tended by a gardener with impeccable taste.  What I didn't know was that both the garden and the gardener are full of playful energy and joy.

As soon as Alison's friend Annette, Alison, and I got out of the car, Tatyana almost ran down the drive to greet us.  It was like seeing an old friend.  Such is the phenomenon of the garden blogging community.

 Tatyana says that she might not have chosen this exact fountain (gorgeous isn't it?) but that someone wanted to get rid of it and  she got it for next to nothing.  What a great find!

Tatyana's Fatsia japonica is heavy with fruit. Why don't mine do that?  So lovely.

On to the shade garden.  Isn't that rich green incredible?  sometimes we in the pacific northwest forget how lucky we are to experience this.

Tatyana has a gift for mixing natural and structured elements.  Several northwest natives surround this elegant column.

This is an actual work space which Tatyana spiffed up for the tour but I'll bet it's equally interesting when there's not a tour.  The doll on the lower left is her garden fairy.

A special hosta hybridized by "Hosta Jim"  in a tall pot punctuates the curve to the back garden spaces. 

The gorgeous evergreen backdrop gives the garden a feeling of maturity.  I love them but don't envy the difficulty of growing plants beneath them!     

Here's one way that Tatyana deals with those thirsty evergreen roots.  Clever!

Here is the first Sphere that Jim made.  Unfortunately, due to his health, he's not making them any more but it's nice to know that this first one is in such a special place.

A creative way to deal with a septic tank!

Hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle! 

The cow jumped over thee moon. 

The little frog laughed to see such sport!

This beautiful seating area with potted palms and stunning perennial garden background seemed familiar from Tatyana's blog.

Tatyana's eye for detail shows everywhere.  Love this casual arrangement of artichokes and poppy seed heads!

It's difficult to chose a favorite bird bath as all of them in this garden are exquisite!

You never know what you'll find in this enchanted place.  Notice how the frog echoes the color and a bit of the texture of the tree bark.

Here's Tatyana being as playful as her garden!

Tatyana, Alison, and Annette posing for the camera.  Plant people always seem happiest when they're around plants and/or each other.  Am I the only one who is hearing "Three Little Maids From School" from The Mikado?

 A fabulous perennial border in the side garden. Swoon!

Another playful denizen of the garden.

While some of us were playing, this busy bee was hard at work on an Eremurus.

Poppy season! 

A moment in time.

Back around to the front, this mossy fellow greets us.  Another of Tatyana's thrifty finds, he seems to be saying "Don't cry over spilled milk."  Of course, he looks like he's pouring it out intentionally.  Is this a passive aggressive statue?

We bid a fond farewell to Tatyana and her splendid garden but long will linger in our memories the beauty of the garden and it's creator!  Thanks Tatyana for the warm welcome, the personal tour, and for your inspirational blog.  I hope you had a great time opening your garden!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

Two years ago today, I started  The Outlaw Gardener  with a post with  three pictures of the view from my back porch and some words.   I thought it would be interesting to take pictures from  the same spot and see what's changed in that time.
Some plants have grown and obscured the face covered column  from this angle, the bird feeder is gone and some metal flowers are present. Also you may notice a musa basjoo leaf in the top of the first image.  I think rodents ate a lot of the roots this winter as the poor thing which had been huge is now coming back more slowly than it ever has.  The trunks that are usually at least 10 feet tall by this time of year are only about a foot and a half tall.   Pretty much the same though.

Not a lot of change here either.  The Danger Gardenette visible in the distant left of the first picture has been moved.

The blue gate finally rotted away and Tom replaced it with this temporary fix until he builds a new one, some different plants and the meconopsis cambrica seems to have decided to finish blooming earlier this year.
So, in two years and 544 posts  little has changed in my garden (at least in the parts that I've shown here) but there has been a big change in the way I look at gardening.  While I've always gardened with my garden gurus and family in my heart, I now also potter in the yard with a wonderful community of  garden bloggers and readers guiding me.  I often think of what you might say about a certain plant or project, what you might do in a similar situation, what you've written about a plant, a color, a fragrance.   One of the best parts about garden blogging has been the many friendships that have resulted from this solitary endeavor.  My life is richer for the experience. Thank you friends, family, fellow bloggers, readers, and those who comment for enriching my passion for and practice of  gardening.  (O.K. some people call it enabling - You say tomato, I say tomahto.) 

Have a great weekend all! 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Puyallup's Answer to the Circle Pot

You may be familiar the the very cool circle pot by Potted, indoor style for outdoor living.  This image is taken from their website which you should check out as they have all sorts of  great items.  

 The Circle Pot by Potted

Here's one looking fabulous in Loree's garden!

Not to be outdone, the folks at the Canyon Road, Puyallup location of McClendon Hardware (a great place to go plant shopping!)  came up with these.

Let's take a closer look, shall we?  

This is my favorite because you can see the word Goodyear on it although I'm not so fond of those three holes.  On the bright side the holes are beautifully round and evenly spaced.   I might go for more of a Little and Lewis bluey purple but that's just me.  

So, if you're looking for a stylish hanging pot and have some time on your hands, this may be just the thing for you.  Look, a petunia just for Ms Danger!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Weird Wednesday at Fred Meyer

Fred Meyer has a little bit of everything, including plants.  On this visit, there were lots of these Celosia cristatas  on sale.  I can't decide if I like them or not but they certainly are interesting looking.

From Wikipedia - Celosia cristata [Celosia in Greek means burning] is a member of the genus Celosia, and is commonly known as cockscomb, since the flower looks like the head on a rooster (cock). It is called Chi Kuan in China. The plants are hardy and resistant to most diseases, and grow equally well indoors or out, though the perfect place is one with no shade and a well drained soil, as the plant is susceptible to fungal diseases. The plant is used frequently as an ornamental plant indoors. Their leaves and flowers can be used as vegetables.  They are often grown as foods in India, Western Africa, and South America.

So are the flowers the little thingies on the sides? 

They almost look like something that should be attached to a coral reef.

 All was not strangeness on this particular visit.  I quite liked this hibiscus.

So I brought it home.  Just one more plant to add to the fall migration into the house.  The pink/orange color combination proved irresistible.

Look, more Salvia 'Amistad'.  I'll always associate this with last year's fling as it was at Sunset headquarters where I first saw this growing.  Mine didn't make it through the winter but It was lovely while it lasted.

O.K. raise you hand if you DON'T have Digiplexis.  Anyone, anyone?

Sunset is growing them now as well. these were large (three stalks per pot) specimens.  Hmm, 'Amistad' looks delightful just behind it.  Perhaps they'd make a nice pairing. 
Gotta love Fred Meyer.  Where else can you do your grocery shopping, pick up a new shirt, shop for housewares,  have paint mixed, and visit a nursery all in one stop?