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, July 25, 2016

Revisiting Linda and Tom Reeder's Seatac Garden

It was 2013 when Alison and I first toured Tom and Linda's garden as part of a Northwest Perennial Alliance garden tour and discovered a fellow blogger.   You can relive that first visit here and visit Linda's blog here.  Since that first visit, I've habitually read Linda's blog and have been inspired by how much they do.  What a pleasure it was to, once again, visit this wonderful garden made by two very special people.  It's always a special thrill to see in the flesh those people who mostly live in the computer but whose stories we carry with us from day to day.

Linda said that theirs is a garden built on a budget.  For instance, this long urbanite wall that lines their driveway was not expensive and they did all of the work themselves!  Both retired teachers, their active lives are an inspiration to me.

The side entrance to the garden goes by the greenhouse/shed that Tom built but we'll enter on the other side, passing the front of the house.

Tom keeps the echeverias in the greenhouse over the winter. 

He also takes cuttings of his fancy-leafed geranium (pelargonium) collection to keep over the cold months.

Walking past the front of the house and out through the handsome old trees feels a bit like a walk in the forest.

Our first destination is the Tom-built seating area.

 then up the side of the property through gorgeous perennial gardens.

To the expanse of lawn in the back garden where edibles and ornamentals are grown to perfection!

"We have lived on this half acre property for 37 years.  Plants and plant fads have come and gone.  Failures were replaced with things that might be happier in their habitats.  Wind and weather have lent a hand in changes.  However, in this park-like garden, the bones have remained constant since our first back-breaking days of clearingbrush and building walls."

"Those bones include many native plants: mature fir and cedar trees, salal, sword ferns, mahonia and vine maples."

The wildflower garden is new since last we visited.

There's a reason!

Variegated hedera helix provides a nice evergreen edge to the raised beds which are empty in the winter.

"You'll find roses in the suhn and hostas and heuchera in the shade, and perennials to suit their locations.  Vegetables and cut flowers share the raised beds, backed espaliered fruit trees and raspberries.  There are stuffed pots on the patio, benches on the newly rebuilt garden deck, a place for contemplation in the secret garden, and for the young at heart; a garden shad that converts to a granddaughter's playhouse.  This is a garden we live and play in."

This is where I first saw these cool hosta blooms, Everlasting Alliums from Gardener's Supply Company

Linda and Tom love glass in the garden but it is expensive so they figured out how to make their own glass ornaments.

When Tom taught kindergarten, he created this story chair.  A large collection of hats covered the chair and students would choose which hat Mr. Reeder would wear while reading to them. Tom collects watering cans which are placed throughout the garden.

Tall, dark, and handsome, the holly bushes are shaped each year by Tom. 

Cute piece by Marriah House Studio.

Here are the "stuffed pots on the patio."  

The creators of the garden.

The Carruth collection continues to grow and has been joined by other fun finds. 

Another collection nicely displayed. 

This fellow looks very happy here.

Albuca bracteata or pregnant onion this year planted as a happy trio. 

Part of the bonsai collection all created right here in the Reeder garden.

More glass creations.  

Nicely organized and good-looking potting bench!

Carruth on the side of the shed.  I have a few of these myself.  

Here's Irene's Flower Shop but Irene was on vacation this year so Grandma and Grandpa filled in for her.

All plants a dollar!    A gallon of mondo grass came home with me.

As did two of the Agave lophantha 'Quadricolor.'  

Thanks Linda and Tom for opening your garden for all to enjoy, for your cool blog, and for being such a great example to us all.


  1. Wow those two have a lot of fun don't they? I saw a couple of watering cans I would love to have...

  2. Wonderful inspiration. So attractive, everything grouped and organized. I am making lists while it's too hot to go outside much. It is amazing how making a list turns your memory of 3 or 4 natives in your wilder garden into a dozen or more. What I think of as having a couple of kinds of bromeliads is actually five different species.

  3. Great visit to a great garden. I will have to check out her blog, especially as they look to be around the age of my husband and I. So it is good to see how active other gardeners are and very inspiring.

  4. I'm always so amazed when I read their blog by how much they get done each day. Linda and Tom are such an inspiration. I'm so sorry I missed their open garden this year. If they do it again next year I'll definitely go. Thanks for sharing your photos!

  5. Linda and Tom's garden is simply too wonderful for words. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  6. That garden is beautiful and possibly also the most meticulous I've ever seen! It makes me think I need to go out right now and tidy up my own half-acre whether even if it's miserably hot!

  7. Beautiful garden! For something done on a 'budget', it looks 'expensive' :)

  8. This is a big garden, isn't it? So much to love, and it's obvious that they both love doing it too!

  9. Peter, thank you so much for visiting us and our garden. It was a highlight of the day to get to talk with you in person.
    Your photos are wonderful. I always love seeing my garden through the eyes, or camera lens, of others.
    I will be linking your post on my blog for all of my other blogging friends to see, many of whom also do a bit of gardening, and all of whom appreciate seeing great garden photos.

  10. Nice! I would never know it was a garden created on a budget. Their creative and loving touches are written all over their garden. That purple birdbath is special, as are the handmade glass ornaments.

  11. Lovely garden with all its different areas. I like gardens that have evolved over the years and have lots of input from the owners. You can tell they love their garden!

  12. Lovely! I followed Linda's link in her post to see her garden through your eyes. Just beautiful! :-)

  13. Hi. Came over from Linda Letters. Your photographs of their lovely yard are fantastic. I'll be your new follower and look forward to some more of your great photographs.

  14. There is a lot of love in this garden. That is what came through from every picture of every corner of this beautiful garden. The attention to details and the small surprises everywhere is just wonderful.
    What was in "Another collection nicely displayed"? I feel silly for asking, but I'm not sure what I'm looking at :-)

    1. You pegged it! The Reeders' garden reflects their loving personalities. Those are hose end nozzles. (The collection, not the Reeders) Most of them adjust from a fine spray to a jet of water by simply turning the moving part.

  15. A most beautiful garden, full of wondrous plants and flowers.
    Such hard working folks but it sure pays of in beauty.


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