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.

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Garden of Denise Lane

Just up the road a bit  from Wells Medina Nursery is the garden of Denise Lane,  We entered the garden from the side and found no gate or fence just stone paths that looked very natural.

It's almost as if the existing landscape was simply augmented with some choice plants.  However, reading the description of the garden, one finds out that this was all created by a very clever gardener.

"My garden is about an acre, with many challenges.  The base'soil' here is clay.  This, in conjunction with the high water table and underground springs, dictate plant material choices.  Drowning in the winter is a reality in many parts of this garden.  Since the property was purchased in 1988, it has undergone many changes."

"What started with a sport court, ringed with a photinia hedge and native trees, tree stumps and many undesirable plants (ivy, blackberries, 150' cottonwood trees, to name a few,) is today a lush garden with garden rooms, various habitats, and many special features including a natural pond, huge rocks (the largest over 20,000 lbs.) a stone seat wall and stairs, Little and Lewis ruin, and iconic column carved from a tree."

 "Several years ago, a formerly wet, boggy, impossible-to-garden area was improved by building a new water feature with waterfall, stream and of course more large hunks of Cascade granite."

In talking with Denise, I mentioned the many well-situated seating areas in the garden and we shared a laugh talking about how gardeners seldom actually sit in their gardens but guests do.

Which path to explore.  While the garden is about an acre, it seems much larger because of the way the rooms are divided by trails that make it seem like one is walking through the woods and  discovers the various garden areas.

Is that heron landing to go fishing in the pond or just taking off? 

Oh, the choices. 

Oh, there's a house.  Perhaps we've wandered too far.

The Little and Lewis ruin

The use of walls, this one painted terracotta,  as dividers adds structure as the garden becomes a bit more formal closer to the house.

The column carved from a tree.

It's true, there's always an agave!  

"An outdoor kitchen was built in 2007 followed by the transformation of a former sport court into an 'entertainment terrace,' complete with fire trough."

 "Come visit my garden and see for yourself what else might have changed.  Never a dull moment around here!  My husband calls it 'The Neverending Story.'

One of the most healthy specimens of Wollemia nobilis I've seen. It obviously loves it here. 

Aha!  Here's the guy who really does all the work.

Here's Denise in her masterpiece of a garden.  "Your garden must bring you great joy," I said.
"It keeps me off the streets and out of gyms," she replied.

An unusual mushroom growing on an old tree. 

Speaking of unusual mushrooms. 

Time to head back from whence we came. 

One last look back.  Who would have guessed what thrills lay beyond?
Thank you, Denise, for opening your beautiful garden for so many to enjoy!


  1. OMG!! Those rocks make you think much of this is just original forest. What a landscape she's created. And yes, taking care of it would certainly keep you out of the gym. Do you know what that plant with the huge leaves is by the pond edges?

    1. That's Gunnera manicata or Gunnera tinctoria. (zones 7 - 9) Isn't it amazing?

  2. Isn't Denise Lane's garden magnificent? I've seen it twice now, the first time was on the Seattle Fling. What a treat. Love the minion with the shovel.

  3. Well, another garden I'm sorry we missed. It's hard to believe that is a "created" landscape.

  4. I believe this is may favorite garden that you have shown us so far. Swoon...

  5. Despite the clay soil, I'd happily move in. Let me know if you hear it's being put up for sale! Love the (real) mushroom.

  6. What a wonderful garden, a real lesson on how to plant in the shade. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  7. I am in love with this garden. It is so 'peace filled'. I can just smell the old earthy smell, feel the quiet. How wonderful it must be to live in 'The Never Ending Story'.

    Thanks again for sharing yet another beautiful garden.

    Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

  8. What an amazing garden. I love the cast gunnera leaf used as the spillway in the ruins. Everything looks so natural and woodsy. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hey, I've been here! As Alison mentioned, this one was on the Seattle Fling (way back in 2011), it was wonderful.

  10. What a beautiful, natural-looking garden. It would make a great site for a retreat center. I wouldn't mind spending some time there!

  11. "Masterpiece" sums it up nicely.

  12. I love the paths and how stone is integrated into the garden. Also the tree carved as a column.

  13. Wow! Peter, this was a great tour/post of an amazing garden.


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