A study in contrasts

Posted on Posted in From the Potting Shed

We sold our house this summer and are gratefully staying in a rental with a garden while we look for a new house.  It’s a designed garden, not diminished because it wasn’t created by the homeowner, nor greater because it was purchased; it’s a pleasant amalgam of a designer’s eye and a collector’s heart, filled […]

My living laboratory

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in My Garden

At the beginning, they always advise.  No story should start otherwise. You can see there wasn’t much of a garden.  There’s the one strip of white flowers from the corner of the house to that telephone pole and some wisps of foliage against the house. We bought our home, a typical 1952 ranch home, about […]

Green pot containing red twigs and silver foliage

Fabulous winter containers?

Posted on Posted in Garden Recipes

Hard to believe, but Seattle does have four seasons, but our grey and cold season lasts from October to March.  Sure, we have wonderful winter-fragrant shrubs and winter-busting early colorful bulbs, but our long-lasting damp just makes most foliage turn to mush. Which is all the more reason to create a fabulous winter container to […]

Tiger Eyed Look

Posted on Posted in Garden Recipes

Which came first, the container or the plant? Sometimes, when I am asked to design a container, we start with the homeowner’s existing containers and build from there.  Other times, the owner fell in love with an amazing plant and just wants to enjoy it all season before deciding where to plant it.  Holding a […]

Of Cabbages and Kings

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in Garden Recipes

The time has come to talk of many things … I’ve spent over a year away from the blog, exploring growing flowers for market, permaculture, garden design, and have settled on my love of photography and container design.  I’ve enjoyed posting many of my images on facebook and instagram and intend on continuing there, but […]

Crocus Celebration

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Collector's Corner

At the end of yet another dreary Seattle winter, I understand why us hardcore Hort-Heads sally forth without any regard for the pouring rain just to look at tiny, ephemeral flowers.  I was delighted to attend the early-spring invitational Snowdrop Stroll at the 7-acre Dunn Gardens, an Olmsted- designed country-garden located in Northwest Seattle.  By […]

Dreadlocked Datisca

Posted on Posted in Collector's Corner

One of the grooviest plants I’ve seen is this massive Datisca cannabina growing here in the Soest Garden at the Center of Urban Horticulture.  Growing from 0 to 8ft in a single season, this exciting plant makes a huge impression in mid-summer and provides a stunning color accent in the fall.  Make sure you have […]

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Izu No Hana’

Posted on Posted in Collector's Corner

Wildly popular in the Victorian era, Hydrangeas have been largely overlooked until recently.  Perhaps in typical American fashion, it’s the almost obese, Hydrangea macrophylla mop-heads that grab our attention.  However, the mop-heads are really mutant forms of the delicate Japanese lacecap variety, originally described in the late 1770s.  Daniel Hinkley observed large populations in the […]

Summer and Winter

Posted on Posted in From the Potting Shed

No one ever talks about taking a stroll around the garden in winter, but maybe you should.  Wrap yourself in a warm scarf, pour a mug of tea, and get outside. Winter Wakeup Just when you’ve resigned yourself to a long grey winter and the frost has blackened your border into a mushy pile, this […]

Peaches and Cream

Posted on Posted in From the Potting Shed

When we bought our house in Seattle, we knew we didn’t want to be under looming trees for the long gloomy winters.  Our house has a bright, exposed lawn to the east, just a broad expanse of ’50s lawn connected to each other house on the block.  Imagine the sound of wooden screen doors banging […]