U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Whimsical Rustic Garden

I invite you to treat yourself with a visit to a delightful, playful garden in beautiful Homer, Alaska.


Artist Suzanne Alvarez created a place where you can feel yourself as a child in a fairyland.


Garden decorations, stepping stones, leaves and plaques welcome you and make it difficult to go home without at least one of them.


Two impressive rock gardens and a little pond are just a beginning.



There are treasures on every step. A propeller, driftwood, old garden and fishing tools and even musical instruments…



You know the water is close when you see a life saving ring. But, what is that ball made from?


Pieces of driftwood! I’ve never seen anything like that.


Here it is!


There are nooks and crannies everywhere, and they attract us like magnets.


Rustic garden chairs are awesome! Think next time when you want to get rid of your old boots!




Do you have a stump in your garden? Is it ‘bold’? Look at this charmer!


An Alaskan garden wouldn’t be finished without moose antlers:


The ‘kitchen girl’, with fork-eyelashes and spoon-earrings, charmed everyone.


Suzanne’s cast leaves are resting among grasses, lush ferns and perennials.


The variety of ferns growing in Alaska is surprising. Among them, there are Oak Fern, Deer Fern, Northern Beech Fern, Lady Fern, Maidenhair Fern, Licorice Fern, Green Spleenwort and Maidenhair Spleenwort Fern.


Kids love this place!





Ah! What a view!


Are we allowed to go to the beach? Yes, we are! It’s an additional treat!


Walking down the steep stairway lined with apple trees:


Who is peeking between the stairs? Is it baneberry?



Clean fresh air. No noise, just gentle lapping of waves. A lot of driftwood to sit on.



This grass looks like Beach Rye. Correct me if I am wrong. It is tall, about 6 feet, pretty coarse and grows on gravel.


Time to go back.



Do you like an old wood, so warm and pleasant to touch? And that view… It’s a long walk, because you want to stop and look back again and again.


One more look at the magic ball:


I want to come back one day…


If you find yourself in Homer during the summer, check if the local garden club has its garden tour. You won’t regret it!


Thank you Suzanne and Rene for allowing us to tour your fantastic woodland paradise!


***Copyright 2011 TatyanaS


  1. A very interesting and cute garden with a million dollar view. I found the driftwood ball fantastic.

  2. And so we come full circle. I remember your first driftwood post as when I 'met' you!

  3. What a fantastic garden, Tatyana! I like a garden that is filled with whimsy as well as beautiful things. Thank you for showing us this glimpse into someone else's world.

  4. Tatyana, That's an amazing garden in a place I won't be able to visit anytime soon - love the orb of driftwood!

  5. What a unique and lovely garden. I especially loved that moss covered tree stump.... and that view.

  6. Wow! What a great place. Those rock gardens are definitely something I want to look into for my backyard. I think it would be great. Thanks for sharing, I love your blog. Take care.

  7. Tatyana, I am so amazed that they have such greenery. I would certaily buy some of those neat stepping stones and that driftwood sphere, wow!


  8. Amazing pictures :D Alaska's always been one of those places that's so beautiful, and I'd love to visit, but I fear that I'll never get around to lol :)

  9. I want to live there! It's so beautiful! I really like that the water is so close by. So peaceful.

  10. That was a great tour! I love all of the unique objects. The view was breathtaking. I'll bet the stairs were a little breathtaking too! Carla

  11. Tatyana Dear, I felt like I was right there with you. What an entertaining tour. I love the aged wood. Those stairs are amazing. No need for a treadmill with those! I love the driftwood ball and all the lush plantings.

  12. I love the tree stump with the moss and flowers growing on top. Very pretty garden and the beach....great place to visit.

  13. I can see why people are drawn to it. It's beautiful. Especially the driftwood gazing ball, and the wall plaques.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  14. Ooooo, I want a 'kitchen girl' and some of that driftwood! I'll definitely put Homer on my list of places to visit in Alaska. Thanks for the lovely tour!

  15. Hi Tatyana, I love this post very much. I love the natural beauty in driftwood. It's very creative of them to come up with so many wonderful ideas to make use of driftwood.

  16. Such an amazing garden, lots of greenery and colourful blooms here and there, with the beach nearby, I love it! I love the great looking rock garden, I want to do mine like that...wish I could. Thanks for sharing Tatyana..great photos too!

  17. I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely outing with you! The views are inspiring and the gardens are quite clearly works of love. Some really delightful ideas to be gleaned and all that driftwood! Oh, how I'd love to get my hands on a few of those pieces!

  18. what a wonderful tour for my Sunday morning, thank you Tatyana, I never got as far north as Alaska when on your north west coast had hoped to so a lovely virtual visit, I love drift wood we don't get much here but Vancouver island had loads, Frances

  19. What an interesting place! I didn't know so many different varieties of ferns would grow in Alaska! I never think of 'beach' when I think of Alaska let alone one with driftwood (and I love driftwood). Thank you for opening my eyes. Those stepping stones are terrific. So glad that you shared your visit.

  20. What a cool garden. How is the driftwood ball connected? That is really interesting. I love the mossy tree stump, I can't imagine a tree that large right next to the house.
    What a view ~~~ absolutely incredible. Thanks for sharing this beautiful spot on the earth. Hard to believe that ferns are so hardy. Some of those are onoes I have in SC.

  21. I love the playfulness.

    I could never create a garden like that myself (I'm far too puritan and modernist), but I love that it exists out there. The world NEEDS gardens like that, I suspect.

  22. Thank you!!! I love to read your comments! That garden was fun! I agree with Soren and other readers - we need such gardens, even if we don't want such style in our own place. Also, I want to encourage you to visit Alaska. It could be a trip of a lifetime!

  23. What a beautiful, magical garden - thank you very much for sharing

  24. I am always amazed at the ideas some people can come up with to add fun to their gardens. So many wonderful ideas in their garden. I love the leaf impressions and I would like to be able to get some pieces of drift wood like they have along the beach.A person could get a lot of exercise just going up and down those steps to the beach. LOL!

  25. Such a stunningly beautiful place , and great ideas too-I have an embarrassingly large pile of driftwood that I really ought to do something with-it will only grow larger as I can't seem to stop myself from picking it up. Thanks for the tour !

  26. What a fun garden, it takes so much courage to come up with such bold additions! The stairs are making me tired from just looking at them, but a wonderful view indeed. :)

  27. Tatyana, What a fabulous setting and I love all the old worn wood with the greens. Great place and wow. . . that is quite the climb down to the water!

  28. Wow! So much to see! I like the driftwood ball, that would be quite a feature in the garden.

  29. This is really a unique garden. The driftwood ball it a piece of art, one I really admire. Nice tour.

  30. I don't think I would feel comfortable in this garden now - but, when I was a child, I would have loved it.

    Something like goldfish. This morning my husband took me to see goldfish in a pond. He was very enthusiastic. Wouldn't we like a pond with fish in? I wouldn't. Not now . . . but when I was a child . . .


  31. It's so lush ~ not how I think of Alaska! I have always wanted to visit in summer and now even more. Your photos are just wonderful and make it all the more appealing.

  32. Thank you for taking me on such a great tour! I wish I could see this in person. That view is amazing!

  33. Wow - thank you for this garden tour! I'm not sure if I'll make it to Alaska this summer ;). That moss covered stump and adjacent ferns were my favorite. Oh and that driftwood ball - very cool!

  34. What a fun place. You inspire me to do a post on the driftwood art at the art institute near us. It would blow your mind. Thanks for the tour.

  35. Wow, there's a lot to see in that garden. I am fascinated by the driftwood ball! And I love the stepping stones. And to be able to walk right down to the sea - that's heaven!

  36. Tatyana, marvellous garden, love your photos. My brother once went fishing in Alaska and got chased by a bear, scary.

  37. Wow!!!! I loved everything about this post. Thank you. I'm gonna share it on my FB page. This is so good. Inspiring.

  38. When I think of Alaska I definitely do not picture charming gardens stuffed with plants and fruit! How impressive! I think it is also a first for me to like every single garden ornament I see. I'm usually quite picky about them.

  39. Tatyana,

    We just need to get all these admirers on the next jet up here. OK, maybe in five months when the gardens actually are up and running;)

    Homer is known for it's thriving garden community, sort of like a Seattle or Portland of the far north. I'm making the trek down this summer to visit Fritz Creek nursery. Have you been there yet, Tatyana? It's probably the biggest destination nursery in Alaska. One of the best, at least.

    Christine in Anchorage, Alaska

  40. Thank you everyone!
    Chrisitine, I've been to that nursery, it's a unique place! I mentioned it here:

  41. Hi Tatyana,
    Is this your town? What zone are you in? I couldn't figure it out from a 5 minute online search.

    What a beautiful area this is! I enjoyed the gardens and views of this and your previous post.

  42. I love all of the whimsical pieces in the garden. They are great. So imaginative. And the view.... truly amazing. Thank you for the lovely tour.

  43. What a fun garden. I want one of those pottery plaques. Are they for sale somewhere?

  44. Sue, my own garden is in zone 7b, state WA. This whimsical garden is in Homer, Alaska.

    sweetbay, I also like Suzanne's art.

    Nellie, they were for sale in her garden.
    Thank you everyone!!!


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