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

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Part 3 of Random Notes From My Recent Garden Tour

These are more pictures from my recent garden tour.
The front plant bed was noticed not for the abundance of flowering plants, but for the variety of shades of green,  numerous shapes, forms, sizes and also for its contrast.
This place is not a result of any careful planning. I just placed the plants that I loved here.

Abyssinian banana maurelii (Ensete ventricosum) was very popular among the guests.
I doubt that it'll survive our winter, and I don't have a green house to keep it from the cold.
Well, even if it won't make it, to have it as an annual for half of the year for a modest price seems fair to me.
The banana is underplanted with white-blooming nicotiana.
The fountain is surrounded by colocasia, papyrus, ferns, succulents and tropical houseplants.
The guests noticed that I love containers. This is another one: Chinese Rhubarb and
Euphorbia Diamond Frost:
The second bed in front of the house is not so luscious  because of dense tree roots.
The same bed from the other side:
To reach the back garden, one should pass through two metal arches with climbers.
One guest asked how did I manage to grow in shade the plants which require sun.
She referred to my climbing roses, Don Juan.
Well, they do get some morning sun, and I keep tieing the branches horizontally to increase blooming.
One year, when the roses were not doing well at all, I added Clematis montana to the arch.
So far, the roses and clematis coexist peacefully, but I will try to keep the clematis under control.

Parts of the back garden (terrace/cutting garden and  sunken garden) were shown in previous posts.
The other corner of the back garden is this relatively new hill which I try to plant with limited number of varieties and minimal bright colors.
Blooming Escalonia is in the background.
Somehow, men especially liked this hill. I told them a little secret  about it: the base of it is just a pile of sand.
It provides good drainage, and a layer of good soil on the top gives needed nutrients for roots to grow.
A little porch, also in the back of the house, had a pot which attracted a lot of attention.
The purple plants are ornamental peppers Purple Flash.
They are paired with white bacopa and blue lobelia.
The poppy cross-stich was done by my 85 year-old Aunt Lida and brought by my sister from Russia just before the tour. Very timely! It brighted the green shady spot.
Everyone liked the two cucumber containers dressed in burlap and raffia, below:

 I saw many smiles directed to this Plant Rehab area with the plants suffering from bunnies, slugs and sunburn. 

 The composter:
and the compost pile:
Looking at the next container, I think that I am actually a minimalist.
There are just two plant varieties here: Japanese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis) and Coleus.
Behind the garage, there is a small kitchen garden. Besides vegetables and herbs, it has Verbena bonariensis, poppies and earlier in the season - foxgloves.
 Next is my so called accidental plantbed formed from Tagro leftovers and filled with those plants that didn't fit anywhere else:
Accidental bed from above:
Some other pictures from the back garden:
 Garage wall:

 One of everyone's favorites:
 This picture was taken before the tour. During the tour, the froggy had a checkmate situation on the board.
The back porch with a sitting area had some of my garden books:

Shady garden with my working bench:

All in all, the tour was very successful.
I was very happy to share our garden with so many people (around a  thousand) with similar interests. Preparation for the tour pushed us to finish several long-delayed projects and bring the garden to the best shape it's ever been.
The only drawback was the weather. It was very hot.
The bright sun didn't allow for decent picture taking.
That is why some pictures in my posts were taken a day before or a day after the tour.
A little bit frustrating was the fact that many of my premium plants ended blooming right before the tour.
I wish my guests could see the garden right now. It's blooming as never before.
As for me, personally, I was working very hard during the tour preparation.
We spent the first half of May in Europe, and the second half of May and June were very hectic.
Some days, I worked up to 13 hours.
On the days of the tour, it was surprising for me, a heavy snacker, to be able to spend  7 hours  without any food, being fueled just by morning coffee and several biscottis.
I lost 8 pounds and slept only 3 hours the night before the tour. But, it was all worth it.
Those two days were some of the best days of my life, and I'll never forget the compliments my garden received. At the top of them, were the words:
'This garden alone is worth the price of admission for the tour' and 'Your garden is our favorite'.
I am very thankful to the Garden Tour committee for the honor to participate in the tour, to all my guests for their kind, inspiring words and to my family which helped and supported me.
I wish success to all the literacy programs that benefit from the tour.
I am also grateful to you, my blog readers, for your support.
I learned a lot from other gardening blogs and hope your gardens will continue to be a great inspiration for you and your audience.
Thank you all!
Part 1 is HERE
Part 2 to is Here

***Copyright 2013 TatyanaS


  1. Your garden is stunning, Tatyana. Maybe, the most beautiful I've ever seen! You've done a lot of work and it shows. Happy gardening!

    Satu from Finland

  2. Such a lovely, dreamy looking woodland garden Tatyana!

    1. Mark and Gaz, thanks! Shade (woodland) garden is one of my favorite places here.

  3. Your gardens, flowers, foliage, containers, statuary, whimsy are all wonderful! I can't imagine all of the work that must going into having a garden like yours. The compliments people gave you are priceless and will warm your heart for years to come.

    Happy gardening ~ FlowerLady

    1. Lorraine, thank you! You are so right - I do treasure people's words about my garden!

  4. What a great tour of your garden. I know the amount of work you put in to keep it so beautiful.


    1. Eileen, you know because you have a great garden! Thanks!

  5. Susan GilmourJuly 15, 2013

    Gorgeous garden Tatyana, wish you lived closer!

  6. Sono rimasta a bocca aperta ed ho riguardato le foto mille volte MERAVIGLIOSOOOOOO

  7. Before garden tours visiting our gardens I know we do our utmost to show our gardens at their best. You succeeded excellent in it. I enjoyed the virtual tour very much, your garden is amazingly beautiful. When I should not live so far away I certainly should like to visit your garden.

    1. Janneke, I'd like to visit your garden too!

  8. So glad to hear it was a success. What a treat for your visitors! Which area of Washington do you live? I'm hoping to be out your way soon!

    1. Phillip, I remember what you told me about the weather. We were lucku - no rain!

  9. So many thoughtful spaces in your garden! I love the frog playing chess- adorable! I know how difficult it is to plant around firs- my lower area of my garden has 3 large ones, and I basically plant anything that can survive down there. You should put your pictures on Pinterest.

    1. Heather, yes, this is it - to try different plants and see what would survive!

  10. Tatyana your garden is stunning, beautiful, amazing, thank you for sharing I've enjoyed all 3 posts of your garden tour, lucky people who can see it in the real, you put so much thought into the detail as well as the overal picture, big congratulations, you should be very proud of your achievement, Frances x

  11. I WANT to atop and breathe in every little stopping point Thank you so much for sharing

  12. Your sense of art in the garden with both plants and things is amazing....and it appears to run in the family as evidenced by that stunning sampler of poppies

    1. Donna, thank you! I believe that 'less is more' when it comes to garden accessories.

  13. I spent some time in your gardens today! Like you I am very busy during the growing season on the other coast and zone 5b/6 but we have a lot in common. I really enjoyed this Friday in your garden. I will be back for more! I am still looking for a good source for the tall thalictrum. While looking for one in our local nurseries the past spring, I found a dwarf variety that will probably do very well at the front of the shade border in your garden. Check-out my last post for a picture of that.
    I also had my garden in the local tour this year but I never posted about it on the blog since I didn't have a blog ..but now I do so it will be the topic for my post soon. Thanks for the inspiration! Your garden is fantastic and I admire it even more because I learned that you did it all yourself!

    1. Hi Daniela and thank you for writing! I looked at the pictures in FG: you have an interesting garden with good structure, big variety of plants and nice garden accessories. I love your vegetable garden! I bookmarked your blog and I'd love to know more about your garden. Thanks again!!! Happy Gardening and Happy Blogging!


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