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

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fairytale Garden of Marion and Steve

When you see such a bench on the way to a garden, you start suspecting that there is something magical ahead.

When, after the bench, you come to such a shed, you are already sure that you are in for a special treat:

Knock-knock! Who lives here?

Marion and Steve have lived here since 1972, in the house built in 1900.
A former elementary school teacher, Marion is gardening, creating art in her studio and enjoying time with her little granddaughters. 
Steve is her great help and supporter.

If you enter the garden from the back, as we did, you wouldn't even feel that the garden is in the center of downtown Gig Harbor.
It feels secluded and a bit mysterious thanks to mature trees and lush plantings.

Small orchard of apple, pear and plum trees

 From the first moment, I felt a tingle of excitement like a little girl who found herself in an enchanted garden.
The garden tour brochure says 'the delightful garden of many 'rooms' invites you to stroll, enjoy and relax.'
I would add - it invites you to explore, because almost every time you take a step you discover something thrilling.
And, did I say 'smile'? The garden invites you to smile!

 Knot garden, framed by boxwood hedges, is just lovely:

I love, love, love the green color!
Its different shades in plantings of different shapes creates garden pictures:

Happy bunny dance among luscious brunnera and contrasting heuchera

For some time, shade gardens are more attractive to me than sunny gardens.
I don't think it's bad taking into consideration the current shift to hotter and drier summers.

To the shade garden, through the arbor, along the garden path:


Sumptuous hosta, trickling water and desirable shade on a hot day.
Peaceful and tranquil...

Yes, peaceful and tranquil, calm and serene, but wait!
Adrenaline is going up!
Garden vases! Huge! I mean - HUGE! Knock-out!
Full of flowers, foliage and leafy vegetables with a cabbage sitting there as a queen!

Plus a skirt from the Japanese Forest Grass:

And then, is  t h i s:

I try to understand why did I fall in love with this fairytale-like setting.
It's not just the bunny. It's where he sits, how he sits, what's around him, above and beneath.
The whole arrangement makes it difficult for me to move away from this place.
And, again, minimalist color scheme - green, white and a splash of yellow.
Who needs more color here?
Some rocks, some moss... Layers...

I could sit on this bench and admire the garden for hours!

Green and white luxury:

Don't you feel as if fairies just took off this mossy branch and hid in hydrangea blooms?

Garden shed is full of treasures:

Another bunny! This garden is owned by bunnies and ducks!

The above  and below garden views are among my favorites.
Layers, shapes, great background, splashes of color, brick pattern.
Love it!
I consider it a little masterpiece. It looks like a painting, doesn't it?

In addition to the numerous sitting areas around the garden,  there is a deck  with a view of the harbor.

The garden is filled with many tasteful, lovely details and touches.

 Vegetable garden, adorned by gorgeous poppies and sweet peas, is not just functional, but playful and funny!

How many weeds these vintage tools have seen!

More bunnies! Hmmm.. Long ears - they could be hares.

Lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbages, etc. are guarded by a Tin Man.

We left the enchanted garden by the same hidden path...

Marion and Steve's garden has been my inspiration since its previous garden tour in 2007 (see the last picture).
It was pleasure to see it again, more mature and ever more beautiful.
Any garden tells something about its owners. In this case, the garden reflects their great taste, creativity and good sense of humor.

Thank you, Marion and Steve, for letting us and hundreds of other garden lovers 
 enjoy your fairyland garden and, in my case, to be a child again.

***Copyright 2015 TatyanaS


  1. It does look like a thoroughly delightful garden. I can see what draws you to it, it shares a sweet sensibility with your own garden. Very inspiring.

  2. Thank you for sharing this delightful garden. I was inspired to work in my own gardens, but alas, the heat and humidity are keeping me in today.

    Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

  3. thank you for sharing.
    Every photo is beautiful.

  4. I had a look through the whole post, then I had to start again from the beginning and look at all the photos again – what an inspirational garden! There are many ideas here I would like to borrow for my own garden, although mine is much smaller so they would have to be scaled down. Thanks for letting us tag along with you to this wonderful garden, I really enjoyed the tour :-)

  5. AnonymousJuly 24, 2015

    What a beautiful garden. Every photo is so charming and captivating! I can see why you are so inspired by this green and restful space. Thanks for sharing the photos with us :-)

  6. What a feast for the eyes, Tatyana! Just outstanding. I loved every photo. I can see why you love this garden.

  7. What a special garden! You've captured the charm and magic of this place very well in your excellent images. Thanks for sharing; I feel almost as if I'd experienced it in person.

  8. I have scrolled up and down, so beautiful. This garden is a feast for the eyes and it's owned by bunnies........better stone bunnies than my living bunnies in the garden.

  9. Can you just imagine the fairies running riot here when all the humans have gone off to bed. What a magical place. Thank you for sharing with us. Inspirational planting and the ornaments, art and nick nacks really do add to the whole effect. Reading this post has put a wee smile on my face too Tanya.

  10. What a beautiful and eclectic garden full of beauty, rustic touches, whimsy and so much more....I love the bunny in the fountain.

  11. Marion and Steve's garden is indeed enchanted! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. It is filled with inspirational ideas, and I love everything about it. Like you, I am drawn to the serene shady areas. I definitely am going to steal the idea of the bunny sitting in the urn amidst the lime green frothy planting!

  12. Thank you for the wonderful visit to this special place

  13. Wow what a wonderful garden they have. Thanks for taking us with you on your beautiful visit.
    Have a wonderful day Tatyana.

  14. What an incredible garden!! I love it! I wish I'd been there. :o)


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