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

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Visit to The Old Goat Farm

Clean and crispy October air, blue sky, sun - it was a perfect Saturday for touring the Old Goat Farm belonging to Greg Graves and Gary Waller.
Rain came too, but later.
It was my first visit  there after  last year's Visit to the Old Goat Farm: Winter Garden and Christmas tree.
The garden was something in-between seasons with plenty of bright summery colors and the first subtle signs of fall.

Gabion columns and other rock structures  are one of the signature features of the Farm.
Rocks come from the farm soil itself which is glacier till.
 As Greg says in his  blog, most of the rock is between the size of a potato and a watermelon.
I can relate to his story about using a pickaxe, not a shovel, when digging a hole for a plant.

The other thing that you can't miss in the garden is plenty of seating areas.
They say, there are can be fifty people in the garden sitting down somewhere simultaneously.
This pair of rustic wooden chairs on the lawn was my favorite.

Let's agree, a patio made from neat, equally-sized bricks or stones wouldn't look authentic in this garden with its old Victorian style house, old mossy trees and overall character.

 Clipped evergreens always attract my attention. They give a sense of order and consistency to any place.

Wonderful fern/moss table

These gabion features make the entrance to Linda's Garden very special

Ross Brown sculptures  give this country/cottage garden a futuristic flare.

I spent several minutes looking at this pile of mossy rocks.
Just a pile of rocks... but looks like a sculpture!

 Another cozy  place to sit

Multiple containers in the garden  - under the trees, along the patios, in the borders and flowerbeds -  are not to be missed.

I like how this autumn crocus hides its legs under the bent crocosmia's leaves.

Empty containers set in a right place

I admire the moss and liken on this fallen log as well as the plethora of little plants, including Italian aurum and  pulmonaria, with the interesting leaf pattern around it.

I kept looking at these chairs

Rose hips and windflowers ... it's certainly fall...

This is one of my favorite spots in the garden.

Fuchsia in the picture is Fuchsia triphylla 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt'.
Blue flowers in the above picture - Lobelia siphilitica (Blue Cardinal Flower).

The Old Goat seems to me to be a gardener.
Doesn't it remind you of yourself when, in the morning, with a cup of tea or coffee, you are walking in your garden in your pajamas?

Royal miscanthus!
Miscanthus sinensis  'Zebrinus' will be standing here through the winter, tall and beautiful.

The story of the Farm says that the house used to stand on a 120-acre lot belonging to the Rohr's family since 1868.
The lot was divided in 1968, sold and resold, house got some additions, and now, there are three acres making up the Old Goat Farm.

Begonia boliviensis 'Bonfire'

This cart will be filled with beautiful evergreens when I come here in December to enjoy the Christmas Tea.

Actea  Pachypoda (white baneberry, doll's eyes)

Nursery at the Farm offers a great choice of plants, including those growing here.
My loot this time was Criptomeria japonica 'Spiralis'

Everywhere, there are inviting, cozy places to sit, and many-many details that can be visible only if you sit...

Colors harmony

Isn't it beautiful here?
Blue flowers - Aconitum carmichaelii (Azure Monkshood).

Long walkway behind the house is a separate room, one of many, outlined by the house wall, plant border and trimmed with numerous containers.

Another part of the garden that is my favorite: the entrance to another garden room guarded by lions. The old apple trees and a green lawn attract and lure...

Old apple trees are precious. I liked them this time, in fall, as much as last year in December.

Talking of a focal point

Peeking to the neighboring garden room 


And everywhere - plants, plants, plants. This is a plant collector's garden.

Multiple dwarf conifers in containers.

Big flock of birds includes several peacocks.

I think he knew that I was admiring him

Run! There is a dog there!

At this point of my walk, the rain started. But, I couldn't leave without peeking at the Stumpery.

Five truckloads of gravel, five yards of soil, four hundred plants.
Looks like it's always been here!

One of the things that I love about the Old Goat Farm's garden is that it doesn't look like to say... like it is designed. It looks so natural, effortless, like it's just been here by itself.
You understand what I mean, don't you?
Thank you, Greg and Gary, for creating such a place and for opening it for us!

 ***Copyright 2017 TatyanaS


  1. Thanks for sharing your photos. I love Old Goat Farm, but my own pictures never do it justice. Yours are wonderful, and your commentary is always delightful too. I've never been to one of their Christmas Teas, it sounds like fun.

    1. I'm so glad you like the pictures, Alison! Thank you for your kind words! I hope you can join their tea party one day!

  2. I do understand what you mean. I see it in the photos you provided. It is a great garden. I am envious of all the rocks they have to work with. I would have to have a rock wall someplace. I think you need a couple of those chairs you admire so. Thank you for the fall tour.

    1. Hi Lisa! Thank you so much for your comment! I have a lot of rocks in our soil, but most of them are smaller. The big ones get covered by moss and look like garden decor.

  3. Oh, that's a fun place! I like the stonework, the pots, the decorative touches, and of course, the plants! Thanks for sharing highlights from your visit.

    1. Thank you, Beth! Those containers look so natural in the borders and flowerbeds - it gives me some ideas about my own garden. Love the Farm!

  4. What a place! Thank you Tatyana!

  5. What a gorgeous, magical garden. You are right: it looks so natural--like all those beautiful plants decided to move and grow happily on their own. So well done. Thank you for sharing your visit. Did you get to sit in one of those rustic chairs on the lawn?

    1. Thank you, Hoover Boo! The garden is casual and elegant - very desirable combination!
      To sit in those chairs, I'd need to bring some cushions.. LOL. But, just looking at them and thinking of hot tea makes me feel good! I guess it's similar to window shopping...

  6. Beautiful place, beautiful photos, thank you for the tour.

  7. Hello Tatyana. Lovely, lovely garden. Thank you for sharing your photos with us. Have a nice evening.

  8. The Old Goat Farm is a magical place to visit. Your photos are wonderful.

  9. This is a wonderful garden to visit. It's all the more fabulous when one considers the horrible rocky sand that passes for soil out that way. These guys have worked wonders to create this delightful garden and your pictures, as always, are stunning!


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