A Dedicated Rock Gardener 

(This is a 2018 garden description. Gardens for this year’s tour can be found here.)


As you enter the garden on Juneau Street, notice the granite rock garden created from six truckloads of stone from Entiat, Washington collected and placed by Susan and a friend. Inviting you into the garden are wrought iron gates original to the 1909 house, found tucked away in the garage and repurposed for the entry. Iron trellises, arbors, and rocks are themes carried through the garden. 

Twenty-five years ago the big challenge was reclaiming a long-neglected yard. One-and-half tons of pruning ensued, revealing established plants that could be saved: an enormous rhododendron, a rambling old French lilac draped along the north side of the yard, some boxwood, two weeping birches, a tall Douglas fir, and a wrought iron fence atop a low retaining wall that contains this large corner garden. 

Susan’s love of “digging in the dirt and creating visual appeal” has inspired the garden. Step down from a small rock terrace into a large and casual garden. Let your eyes follow the curving line of lawn punctuated by vine and Japanese maples, rhododendrons, grasses, blueberries, and flowers. Note the sitting areas scattered around the garden—two chairs under the fir tree for a little private contemplation and porch swings under the shade of the deck. A secret sitting area is revealed behind the garden shed. Watch for artfully placed artifacts—an old screen door incorporated into a lattice fence complementing the sprawling French lilac, a large fountain basin planted with Sempervivums mimicking water lilies, and a mermaid resting in the shade. 

As you exit the garden near the garage, notice the new raised beds for vegetables. Like most gardeners, Susan says that she will always be changing her garden “taking out stuff, moving rocks, rescuing plants and finding spots to put them in.” 

This garden is wheelchair-accessible when entered from the driveway, moving in a counter-clockwise direction.