A GARDEN FOR ALL SEASONS

Photo by Nancy Wilcox

With a treehouse spanning the branches of two cedar trees, a rope swing swaying in the breeze, and a dog and kid-friendly lawn curving around the front and side of the house, it’s easy to assume this garden was designed and created to be a child’s paradise. But the rocky fire pit, a cedar table with seating for 18, and a working office tucked away among cedars, make it clear this garden is not only kid-friendly but adult-functional as well.

The eye-catching maple tree standing guard at the west corner supports many long, slender branches that spread across a good portion of this corner lot, providing both summer shade and sanctuary to a host of plants friendly to wildlife, such as mahonias, ‘Nana Gracilis’ Hinoki cypress and witch hazel. From the front window the family has caught glimpses of flickers, hummingbirds, raccoons, owls, chickadees, gold finches, and sharp-shinned hawks.

Artistically-staggered planks of boardwalk lead from the sidewalk to front door. This staggered plank pattern reappears at the 18-seat table in back. The table sits on a juniper foundation, its surface created in the traditional Japanese art of charred cedar “Shou Sugi Ban.” The boardwalk continues, passing along a fragrant rain garden, resplendent with grasses, Mexican orange, gardenia, jasmine, sarcococca, and begonias.

The side yard is encompassed by Azara microphylla, ferns and a delicate birch fence. A small forest of cedar surrounds the entertainment area and behind the gabion retaining wall grow potato vine and hops. At the gate exit are vine maples, a smoke tree, oak leaf hydrangea, ’Little Gem’ magnolia, and a triad of weeping Serbian spruce.

Front is wheelchair accessible.