(This is a 2017 garden description. Gardens for this year’s tour can be found here.)
A small front yard and parking strip that stretches around the corner have been carefully planned to contain every northwest-friendly plant on the gardener’s wish list. What was once just grass and a fir tree has become the showy green oasis of the neighborhood.
Three birch trees on the south parking strip converted one side of the lot to a lush shade garden, a perfect environment for ferns, hostas, hellebores, baby tears, and black mondo grass. Because birch trees have shallow roots, large planters were placed beneath them, allowing Japanese anemone, bleeding hearts, sweet woodruff, and Geranium macrorrhizum to flourish. The east side parking strip houses sun-loving plants: hebes, echinaceas, grasses, iris, and lavender. A row of ‘Green Spire’ euonymus provide privacy for the driveway.
Centered in the garden is a graceful Japanese snowbell, surrounded by a large daphne, mock orange and two hydrangeas. An antique goat cart sits beneath the tree, with the gardener’s father’s old ski boots resting nearby, now a home for succulents. Keep your eye peeled for other vintage touches, such as a 1940s cooling rack and church window.
An unusual and effective design touch is the use of black with pots at the front door and mondo grass strategically placed throughout the garden to provide vivid contrast with lush green plants and brightly-colored flowers. Beauty abounds in this calming, colorful greeting to the home.