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Monday, May 12, 2014

Shelagh Tucker's Garden, NPA Tour 2014

On Saturday Peter The Outlaw Gardener and I started once again touring open gardens in Washington, hosted by the Northwest Perennial Alliance. This weekend featured 7 gardens in North Seattle (we saw 7 gardens and two nurseries in 6 hours). One of the first that we visited was Shelagh Tucker's.

I first visited this garden in 2011, on the very first day of the Seattle Garden Bloggers Fling, and I remember being blown away by it. I was still a fairly new gardener to the PNW, and there were so many plants that were unfamiliar to me. I remember that weekend asking over and over, "What plant is that?" Actually, to be honest, I ask that over and over at every Fling. I was excited to share this garden with my friend Peter, I just knew he would love it (he did). You can read my post about my 2011 Fling visit to Shelagh's garden at this link.

Shelagh's garden was both inspirational and aspirational. It was one of the reasons I installed a gravel garden here the next year. It's still an inspiration. Some things have remained the same and some have changed. Some plants are flowering now in May that weren't flowering that weekend in July, 2011.

No more Mexican feather grass, but plenty of self-sown poppies -- and it's a different pot on top of the pedestal

Grevillea victoriae 'Murray Queen'

Parahebe perfoliata -- Seeing this plant massed like this has made me realize I need more than my one paltry plant


A wall of Rhodies behind the pond wasn't flowering in 2011

Wisteria wasn't flowering in 2011 either.

Shelagh has decorated her garden with architectural fragments from Seattle's old Music Hall.

Peter told me what Clematis this was, and I immediately forgot

Wonderful old gnarly branches

Clematis on the back fence -- Wish I knew what variety (EDIT: Shelagh emailed me to say this is Clematis montana 'Marjorie')

Lovely, sweet, streaky-pink flowers

Fountain made from architectural fragments wasn't running in 2011

Peony seed pods

New growth on Callistemon

Kitty cutouts in the shed window

Flowering Leucothoe

I love how the Sedum 'Angelina' under the pot looks like it has grown from fragments that have broken off over the years

There was a different plant growing with this Hosta back in 2011, but this fern is much better matched -- one of Shelagh's skills.

Love it!

Here are other posts about Shelagh Tucker's garden from the 2011 Seattle Fling.

The Shovel-Ready Garden
Danger Garden
Toronto Gardens
Rock Rose
Victoria's Back Yard
Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog

And you can read an article from Pacific Horticulture about the garden here.


  1. Nice to see this garden again! It was a delightful garden in 2011 and looks just as wonderful now. I do love gravel paths...

  2. What a delightful visit to a garden on different levels. I do love a change in height in a garden.

    I did some homework on plants unfamiliar to me -- I find lots of these in your blog. It took a while for me to figure out that if TAMU says it will grow all over Texas, it will grow here where we may have floods this year after last year's drought. My other benchmark is South African natives, most of which grow here along with certain tropicals from the West Indies.

    When I looked up Parahebe and Grevillea: Australian natives. Is that the key to the unfamiliar in the PNW?

  3. Thanks for such a fun Saturday! This was a delightful garden and gardener! I think the first clematis is C. montana rubens but I don't know the second one.

  4. What a well conceived and beautiful garden...

  5. Lovely garden. I really like all the stone and brick work.

  6. Wonderful to see this garden again! Was the one next door open too?

  7. I love all those architectural fragments and plant vignettes. Thanks for sharing your visit! I look forward to seeing the rest of your tour (once you rest up!).

  8. What a stunning garden! It's beautiful. It must be a fairly mild area given how massive and healthy those rosemary look. And I love the clematis!

  9. It looks like we missed a good one and one we have not seen before. We were busy this weekend and didn't even think to look in the Open Gardens book. I guess I'd better see what's up next. And thanks for showing me what I missed!

  10. I can see why you were inspired. Thanks for passing it on.

  11. Oh what a pleasure that must have been to wander through in person. The photos are awesome, thank you for sharing them with us.

  12. It is a beautiful garden and property for sure but absolutely the photo of the circular pond with the flowering rhododendrons behind it!

  13. Great garden! Love the blooming rhodies, clematis, and wisteria!

  14. What a beautiful garden. I especially love the gravel garden in the first photo and the lush shade areas.

  15. What a beautiful garden. I especially love the chartreuse fern and hosta color echo. But what am I saying? I love it all. Thanks for sharing.


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