Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Hardy Plant Study Weekend -- Denise Lane's Garden

Three years ago, when the Garden Bloggers Fling took place in Seattle, one of the gardens that we toured was Denise Lane's garden in Medina. We sat and had lunch there, and then were set loose to check out the garden. It's a large garden, full of interesting plants and hardscape, and back then I was still new to the area, and still learning about what grows here, so I basically wandered in a daze. It wasn't until I saw other bloggers' posts and pictures that I realized I had missed an entire area of the garden, with a Little and Lewis concrete ruin.

So, imagine how thrilled I was to see in the handout for the Hardy Plant Study Weekend that Denise Lane's garden was on the tour for Saturday! It's not often you get a second chance at anything. As soon as they let us loose after the morning lectures, I gobbled half my lunch and took off like a shot.

Here's the blurb from the booklet:

"Denise came to garden this varied landscape in 1988. Since then it has seen many things come and many go. Gone are trees that were falling or too shady. Gone are the blackberries and other thugs that come with inattention. Gone are many plants that just didn't work. Added were some impressive pieces of stone, plenty of art and a cohesion that many  gardeners strive for. From swamp to entertainment patio there is a bit of everything for everyone here. Color combos sing and the turf is just enough to set off the beds and borders. A busy street is disappearing behind well placed plantings of interesting things. A plant collector and skilled designer, Denise makes it look easy. Spend some time wandering the many walks and trails discovering rare and beautiful treasures."

Concrete ruin and pool in Denise Lane's garden

'Forest Pansy' Redbud with ruin in the background

Hosta leaf lit by sun from behind

Another cool fountain that I don't remember from 2011

Patio and pavilion

Ground cover and river rock rings the patio

This green concrete wall and mirror with sitting area replaced a Leyland cypress

The rare and the common together

Lilac with fabulous purple Clematis

Wingthorn rose

Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame' with Empress tree leaf

Black poppy

I don't remember this mosaic torso from 2011 -- somehow it feels out of place to me

This feels more at home

And this carved stone -- which I remember seeing in 2011

I didn't post about Denise Lane's garden back in 2011, but many other bloggers did! Here are a few of their posts.

The Shovel-Ready Garden
Danger Garden
Rock Rose


  1. Wow! I love the green concrete wall and mirror!
    Alison, I think I said that before, your pictures are very good!

  2. I can't believe you missed the Little and Lewis area during the Fling! Well heck it's nice you got a second chance. That green wall is suburb and the new (rectangular) fountain is lovely as well.

  3. It'sa testament to the gardener's design skills that it's hard to tell, even from your overall shots of this garden, how big or small it is. Interesting use of concrete, both stained and painted and the use of the rare and the prosaic together is fun. I'd love to see this garden for myself sometime.

  4. I liked many aspects of this garden too. I see from your photos that we were attracted to many of the same things.

  5. Such a cool place. And I echo everything Jane said. :)


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