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

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Are you wondering what "Spasibo" is? Some fancy new plant cultivar?

Do you read a lot of PNW gardening blogs, like I do? If you do, you might recognize this wrought iron gazebo, covered in grapevines.

Or you might find this lovely back garden, with its eclectic mix of formal and informal, quite familiar.

Peter The Outlaw Gardener, my friend Annette, and I recently went on the NPA tour of Gig Harbor gardens. Peter and I had both noticed when we got our booklets that there was one garden on the list that we were very excited to see, because it was the garden of local garden blogger Tanya, who writes the blog My Secret Garden. I had met Tanya twice before, once during the Seattle Fling, when she drove to Dragonfly Farms to meet all of us, and during the Gig Harbor Garden Tour a couple of years ago. But all I've ever seen of her garden has been the lovely photographs of it that she publishes on her blog.

What a treat!

Pretty poppies!

Red banana in an enormous container

Love this dragon sculpture!

Fat Fatsia berries!

Semi-shady, colorful nook with chairs and potting bench

Shade-loving ground covers

This big-leaved Hosta in a tall container is perfect!

I'm a sucker for honeysuckle!

We all enjoyed monkeying around at Tanya's garden!

Artful tablescape

Clematis montana trained onto a nearby tree bough

Chess-playing frog contemplates his next move

Tanya, who is Russian, has a playful sense of humor, and was the most warm and welcoming gardener on the entire tour. As soon as we arrived, she was right there to greet us, and give us a personally guided tour of her garden.

Eremurus tower in the cutting garden

Statuary are plentiful in Tanya's garden

Are you still wondering what "Spasibo" is?

It's Russian for "Thank you." Thank you, Tanya, for opening your garden, and for being such a lively, welcoming hostess.

You can read Peter's post about Tanya's garden here, which includes some photos of all of us. Well, except for him, he was behind the camera.


  1. I recognised Spasibo, and the garden! Nice to see your take on this beautiful garden!

  2. Tanya's garden is fabulous! I enjoy her blog and the exquisite views of her garden she shares. It's been fun to see the same garden from your view as well. The combinations, container plantings, and that sphere with foliage. It's all gorgeous.

  3. I love her garden. I knew that there was a golf course behind her, but never had seen a picture that showed it in the distance until now. She has done a wonderful job of closing all that out, and making it an "intimate", although large (my most of our standards) garden.

  4. Wonderful! so many terrific elements in this great garden. I really love the moss covered statue. Marvelous!

  5. Such a fun memory of this special garden and gardener! Thanks for bringing it back!

  6. I wish I'd been there! What a beautiful garden! :o)

  7. We seem to be missing all of the open gardens this spring/summer. Just too busy I guess.

  8. Very nice, love the mossy human statue, and the chess playing frog, and, well, everything!

  9. Alison, I can't believe I am reading this post only now, 6 days after you published it!
    I was away from computer and missed it! Thank you for your kind words about my garden and for taking great pictures (you showed several angles that are new for me!) It was a wonderful day, and I absolutely enjoyed walking with you and Peter around the garden.


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