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

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Jewel Box Garden

A couple of weeks ago, after attending the Northwest Perennial Alliance class at the Bellevue Botanical Garden with my friend Annette and her former neighbor Pam, I was invited to visit Pam's garden, on the following Thursday. Pam lives in a nearby town called Auburn, in a housing development called Lakeland. When Nigel and I first moved here to Washington, we briefly considered Lakeland, but although the houses are very nice, the lots seemed too small for the garden I was envisioning. I was very curious to see what Pam had done with hers.

This lovely pot sits by the garage door. Pam is an aficionado of cram-scaping. In fact, a little secret -- she often doesn't even take the plants out of their nursery pots.

Heuchera 'Sweet Tart'

A very welcoming entry awaits visitors

This colorful pot of succulents fills an empty spot in one of the front beds

Another stunning cobalt blue pot crammed with plants
I was curious about the variegated trailing plant with succulent-like leaves on the left side of the container, and Pam looked it up for me in her meticulous records (no plethora of forgotten tags sitting in many piles like in my garden).

Dorotheanthus bellidiformis 'Mezoo Trailing Red'

The garden beds still have some lovely foliage combos too.

The purple center veins on this Heliotrope's leaves are a perfect match to my favorite hardy Geranium 'Samobor.'

Astilbe, ferns, a variegated Hosta, and the still pristine leaves of a Rodgersia (mine burned to a crisp long ago)

More fabulous foliage -- Hakone grass, a frilly variegated Pelargonium, variegated Hosta and painted fern

This cutie-pie frog sits in the midst of a miniature Saxifrage.
Pam's garden has several stunning Hydrangeas with both new flowers and others that are aging beautifully as well.

Pelargonium 'Candy Flower Violet'

Another intriguing pot, with a sweet Fuchsia 'Dying Embers' behind

A closer look at 'Dying Embers'

Bench and Aster 'Hella Lacey' perfectly matched. This is Pam's view through her large kitchen window.

Behind this fence section was the most neatly organized pot ghetto ever.

I've often heard the term "jewel box" used to describe a small but exquisite garden. It may be a cliche, but it's not one I use often, and it was the very first description that came to mind after my visit.

Thank you, Pam, for showing me your garden!


  1. A tiny garden with such attention to detail. What a joy this must have been to visit in person. The ornaments in her pots are such lovely touches, blending perfectly.

    I'm glad you chose a big lot, though.

  2. Seeing her lovely garden is almost a glimpse of what could have been your space too. And you two could have been neighbours :)

  3. A beautiful garden! Pam has done a marvelous job of combining foliage, pots, objects, etc. That picture with the hydrangea and matching bench is especially nice.

  4. It is a jewel box! I loved all the little touches like the miniature octopus in the pot. And those Asters - wow! The Dorotheanthus was a surprise, mainly because I would have said it was variegated red apple, Aptenia cordifolia. I looked both up and found many of the same photos but 2 distinct listings, albeit in the same family. I also discovered that Dorotheanthus belliidiformis used to be Mesembryanthemum criniflorum. Should taxonomists be surprised that some gardeners hate them? In any case, its a great plant, if a very aggressive grower. Thanks for the tour, Alison.

  5. Pam has made her limited space sing. The asters with matching bench is brilliant. I think you chose wisely, though. You would have soon been bursting at the seams.

  6. Those asters look so huge I thought they were ceanothus at first! Beautiful garden.

  7. Great tour, but I REALLY wanted to see the pot ghetto! :)

  8. Seriously! Who's rodgersia looks like that in Ocotber? That's insane. I am curious about the blue thread-like foliage in the photo with the bunny and your caption "The garden beds still have some lovely foliage combos too" you know what that is?

  9. I'm in awe! What a beautiful garden and how lucky are you to have a wee nosy around.
    I'll bet you came away full of inspiration Alison - I know I would have.
    At first sight I thought those Asters were Ceanothus, as has been said above. Gorgeous. Thanks so much for posting this thoroughly enjoyable tour.

  10. Oh what a lovely garden you captured beautifully!

  11. You found a wonderful garden, the foliage combinations are fantastic. How lucky you were to be invited round to have a look, the pots do really make miniature jewel box gardens, a lovely description for them.


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