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

Friday, August 26, 2016

Venturing Further Afield on An NPA Garden Visit

In July, I finally started going somewhere other than the grocery store and the therapist's office. Out for lunch or dinner to a restaurant. Down the hill to Windmill Nursery or even all the way across town to Watsons's in Puyallup.

I joined the Northwest Perennial Alliance back at the beginning of the year, intending to go garden visiting like I have every year, but with the gall bladder surgery, and then the daily headaches and anxiety issues, those plans had fallen by the wayside. So I thought perhaps since I was showing improvement, it might be time to visit a garden. Just one little visit. Just sticking my little toe back in the water.

I looked in the NPA booklet and saw a brand new garden that had never been shown before, within reasonable driving distance, and it sounded marvelous.

Art Converse's garden is "on one acre in an enchanting area called May Valley. The garden has many themes to enjoy, including a rose garden which contains 600 roses, a large vegetable garden, many palm trees and tropical plants, nine ponds, a spawning creek and various guest cottages."

My friend Peter The Outlaw Gardener also visited Art's garden that day, although we missed seeing each other. Peter's post is here. You can get a good overview of the garden there, and some history on the many little cottages and garden structures.

I concentrated on the beautiful flowers.

Hummingbirds were whizzing all around this Crocosmia

There were several large, heavily blooming Brugmansias in pots

Oh, heavenly scent!

This seating area was backed by Dahlias and lush bananas

I was astounded by the sturdiness of the stems on these enormous  flowers

Then, the rose garden, enclosed by a fence and gate. You could smell it as you approached.

One of the many ponds, this one tucked up right close to the house, near the front door

A bed full of Hydrangeas greets you as you pass into the back garden

This cute little fella sits on one of the back yard structures

Looking across the garden

Grape arbor

Looking back across the garden (the little lizard was on one of those round beams



A  bed full of Gladioli, that I hadn't noticed coming in, struck me as I left. They were behind a stone wall and hard to reach to photograph well, but this one was intriguing enough to try. I love two-tone flowers, of any kind.

Thanks, Art, for showing your beautiful garden and for sharing it with NPA members, and with me. It was a successful outing, topped off with coffee and a scone at a nearby coffee shop with Nigel.


  1. Thanks for the tour, Alison! I'm glad you were able to get out and about.

  2. I'm glad you are feeling somewhat better and hope you continue to improve. Beautiful garden (also saw it on Outlaw's post), and your photos captured it very well. It's almost like another planet compared to here--everything so GREEN, and no dried-up dead trees anywhere in sight.

  3. Those dahlias are scrumptious! I'm glad you didn't miss this tour opportunity - and that you shared it with us!

  4. I'm so glad you were feeling well enough to start garden visiting again, you chose a beauty for your first one. All those beautiful flowers must have lifted your spirits.

  5. I read Peter's post too, and it's nice how your impressions complement each others. I'm amazed at not seeing a single spent bloom anywhere... someone was busy dead heading. That Gladiola is fantastic. I would be looking to add it to my collection.

  6. Art's garden is a special place, isn't it? Glad that you're starting to feel better and look forward to our adventure in a couple of weeks!

  7. I guess I never posted my photos of Art's garden. Your pictures are wonderful.

  8. Wow, looks like an amazing garden. Love the roses, especially that first yellow one.


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