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Garden Photo of the Day

Jen’s garden in Washington, Day 2

Welcome to Day 2 in Jen Talilah's Washington garden! Jen answered my plea for more info. She says, "Our garden has been an almost 10 year labor of love. It started off as nothing but a steep rocky patch around the house that the builder left behind. We filled in and leveled the property by ourselves, which was a major undertaking and left us with some seriously aching bodies! We hired a landscaper to build out the larger hardscaping, such as the fence, rock walls, flagstone walkway, irrigation, and landscape lighting.

The backyard is only about 750 square feet and the front yard 300 square feet, but it can really hold a lot of plants! I am a plantaholic (is that a word?) and can't resist new plants at a nursery (so I've tried to wean myself from going to them, but still am not fully cured). Somehow, I always seem to find a spot for a new plant! So lots of plants have found their home here, some have gone (mainly due to our PNW wet weather), and these pictures are of how it looked as of last summer.

I've actually made a few changes to the yard since fall 2014, adding and changing pots, plants, and garden art. I also am getting ready to start a project to level out the flagstone walkway that runs from the front to the back yard through to the back driveway. I can send new pictures later in the year after it has been completed, hopefully by May this year." Oh please do, Jen! Your garden is so wonderful–I can't wait to see more!

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  1. Nurserynotnordstroms 03/11/2015

    Oh Jen you made me laugh out loud when you said you were a plantaholic but still not fully cured. Most likely all of us that read this blog are all afflicted as well,but it's a great addiction doesn't hurt anyone,and a healthy way to spend the day planting your new oh so perfect(as you wander around looking and looking for a spot)plant. We've all been there and it's OK Jen I myself could( and have)spend all day nursery hopping and buying.and when I'm not doing that or gardening I'm garden blog hopping or reading gardening books. I did see some empty pots so it must be time to shop(or propagate) and fill those pots. Your gardens are so beautiful and you certainly have figured out how to maximize your square footage. I can't wait to see the results from your future plans,I love changing things up each year. People always ask me when I will be done or if I'm done,ha that will never happen.Jen I love your gardens so much,enjoy spring and seriously it's ok to be a plantaholic.

    1. TheGenerator 03/14/2015

      You enjoy too, my fellow plantaholics!

  2. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 03/12/2015

    What a fun and fabulous backyard you have, Jen. I would happily follow that charming flagstone pathway, enjoy looking at the plants and ornamentation along the way and feel so well rewarded getting to wander around your backyard...what a treasure trove of wonderful trees and treasures.

  3. GrannyMay 03/12/2015

    Jen you have a gem of a garden! I love that first photo! Tucked between the house and the privacy fence, that meandering flagstone walkway is not simply a functional path, but a wonderful place to linger. One can enjoy the trellis panels and artwork decorating the fence, the borders, interesting combinations of shrubs, vines and perennials, the strategic lighting. And yet one is drawn further, there are tantalizing glimpses of more to be seen, ahead, just around the corner. And the rest does not disappoint! A happy collection of pots and plants, chosen with passion, placed to please the eye. Thank you for sharing!

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 03/12/2015

    What May said!! I love narrow side-yard gardens. That pathway is awesome and you've met the challenge of that narrow planting space head-on. Looks like you are a container-aholic a well That's quite a collection that fills me with envy. Great plants, too!

  5. User avater
    HelloFromMD 03/12/2015

    Hi Jen, I love informal flagstone and your gardens perfectly demonstrate why flagstone and gardens are a heavenly match, Plants are never perfectly symmetrical (unless pruned) so irregular flagstone is the perfect match. hopefully weeding between the pavers isn't driving you crazy. I think I see a clematis emerging in-between the sun and the moon. Are your other trellises home to vines or are they there to break up the blockiness of the fence. They do add a lot of visual interest! Clever to have so many trees in your big pots so you don't have to worry about roots undermining your paving. Do you root prune the trees to keep them 'pot' size? Happy spring. We have gone from snow to mud, but that's progress.

    1. TheGenerator 03/14/2015

      Hello HellofromMD! You know, I don't have much problem with weeds, thank goodness! I use a lot of compost and organic mulch (BTW, there are NO chemicals in my yards - I don't get rid of beneficial insects and birds, so they are my insect population control), so the weeds are either really easy to pull out or they just don't grow. Could be the gray PNW weather too. I do have a few clematis, but not enough! I need to get more to put on those trellises. And yes, I love my fence but with such a small yard it was like a monster wall staring at you, so I put these trellises on it. Worked like a charm! I haven't yet gotten to the point of having to root prune the trees in the pots, but will need to in the next few years. Looks like my viburnum in the pot will need it sooner than that. So glad you enjoyed the yards and hopefully you can get out in your garden soon!

  6. NCYarden 03/12/2015

    Good morning, Jen. Completely enjoying day 2. The abundant variation of plants is wonderful. Much like yourself, I could never stop experimenting with variety. Like the others here too, the addiction is pretty much permanent, always somehow lingering - just can't seem to get the chlorophyll needle out of my veins. We swore no new plants this year, and well......8 new plants are sitting at the top of my driveway waiting for their new home in our garden (if it will ever stop raining so much), and my wife has 3 pages dog-eared in a catalog that just arrived. Geesh! My biggest addictions are the Japanese maples, followed by clematis, and it seems we may be long lost siblings. I am toally digging your maples, and glad to see you're such a pot head. Amazing how amenable they are to growing in pots. The variegated one in pic 5 - is that Shigatatsu sawa, or Tiger Rose maybe? So beautiful either way. But all your other potted plants are kickin' like Bruce Lee as well - any way to tuck another cool species into the garden. Keep going. Thanks again for sharing.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 03/12/2015

      Please fess up and share the names of what you have now sitting on your driveway. I need to enjoy some plant buying vicariously because it's a little early yet for where I live and also, I am in pulling out mode for the next week or so. You will be a super hero if name names of your plant material!

      1. NCYarden 03/12/2015

        Sure thing...the more exciting ones include Lilium maculatum ssp. davuricum f. rebunense (dwarf Rebun Island lily); Rhododendron calendulaceum 'Orange Flame' azalea; Misaka Itoh peony; Clematis recta 'Lime Close'; Athyrium niponicum 'Thrill Seeker' japanese painted fern, and a few other conifers we rescued that were about to be discarded. I hope this does give you a little satisfaction.
        We've had more rain than usual this season and though I certainly don't want to see a drought again, we could use a little break. I'm dying to get out into the garden, but almost need a canoe at the moment. Unfortunately calling for more rain the next two days.

        1. User avater
          meander1 (Michaele ) 03/12/2015

          Thanks, David, for feeding my addiction...sounds like you have purchased some interesting and gorgeous selections. That peony is positively scrumptious looking and I love the lively color of the 'Orange Flame' azalea. I have found that as I have gotten older, I like seeing bold colors. Good luck with getting everything safely in the ground and on their way to settling in and starting to grow and thrive.

      2. eddireid 03/12/2015

        Make it more fun, Michaele, pull out and compensate by putting in!

        1. User avater
          meander1 (Michaele ) 03/12/2015

          Oh, believe me, Eddi, my plant greedy little brain is buzzing and spinning as I hack away at a trio of way overgrown 'Gold Coast' juniper. I am definitely going to be plant shopping when the task in done and the spot is ready for its new inhabitants. I loved the color and texture of the 'Gold Coast' but they just got too darned big (about 6').

          1. eddireid 03/12/2015

            Well, no wonder you weren't doing things simultaneously! I am so impressed at the very thought of removing six foot junipers that I definitely feel you need a Real Treat.
            Happy shopping.

      3. TheGenerator 03/14/2015

        Hello meander1, the plants on the side of the driveway are: Viburnum x bodnantense 'Pink Dawn', in the pot is Acer palmatum dissectum 'Tamukeyama', Rhododendron 'Landmark', Physocarpus opulifolius 'Donna May', Hydrangea macrophylla 'Lady in Red', Daphne 'Wilhelm Schacht', Sarcococca humilis 'Sarsid 1', and Calluna vulgaris 'Amethyst'. Hope you can get out soon to begin your gardening!

    2. TheGenerator 03/14/2015

      Hello NC Yarden! Sorry I am just getting back to you. It's been a busy week. The variegated maple is Acer palmatum 'First Ghost' that is next to the old milk jug. The maple next to the tall Chamaecyparus is Acer plamatum 'Amber Ghost.' And you are right....I am a MAJOR pothead and helplessly shoot chlorophyl regularly!!! LOL!

  7. greengenes 03/12/2015

    What a lovely place you have created, Jen. Its for sure.. you have become a plantaholic. Isnt it fun! I am sure your place is beautiful when all the maples start to leaf out. The colors are so vivid and exciting after the dull greys of winter past. And in the fall when the colors change I can hardly wait to see it! Simply beautiful! Great job! Thanks so much for sharing all this with us! You have been a real inspiration to us all!

  8. user-4691082 03/12/2015

    I had to laugh when I saw all of those plants in pots! What makes us all behave like we are operating nurseries? Your garden is beautiful and I love those stepping stones from the front yard to the back. Thanks for sharing!

  9. patricialcunningham 03/12/2015

    what a great garden tour. it so shows, when it's a labor of love. inspiring

  10. Sheila_Schultz 03/12/2015

    Jen, you have definitely mastered the visual 'trick' of making a narrow space appear comfortably spacious. Your side yard is spectacular!

  11. Schatzi 03/12/2015

    Plantaholic is definitely a word, one that I use to describe myself frequently. Such an enjoyable affliction! What you have done with a small space is totally amazing! So much beauty in a limited area. And again, love the stone walls and steps and walkways. And the fence looks pretty terrific too.

  12. eddireid 03/12/2015

    Well, after another wonderful hour browsing your beautiful garden I suddenly find I can't stay longer because the nursery is calling insistently!
    Many thanks for letting us all visit.

  13. GrannyCC 03/13/2015

    Thank you what a beautiful and dynamic use of a small space. I think there are a lot of plantaholics on this blog!! Love all the pots and the flagstone pathways. I will be interested to see what the future brings.

  14. PerenniallyCrazy 03/13/2015

    I love everything about your garden Jen! It is full of foliage color, texture, personality and very restful - a true sanctuary in every sense. You've outdone yourself with small space gardening. Would you have a list of all the perennials you have especially your Japanese maples? Each photo has many things to beholden and re-examine. I certainly will be going back to view them on a "can't garden day."

    1. TheGenerator 03/14/2015

      I've got about 800 plants in the garden. Being the accountant that I am and keeping track of everything, I of course have an excel listing of all of my plants. While it may be too long to list here, my list of Japanese maples are: Acer palmatum 'Abigail Rose', Acer palmatum 'Aratama', Acer palmatum 'Bashful', Acer palmatum dissectum 'Brocade', Acer palmatum dissectum 'Tamukeyama', Acer palmatum 'Fireball', Acer palmatum 'First Ghost', Acer palmatum 'Purple Ghost', Acer palmatum 'Royale', Acer palmatum 'Red Pygmy', Acer palmatum 'Pixie', Acer palmatum 'Shindeshojo', Acer palmatum 'Uncle Ghost', Acer shirasawanum 'Sensu', Acer palmatum 'Red Pygmy', Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum', Acer shirasawanum 'Johin', Acer palmatum 'Coral Pink', Acer palmatum 'Geisha Gone Wild', and Acer palmatum 'Shishigashira'. If you are interested in a particular plant, please just ask, and I can give you the name of it.

      1. PerenniallyCrazy 03/14/2015

        Drool! OMG! I wish I had them all. Your ability to magically grow all these species in your urban garden gives me hope. I do hope that you will send more photos when all the Japanese maples have unfurled their leaves this Spring. I am hopelessly in love with any Japanese maple that I have met.

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