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Garden Photo of the Day

One Spectacular Garden Evolution

By Kim Charles

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There is always room for one more plant in Jeanne Cronce's garden in Port Orchard, WA


"Winter Spring Gardens" have been in the works for 35 years. No knowing how my gardens would end up nor did I have a full vision, I just gardened to my delight. With so many plants and ideas, it has just evolved. We have five acres with about 3 1/2 being home and gardens. We built our house out of fir trees trees that were on the property. But I could not stop there! I love to get "down and dirty". There are so many different plants and their effects on our vision, smell and happiness keep me going. When I find a tree or a shrub that I like, and have to make a new bed, that is fine by me! But…I need to slow down, as I am no spring chicken anymore. We do have garden tours and I enjoy trying to propagate and divide plants. As I say…there is always room for one more plant!  


(Stay tuned for more great photos from Jeanne–I have a nice supply for a couple of more posts!)


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  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 11/08/2016

    My, my, my. Amazingly beautiful!

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Thanks Treasuresmom!

  2. user-7007498 11/08/2016

    Thanks for brightening my day with your wonderful photos. It must be so nice, and perhaps a curse, to have 5 acres to work with. There are times when I get worn out on my 1/2 acre.

    I also love to garden by the "add whatever I fall in love with" design. Usually it works out, but it has created a lot of plant movement over the years.

    There is so much to see in your pictures. I will have to come back later and look harder. The 3rd photo is such an awesome collection of conifers and deciduous plants. Great texture and form.
    Love the size and fullness of the Acuba. I can grow it, but I get yearly dieback in my winters. The Aronia is beautiful. Have to get to work. Thanks again.

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Hi Kevin, iam glad this has brightened your day. Gardens always do that dont they! I dont look at it ever though as a curse. Gardens are always evolving and thats the fun part about it. I have moved so many plants and shrubs and trees around though. Its fun to play around like that. But now in the future i will have to find a strong young man to help! Too bad about your acuba. I have never had that happen to this one.
      Do you know what causes this to happen?

      1. user-7007498 11/08/2016

        Unfortunately Jeanne, I am in zone 6b. We have had 3 consecutive winters of 6a, which has impacted a number of plants. Acuba is one. Doesn't die, but we start from the base again.

        1. greengenes 11/08/2016

          Okay Kevin, nothing like starting over every year! We have some plants here that it is that way as well. Sometimes too much rain. Happy gardening Kevin!

  3. frankgreenhalgh 11/08/2016

    Greetings Jeanne - Thank you so much for a virtual tour of part of the extensive and magnificent gardens you have created over an extended period. Plants certainly affect all our senses and 'get under our skins', and your plants are obviously no exception. Outstanding effort I say for a spring chicken at heart. Love the colour, texture, layering and interesting design of your gardens, and look forward to future posts of other aspects of your gardens. Cheers from Oz

    PS. 'D' day - Good 'Decision' making today guys. There is a lot at stake for all of us, including us in Aussie land.

    1. User avater
      Linda on Whidbey 11/08/2016

      Frank, thanks for thinking of us on our D day. We're hoping for a good decision here, too.

    2. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Hey Frank.. down under sounds nice as you are in spring now. I have seen some really cool and interesting plants and gardens from your neck of the planet. Its always fun to explore isnt it! Thanks for your kind comments and i hope to keep up doing what iam doing for a long time!

  4. Chris N 11/08/2016

    Hi Jeanne - I've been hoping we would see more of your garden again. It is beautiful. I will definitely look more at these this evening when I am home from work.

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Hi Chris! Hope all is well with you and your gardens! Keep in touch!

  5. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/08/2016

    Jeanne! So great to see these sweeping views of your amazing garden, collection and the great photo of your home. I love it!
    I just oooo'ed and ahhhh'ed at every photo, but I think my very, very favorite is the Rhodochiton in the last photo. I assume it is tender for you? I thought it was zone 10 or something like that. It is amazing. Of course the stones and great glaze on the container don't hurt.
    Love your tall cypress (?) in the third picture, and the composition of the photo with the Japanese maple in the container in front of the columnar evergreen and the Acuba makes me grin from ear to ear.

    1. Sheila_Schultz 11/08/2016

      I didn't get one either... I'm so happy I came in thru the back door!

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/08/2016

        I edited my comment because as soon as I finished typing and went back to my email the GPOD email came through. Whew? Jeanne needs to be announced! All hail the queen of five acres!

        1. Sheila_Schultz 11/08/2016

          YES! I had checked, too, but mine hadn't appeared yet. I agree, everyone deserves the opportunity to see her garden of eden!

    2. user-7007498 11/08/2016

      Thanks Tim, for identifying the Rhodochiton. I have never seen it before. Stunning plant in the perfect spot with the boulder.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/08/2016

        Looks pretty darn cool. I don't think I've seen many views of the entire plant like this one. Might be worth adding to the growing, over-wintering collection......I really need to get some won't-power to overcome my will-power.

    3. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Hows it going Tim! Glad you enjoyed the gardens again this year. Yes the rhodochiton isnt hardy here but i will put it in the greenhouse for the winter. I just havent had the to do so because it has been warm and its still growing! It is in the pot with a pink styrax tree. The third photo is an alaskan cedar instead of a cypress. Happy gardening Tim!

  6. Sheila_Schultz 11/08/2016

    Jeanne, Jeanne, Jeanne... What a perfect day to see images your magnificent gardens! Your 5 acres explode with the natural beauty that comes from your vision of happiness. The maturity of your trees and conifers quietly give the feeling of stability and your visually pleasing combinations show that diversity is a positive force! Thank you for loving what you do!

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Hey Sheila... hope you really enjoyed your trip and iam glad you enjoy seeing our gardens this fall. The trees are quite old as i planted some way back when and i didnt even have a vision then. I sure wish i would of planted more so i could of been so enjoying them now. There are so many wonderful trees!, my weakness. Thanks for your kind comments and if you are ever this way well you know you would be so wecomed to hide out for a while!

      1. Sheila_Schultz 11/08/2016

        You know, when thinking about our gardening styles and passions, I used to think that life would be so much easier if we could start with the wisdom of age then work backwards. It made sense once, but in reality, our imagination of possibilities would be lost. Gardening passions are ever evolving as they should. The beauty you have created makes me smile. Thanks for the invite!

  7. NCYarden 11/08/2016

    Jeanne, you really do have one spectacular garden that never fails to inspire. I completely echo your gardening "style". Always room somewhere for an interesting new member in the collection, even if it means a little more work. Your Fall photos are mesmerizing. I ache that I only get photos, as I would much rather have some moments there. Lovely. thanks for sharing.

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      NC Yarden, So glad these inspire and that is what i hope to do in part. With so many choices out there for growing pleasure why cant we have them all? Well at least the ones we can grow in our areas. But then there are greenhouses! Wouldnt it be fun to have a huge conservatory off the house! Or as a house! Happy gardening!

  8. chelleisdiggin 11/08/2016

    Jeanne, thank you so much for posting. I love your style! Your gardens exemplify your labor of love.

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Hi Chelleisdiggin... I like your name here! Well thanks for the complement. I am glad you enjoy this! Yes i supose it is a labor of love and a labor of intense therapy!

  9. wGardens 11/08/2016

    As always, Jeanne, beautiful gardens and photos. I too, love the mix of conifers and deciduous trees and shrubs. Really wonderful selections, as well. Great placement... and I do love the maturity... it all looks GREAT! Looking forward to more photos! Thank you!

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Margaret! Hi, thanks again for the compliments. Arent there so many cool conifers and trees! Mine are all crammed together. I like things full and the feeling of being hidden. Happy day for you today!

  10. user-4691082 11/08/2016

    It is a fat and happy garden! No spindly little plants with 3 feet of mulch between them! I love your Alaskan cedar. I cherish mine everyday. As Frank said, it's D day. I'll be voting soon...😬

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Hi Rhonda, arent these alaskan cedars nice! I have a few of them around. They seem to bring a sort of dramaticness, sadness, and darkness to an unsuppecting area. Happy fall!

  11. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 11/08/2016

    Sigh, Jeanne, you and Mother Nature have such a wonderful partnership. I suspect you have nudged her and she has nudged you...the results are mesmerizingly magical.
    I adored how you described the aspects of your gardening journey in this go round of your copy..."down and dirty" ...you are speaking my language! And how interesting that you built your home from the wood of fir trees that were part of your property. What a sense of bonding and connection you must have with your 5 acres...no wonder you are devoted to it.

    Your pictures today have been a privilege to gaze upon...and gaze upon a second and third time.

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 11/08/2016

      Hi, again, Jeanne, I'd like to sneak in a ps with a question. Since Tim has done his much appreciated job of identifying the admired mystery plant, the Rhodochiton, I wonder if you could explain a little more about the planting arrangement of it in that picture...is it in the ground and growing upward? or is it in a containing and trailing downward?

    2. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Yes Micheale its been a wrestling match for sure with all the rain right now. But we had a really steady with warmth type summer and it has made everything grow to great abundance! Yep! Down and dirty is the way it is...They say dirt makes you happy! Its all about our endorforins i guess. I just know it works! HaHa. Take care and have a wonderful thanks giving!

  12. Annek 11/08/2016

    I don't have enough exclamatory words to describe the excitement over viewing your garden photos, Jeanne. It is perfection. I was so happy to hear that you share your garden beauty through tours and propagation. All the gardening world should see your work!

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Hi Annek! Sometimes i run out of those kind of words in Jeffs gardens. Actually in yours too! Have a great fall and winter! Hope to see you ....soon!

  13. Schatzi 11/08/2016

    Beautiful grasses, beautiful flowers, beautiful fall color - and the dog's not bad either! Great to see more of your garden Jeanne - it is magnificent.

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Shirley! How are you?! Hope you are happily gardening too! Glad you like Jack. He is the best dog ever and never will be able to find another like him! Thanks for your nice comments!

  14. GrannyCC 11/08/2016

    Thank you Jeanne for sharing your wonderful eclectic garden. It is always a joy to have a visit and see what new plants you have added. Can't wait for more.

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Hi Catherine! Iam so glad you enjoy seeing these. Sometimes this is the only way we get to visit eachothers gardens. But by golley gee..i sure do want to make it up to Victoria! Hoping for next spring or summer!

      1. GrannyCC 11/08/2016

        That would be great. You could visit May and I.

        1. greengenes 11/08/2016

          I would love that! Can i bring my husband? We might bring our camper up there or motorcycle. I will contact later next spring or summer. Time seems to always go by so so fast.

          1. GrannyCC 11/09/2016

            Sounds good.

  15. Jay_Sifford 11/08/2016

    Hi Jeanne, your use of color, texture and shape is great. It's beautiful. I hope to visit one day when I get back out there. And your log home looks awesome too.

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Well Mr. Sifford! You are so welcome any time. These generous comments comming from you makes me feel so honored. I just hope when you do come for a visit and wine i will meet your expectations of a good time! Hi Jay!

  16. OregonGardenGal 11/08/2016

    Wonderful collection of textures, colors and spaces Jeanne!

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Thank you Nancy! So glad you enjoyed seeing these!

  17. user-3565112 11/08/2016

    One after the other the PNW gardeners always amaze me. Every scene is stunning as is your home. The fact that you built your home with logs from your property only adds to your terrific achievements. Beautiful work, good luck Joe

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Yes Joe, isnt it great to see other gardens and to be inspired and get ideas from. There are many to behold thats for sure! Building our home was a lot of work and dare i say it still isnt finished! Thanks for the well wishes!

  18. Cenepk10 11/08/2016

    Good Gravy, Lady !!! That's one spectacular paradise you've made there.

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Cenepk10 , your exclamation made me think of thanksgiving dinner! I love the gravey part! Yes, it is like a paradise, a place to escape the rat race of todays situations. With wine of course! Happy seasons ahead!

  19. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 11/08/2016

    Jeanne, your garden is a feast for the eyes on this grey fall morning. I share your attitude about making a new bed if there is no room in the current ones. That's one of my favorite things to do. Your dog must be in heaven being able to run around 5 acres of beautiful gardens.

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Hi Linda, Iam glad there are others that feel and do the same as far as making more room. I sure would love to see your side of the water! Yes, Jack our dog has enjoyed running and chasing off the wild side for the past 13 years. Now he just wants to lay beside the fire all day! I hope i dont get like that when i get older!

  20. ruthlongfield 11/08/2016

    Well worth the time I took to look at those pictures. Well done.

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      ThanK You Ruth!

  21. user-7007059 11/08/2016

    I live so close to you (Gig Harbor) and I still haven't made it to your garden! So much beauty to see - What's wrong with me??!

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Hi Peggy! There is nothing wrong with you. You have had garden tours when i have. So we havent been able to view eachothers in person! Some day soon perhaps!

      1. user-7007059 11/08/2016

        True about the timing thing, but I would love to just schedule a time when we could see each other's creations. Maybe next May or so?

        1. greengenes 11/08/2016

          Hi Peggy... sure, looking forward to it!

  22. Coveside 11/08/2016

    Love the combinations of color and texture!

    1. greengenes 11/08/2016

      Dearest Coveside... Thank you. So glad you enjoyed these photos and i hope to inspire and enjoy plants! Your name sounds like you might be living by the water?! How fortunate if so! Have a wonderful thanksgiving! We sure have a lot to be thankful for!

  23. cynthiamccain 11/09/2016

    Wow, absolutely gorgeous, Jeanne! Might I ask what the shrub is with the beautiful black berries--is it an aronia?

  24. thevioletfern 11/09/2016

    Paradise! I love that your home is tied to the property. It seems a very special place.

  25. PerenniallyCrazy 11/16/2016

    I'm always happy to see your garden Jeanne. Can't wait to see the additional posts. I do wish that you could send in a video tour one day.... well, until I am able to walk and experience your garden in person.

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