Garden Photo of the Day

A Special Garden Tale from Washington State

By Kim Charles


DeAnna Britt tells us a special garden story.

"My name is DeAnna Britt, and I garden in Everett Washington, on a quarter acre in the city. We have been here for 21 years, and the garden has evolved with me.

Here is a story that I wrote about the garden:

I am twenty-seven, and my husband and I just bought this little house on a quarter acre, and we are moving in with our three small boys; The Frog Catcher, the Sparkle-Eyed Toddler, and The Fat Baby with Red Hair. The land around the house suits us, empty and yet full at the same time, with patches of buttercup and hardy dandelion, yellow and green spilling into puddles without shape or form. I am very busy, and strong. Even with the fat baby on my back, I can do so many things. The old woman comes from the next house over, and tells me how glad she is to see my family move in. Her children played in this yard with the ones that lived here before, about fifty years ago, and she sees my boys and remembers. The Toddler interrupts us, and he is naked. He has buried his pants. I dig them up (they were his best ones, of course), and I see how rich the soil is, dark and fine, and then I notice the broken chicken coop over the new property line. I know that this was once a chicken farm and I am happy."

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Cottage with roses

Anastasia lilies guard the seating area

Cecil Brunner Kraken over the porch

The elderly ladie's house in the background

Cecil brunner overhead

View Comments


  1. bsavage 10/17/2016

    So pretty! That was not enough pictures, LOL! Also, I'd love to see a close up of the chandelier in the seating area. I love interesting garden accents. Thanks for sharing!

  2. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 10/17/2016

    DeAnna, what a fun story about your charming garden. We are sort of neighbors and hope to be exploring around Everett one of these days and always love the Sortaculture event in the spring. Did you get your interesting chandelier there? You have really made the most of your small property. Thanks for sharing.

  3. wGardens 10/17/2016

    You have a very rich garden in many ways. Delightful seating area. Lovely story, lovely gardens! Sounds like we'd all enjoy more photos..... Thanks for posting!

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 10/17/2016

    So very, very pretty. I love how everything looks so lush especially the lilies.

  5. deeinde 10/17/2016

    Thanks for the story and pictures of your beautiful garden! You made my morning!

  6. user-4691082 10/17/2016

    DeAnna, your garden is the picture of romance! All of us are jealous of your wonderful climate, and you have made the most of it. Please send more photos at different times of the year. The east coast is busy dividing perennials, and getting ready for winter. I really loved your story, but had to read it twice to understand that you wrote it when you first moved in. Lol!

  7. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/17/2016

    Does it amaze you how quickly the past 21 years have zipped by for you, your family and your delightful garden? Plants and children have grown and matured but, at least with the plants, you're still kind of in control...notice, I only said "kind of". I hope your older neighbor loved seeing your gardens come to life and continued to share wisdom and memories with you. Your roses and lilies are gorgeous and that dark rich soil has served your gardening efforts well.

  8. Chalis2 10/17/2016

    Just lovely...a true cottage garden! That rich soil has served you well over the years, and I love the romantic touches you've added with your "chandelier" and the table for two!

  9. User avater
    HelloFromMD 10/17/2016

    Love your story. So true about starting with a blank slate, being young and full of energy. My story is much the same as yours except I had a boy and a girl. I started gardening with the idea it would get us all outside and away from the TV.For many years I put in a new bed converting some lawn into gardens. So 26 years later I have a lot of gardens to keep up!

  10. jonellarose 10/17/2016

    I spent 3 months in Seattle in 1987 on a film project and I saw how robust and beautiful the flowers were in the Northwest! Impressive for an Easterner to see! You've done a splendid job with your lot! Congratulations and hope you continue to enjoy it for many, many years to come.

  11. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/17/2016

    Charming story and photos. Your floriferous garden conveys a real sense of joy. Love the lilies.

  12. annek 10/17/2016

    Ahhh, a warm, inviting cottage surrounded by flowers and love. Your story was endearing and your garden special. Keep sending photos. I'd love to see more

  13. thevioletfern 10/17/2016

    I can tell that you are happy! How could you not be? I've never tried burying my pants but I know Lee Reich has successfully composted some ha ha. What a charming, seductive garden and story. I am certain whatever you give to it, will return twice fold. To your happiness!

  14. greengenes 10/17/2016

    Well Deanne you sure drew us into your life the way you wrote about your life story of your gardens! Loved it! You have created a wonderful place with great memories for us all! Your neighbor probably came to life as she watched you and your family change thru the years. Thank you for your creativity and sharing with us!

  15. GrannyCC 10/17/2016

    Congratulations on your beautiful story and garden. It is a wonderful cottage garden with lots of of warmth and coziness in its design.

  16. schatzi 10/17/2016

    Beautiful. Your roses look so happy and healthy. Truly warm and welcoming garden.

  17. user-6536305 10/17/2016

    Beautiful Pacific North West Garden and beautiful story. I was about your age when I got into gardening. Working full time with two young children, gardening was and still is my way reducing pressure and recharges myself. Gardening is great for motherhood because it taught me to be patient and wait. Children, like beautiful tree peony sown by seeds takes up to 8 years to bloom, some are late bloomers. Family and children, like plants, need to be cultivated. Thanks for sharing your story and garden.

  18. user-7007498 10/17/2016

    DeAnna, what a lovely story about the origins of your garden. Wonderful cottage style garden. Thanks for sharing.

  19. ptkmwilk 10/17/2016

    What a lovely cottage garden, it will be a joy to see what you discover as you make it your own.

  20. DarliBarli 10/18/2016

    Your garden is simply lovely. Oh, how I miss gardening in the Pacific Northwest. Still trying to get a handle on Kentucky's 90F plus summers, so different even tho same USDA zone as my Vancouver Island gardens - 6b. should be proud of your paradise.

  21. user-7007496 10/18/2016

    Oh, oh, oh. I so jealous. Your garden is gorgeous!!!!

  22. perenniallycrazy 10/22/2016

    You've got the funnest garden DeaAnna and filled with so many memories that you will cherish forever!

  23. linnyg. 02/07/2017

    When we were Washington Gardener-Farmers, I wasn't 'working' --- just staying home having babies and helping all our farm animals have babies, haying, gardening, and enjoying the simple life. We set up a huge, clean water trough for the girls to swim in just beyond the picture window in our front yard that looked out on the Olympics. We had company over. The girls were giggling and having a good ol' time until they streaked by naked. Horrified (since our company were dignified city-folk) I tore outside with some clothes and demanded an explanation. The oldest (a sassy 4-year old) innocently replied, "Well, Mommy, our swimsuits got wet." Thanks for reminding me of the good ol' days ...and lilies and roses and daisies. Daisies seem to thrive near the salt water climes.

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