Garden Photo of the Day

Bob & Claudia’s spectacular collaboration in Idaho

Every once in a while, an email makes me say, "Whoa!" out loud, and all of my coworkers say, "What? What is it??" The email that contained today's photos did that. It was from Bob Bloem, who said, "Hello. This garden is a project of myself, Bob Bloem, and my friend, Claudia Lowry. We live in Coeur d Alene, Idaho, just outside of Spokane, Washington, in the Great Northwest. Although a beautiful part of our country, gardening in this area is quite challenging, with its short growing season and inconsistant seasons. But that actually makes growing more challenging and fun. I have gardened for a long time, while Claudia, while at first reluctant, has been at it for over ten years. We take pride in doing all the work ourselves, whether it is pulling weeds or building furniture for a seating area. Our garden covers close to an acre of sloped, very rocky terrain. But by adding lots of soil and imagination, we have made it into a unique place. As you can see by the photos, we have several seating areas that take advantage of the different moods. We hope you enjoy." I'm sorry Bob, but this is just not enough. We need at LEAST 100 more photos. I know I say that to people every day, but this time I really, really mean it. Gorgeousness. Seriously.

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Comments

  1. Nurserynotnordstroms 03/26/2015

    Bob and Claudia,these are jaw dropping pictures,you have outdone yourselves and so humble about it too. All of the benches are so artistic and placed in the most perfect position for viewing. I love the copper water feature,that one is so simple and would be fun to see and hear. Artistry is what comes to mind when you see the limbs with the vine and the circle viewing platform,well DONE And I see why Michelle said "whoa"out loud. Please send more photos in so we can view your property from different angles. Pure perfectionismn

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Thank you again. We are gathering more pictures.
      Claudia & Bob

  2. user-1020932 03/27/2015

    well, this is a feast so early in the mornings, each photo just gets better and better! it truly is spectacular and will require me to re visit several times to take it all in. such colors, forms and textures,,, structures, those benches! i don't know how you do it all yourselves as it looks like you have a large staff to keep it all groomed. are there no deer there? if so/ how do you prevent damage. Bob and Claudia your garden blows me away every square inch is unbelievable.

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      So very kind of you. It's only us. We just seem to have a hard time sitting. We do have a deer fence that works most of the time. We did learn the hard way.
      Claudia & Bob

  3. jerrysiss 03/27/2015

    Very nice piece of property which you have made even more beautiful.

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Thanks
      Claudia & Bob

  4. NCYarden 03/27/2015

    "WHOA!!"..squared. This is absolutely beautiful. Refined while maintaining the element of the natural and wild. I love the topography and how you woven the garden throughout. I'm very impressed with the construction you have accomplished. This garden is a real treat...and I'm sure a retreat for you. Thank you for sharing, but please share a bit more.

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      It's pretty cool that you noticed the details. Well said, it is our treat and retreat.
      Claudia & Bob

  5. Fredburg 03/27/2015

    An amazing garden! All the garden photos Michelle posts are a treat...but your garden is in a class by itself--artistic & beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Wow! What a compliment. We weren't sure she would even consider our photos.
      Claudia & Bob

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/27/2015

    Well, Bob and Claudia, I won't embarrass myself by childishly writing in all caps but, WOW, (ok, one word in all caps is permissable) what a super stellar place you have created. Obviously, it is a lovely property to start with but your personally built structures and benches are all so unique and beautiful. I was transfixed with admiration and wonder at each picture. Obviously, Idaho grows more than great potatoes!
    I would love to know more about the waterfalls. They look so dramatic ..yet natural.

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Thank you for your kind words. We work hard to make the waterfalls look natural by using mosses and rocks to cover the man made stuff. It works most of the time :)
      Claudia & Bob

  7. user-4691082 03/27/2015

    Every person below has articulated everything I want to say! Do you have a design background? Could you do an online course? Congratulations on a job well done!

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      How flattering. We just design what we feel which often changes.
      Claudia & Bob

  8. Quiltingmamma 03/27/2015

    What a lovely property! You should be very proud of your efforts. As mentioned, it deserves the distinction of being a public garden, but I can appreciate you wanting to keep it all to yourselves. I really love the waterfalls and blending in the man made with the natural in your water features. We are still knee deep in snow, with flurries again today. Spring is delinquent this year, but GPOD posts like this has helped us keep some hope that one day we'll be gardening again..

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Right now it is hard to believe our garden can be this lush either. The buds are barely appearing. There's hope! :) You are right, it is nice to have a peaceful quiet place.
      Thank you for your comments.
      Claudia & Bob

  9. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 03/27/2015

    Quite amazing. When I looked at the first two pictures, I thought to myself. "There's no way that's water cascading down those rock outcroppings." Obviously I'm wrong. Recirculating pump? Quite a stunning setting. Can you really grow lawn like that anywhere? Please share more and tell us more. How cold does it get there? How long is your short growing season? Really beautiful and a treat to see.

    1. Nurserynotnordstroms 03/27/2015

      I want to see more too Tim,this is such a beautiful garden I think they should send in day two and day three photos.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 03/27/2015

        And it's in Idaho, no less, Glenda. Seems so exotic. I visited Idaho decades ago and found it breath-taking and now to see this breath-taking garden piques so much curiosity in me. A couple of days of photos and some more info would do me good, especially since winter has decided to invade spring in central Ohio tonight with a lovely 19°!

    2. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      You are right about the water on the rocks. Water moves from reservoir to reservoir without touching the porous rock. Receycling pumps...9 in all. It isn't so much the cold as the extreem changes of temp that make our growing season short. Thank you for your interest and nice comments. Claudia & Bob

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/02/2015

        Well, I had to look up your hardiness zones out of curiosity. Fascinating! It must be the mountains and water and elevation changes that make your hardiness map so variable. It said 7a, 6b and 6a. My Ohio map has one zone for miles and miles! I understand the intermountain west weather variability. Although I didn't garden there, I lived in Colorado for five years. The weather along the rockies does has extreme temp changes. You've met the challenge so amazingly well! cheers.

  10. Cenepk10 03/27/2015

    Is that garden on Earth ? Whoa is right !!!!! Guess God makes up for the short growing season with crazy lushness ... Stunning. Astonishing.

    1. user-7007427 03/27/2015

      You summed it up nicely. :-)

  11. Tea_garden_lover 03/27/2015

    I am working on a book about my experience with Japanese tea ceremony and gardens which include wabi sabi* aesthetics. Your last black and white photo is deeply moving, beautiful and a wonderful example. The fact that you chose to use black and white for that photo tells me that you already know something about wabi sabi if only intuitively.

    Although I am only in the research stages, I would like to consider the possibility of including that image in my book giving full credit. Please contact me at [email protected] if that might be a possibility. I totally understand if it is not.

    *Here is a lovely essay about wabi sabi with a few photos:

    http://www.touchingstone.com/Wabi_Sabi.html

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 03/28/2015

      Kathleen, That is a great article. Tim Wong's photography is sublime and the online gallery of pottery and art is wonderful. Best of luck on your book endeavor. There are few aesthetics more beautiful or challenging than Japanese gardens and Japanese art.

  12. VikkiVA 03/27/2015

    I have looked at your pictures over and over and have decided I want to be buried in your garden? Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

    1. Nurserynotnordstroms 03/27/2015

      Me too,can you even believe this,such a very very special place. It would be very enjoyable to visit this garden it is like a real Disneyland for gardeners.

      1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

        What a nice comparison. If you are in the area do call.
        Claudia & Bob

        1. Nurserynotnordstroms 04/02/2015

          That's very kind of you,if we are ever in your area we would love to see your beautiful property.

    2. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Such a great compliment
      Claudia & Bob

  13. SumHillGardener 03/27/2015

    Words fail me. This garden is in a different league altogether. So worthy of all the admiration expressed in these comments ! Is there a lake I see in the background? The fairy garden is perfection. Even the tree trunks above the concrete bench curve with perfect artistry. Is that a rope swing on a platform built for it ? What is the white flowering shrub to the left of the pergola ? Bob, you've created a masterpiece and now that you are sharing it with us you do have to share more. My only complaint is that I may stop gardening. And I'm too old to start over in Idaho. Thanks anyway !!!!

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Thank you for your kind words. The white flower is native to the area and is called Spirea. The tree trunks you mentioned are Sarvice berry, also native. Like many of the native plants we just prune and nuture them. Yes, these are two swings that swing out over the cliff. A favorite of the kids.
      Claudia & Bob

  14. thevioletfern 03/27/2015

    There just aren't words ... Whoa out loud.

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      So kind. Thank you
      Claudia & Bob

  15. terieLR 03/27/2015

    What so often runs through my mind when attending those beautiful Garden Exibits: "It's just so perfect, too perfect to be realistic." Well now... you have proved me wrong Bob and Claudia! You have accomplished perfection on a grand scale. Bravo! Please tell us more.

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      WOW! What a kind thing to say. Thank you
      Claudia & Bob

  16. Jay_Sifford 03/27/2015

    Just beautiful. Just the right amount of whimsey, the right amount of colors, textures and shapes, great flow..... great job! Thanks for sharing.

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Thank you for the compliments

  17. GrannyMay 03/27/2015

    Speechless! Thank you for showing us what is possible, Bob and Claudia!

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      There have been times. Ha Ha! Thak you.
      Claudia & Bob

  18. PerenniallyCrazy 03/27/2015

    Whoa! Absolutely mesmerizing. GPODer Gardenangel was right about Coeur d Alene. If I ever visit Idaho, this is definitely a must see. Hope you have more photos to share for next week. Bravo!

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Call us if you are in the area. We are collecting more photos. Thanks
      Claudia & Bob

  19. GrannyCC 03/27/2015

    Amazing and beautiful. Congratulations for creating such an amazing garden in such difficult conditions,

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Thanks for recognizing our challenge.
      Claudia & Bob

  20. JaneEliz 03/27/2015

    WOW!!!! I love everything about it...the mystery, the mood, the artistry, the stonework, the naturalness, the way you've built it into different levels, your lovely hand-crafted furniture and woodworking, the beautiful photography..... Oh, yes, your lush colorful plants are wonderful, too! It is a unique and masterful use of your property. Please share more with us....MUCH more!

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      You are perceptive. You have expressed exactly what we were trying to capture.
      Claudia & Bob

  21. user-7007327 03/27/2015

    When can I move in? Beautiful garden of serenity. Double whammy wow.

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Appreciate your comments
      Claudia & Bob

  22. chad_bartlett 03/27/2015

    Holy cow. Just stunning.

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Thanks
      Claudia & Bob

  23. user-7007466 03/27/2015

    Absolutely stunning! Thanks for sharing!

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Thank you
      Claudia & Bob

  24. maryannborcherding 03/27/2015

    What a breathtaking garden and outstanding photography. Thanks for sharing.. from Vancouver WA

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      You have no idea how I appreciate that. I just have a point & shoot but I try hard. :)
      Claudia

  25. Meelianthus 03/27/2015

    Hello Bob & Claudia ~ I have so enjoyed the tour thru your gardens. Everything is so magical, I feel as though I have been transported into another land. All of the structures you have built are just so amazing. It is obvious you really love what you do and have accomplished amazing artistry. The little house like structure in the 7th pic - it looks like you could open the door and step into the woods, is it actually an enclosed structure. Very cute! What a fantastically intriguing place!! Thanks.

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Very observant. We wanted a shed but codes wouldn't let us build it, so we built a lattice shed. It does hide our push mower.
      Claudia & Bob

  26. eddireid 03/27/2015

    Magical! Your garden is truly a work of art. I've just scrolled through the photos (again) and found the little patch of moss on the corner of the rock wall enclosing the green seat - it is just one of your masterful touches. Bob and Claudia, this garden is a work of art. Thank you for allowing us all to visit.
    More please!!!!

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      What a keen eye! Thank you for your wonderful comments.
      Claudia & Bob

  27. Schatzi 03/27/2015

    Whoa indeed! and WOW!! Talk about making the most of a rocky hilly site. This is spectacular - manicured and natural at the same time. Love the waterfalls, the colors, the plantings...just WOW!!

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Thank you for noticing the manicure. We try hard. Thank you for your kind words.
      Claudia & Bob

  28. wGardens 03/28/2015

    Totally amazing. What a special threat this is. You have accomplished so much and it is just fabulous. I do hope you send in more photos and tell us more about what you started with, some of the projects you have done... etc., etc.! So much work... but so much fun and satisfaction!

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Thank you. We will gather more pictures. Most of the grass was here other than that we started from scratch a little bit at a time. You are right... a lot of fun and satisfaction.
      Claudia & Bob

  29. Cenepk10 03/28/2015

    Well... Soon I'll send in my garden pics - not that I've discovered a secret weapon for lushness. I've complained often of the effects of the 3 enormous pin oaks & their devastating effects on my garden. But.. ( btw- never heard it ANYWHERE before- ) EPSOM SALTS, baby !!!! ( found a vid on YouTube that recommended ) The difference it made in 3 days was astonishing.

  30. TheGenerator 03/28/2015

    All I can say is.....Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

    1. bobbloem 04/01/2015

      Thank you, thank you, thank you!
      Claudia & Bob

  31. bobbloem 04/01/2015

    Thank you so much for your appreciation. That's what makes it fun.
    Claudia & Bob

  32. JD39 04/04/2015

    wow...I have no words...absolutely breathtaking!!! stunning in some places, adorable in others...wish it was mine!! xo

  33. DCottle 05/04/2015

    A work of art! Which variety is the blue petunia?

  34. lindatonn 03/22/2016

    I feel like I fell down the rabbit hole and dropped into heaven - it's magnificent in every way and many ways!

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