Garden Photo of the Day

Do You Cramscape?

Who doesn't love a happy before and after garden story! Patricia Clark has shared more of her Eastern Washington garden, including the before shot for part of her garden! 

"Hello! Last April you featured my garden in eastern WA. Today I am sharing pics of my east lattice garden in the Yakima Valley. I hired a carpenter to build lattice work under my deck. This lattice was to be the back-drop for a new lush green garden. Like other GPOD members, I "cramscape" so I don't have to weed!" 

See the 'after' and 'before' shots below:

AFTER: East Lattice Garden: Plant material in the photo: Vine Maple, 'Henryi' Clematis, 'Wintergreen' Boxwood, 'Sum and Substance' Hosta, 'Patriot' Hosta, 'Gold Mound' Spirea, 'Bill Baker' Solomon's Seal, Fern, Ladies Mantle, 'Centerfold' Asiatic Lily, Feverfew, and 'Frances Williams' Hosta. 
BEFORE: East Lattice Garden: As you can see, the view under my deck was UGLY! I planted my Vine Maples first; the Bloodgood Japanese Maple did not make it.

After losing many beautiful Japanese maple trees, I found an unusual small tree, 'Snakethorn' Contorted Hawthorn to plant in my east lattice garden.  It tolerates my dry cold wind!  After 11 years, the tree remains very narrow and only 12 feet tall.  It is maintenance free with beautiful magenta spring bloom.  Other plant material in photo: Vine Maple, Lady Fern, 'Elegans' Hosta, 'Earth Angel' Hosta, 'Aurea' Barberry, 'David' Phlox, 'Lacrosse' Shasta Daisy, 'Ski Chalet' Daylily. Yes, I DO cramscape!!!

Crataegus monogyna Flexuosa
'Snakethorn' Contorted Hawthorn. This photo shows the unusual contorted branches.
This is the view of the East Lattice Garden from the Allee Path that connects my multilevel garden spaces.

Keep sending in photos, everyone! Whether you've never shared before or you've been featured multiple times, we want to see your garden! Email a few photos and the story behind your garden to [email protected].

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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/10/2015

    Well, Patty, your before and after pics says it are a cramscaper extraordinaire! In fact, I'll bet you're a great suitcase packer for a long trip, as well. The architectural interest that the peeks of the sophisticated lattice work add is very effective...I really like the design of the woodwork. Your contorted hawthorn is wonderful... so nice that you found a tree that carries off its starring role so well.

  2. foxglove12 06/10/2015

    Wow. Great job! Simply gorgeous.

  3. Cenepk10 06/10/2015

    Wow is right !!!!

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/10/2015

    Lush, happy and full of life. And the garden is nice, too! I mean, really, every gardener is drunk on plants at least part of the year. Love that contorted hawthorn. What a great discovery.

    1. beckysspring 06/10/2015

      Drunk on plants... I like that one as well! My husband would say that is me a majority of the time!

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/10/2015

        Yeah. My wife has threatened to take away the credit card or put on an ankle bracelet so she can track my garden center visits......I can stop buying plants anytime. I just don't want to!

        1. user-7007140 06/11/2015

          The other day, after loading up my car with plants from a friend's garden and during a following discussion, my husband stated that I could buy any plant I wanted! I have witnesses!

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

            I knew I liked your husband from the moment I met him!

          2. user-7007140 06/12/2015

            Me, too.

  5. Jay_Sifford 06/10/2015

    Good morning. That contorted hawthorn is right up my alley. I told a TV crew the other morning that I love trees that raise arthritis to an art form. This one fits that description. It reminds me a bit of my 'Twisty Baby' black locust. Your garden is beautiful. Congrats!

    1. user-7007140 06/11/2015

      Good one Jay.

  6. NCYarden 06/10/2015

    Good morning, Patricia. I think you missed a spot....haha. I love it. What a dynamic mix, all blissfully competing for some visual attention. As much I hate to hear of the demise of a Japanese maple, I am awe struck with the contorted hawthorn - super interesting.
    Thanks for the before and after. It's great to see garden transformations. Looking forward to seeing what else you cram in there. I know you'll find a spot.

  7. thevioletfern 06/10/2015

    LOVE - I definitely "cramscape" - love this word. What a difference! I love that you have a terrific-textured-tapestry of greens vs a riot of color. Green is my favorite color.

    1. Clarkpark 06/11/2015

      Kathy, I also love green and texture; very calm looking. Many years ago I grew bright colorful perrenial/annual gardens I had to constantly dead-head.?

  8. user-7007647 06/10/2015

    was driven to make my first comment on Fine Gardening because I LOVE your term cramscape... that's exactly what I do but I haven't had a word for it until now, so thank you! I really dislike to see empty dirt and mulch only looks nice for so long, so a nice mat of green leaves is my preferred weed method, as you described :) Love that you were able to achieve such a great look using mostly only single plants of any given variety. Fantastic!

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/10/2015

      As far as I can tell, the term cramscaping came here through the folks over at Plant Lust: a great resource for plant info that you should check out. The philosophy: if you can see dirt, you're not done! I swear by it. :) cheers, tim

  9. NWAgardener 06/10/2015

    Your garden is fabulous with wonderful plant choices! I, too, love a full garden, but realize there must be some bare space while plants are growing towards their mature size. How many years did it take for this garden area to fill in? Thank you for sharing the "Before" picture. It's an inspiration to anyone with a lonely patch of soil.

    1. Clarkpark 06/10/2015

      I began planting the garden about 12 years ago. I had a beautiful 'Brigg's Moonlight' Daphne in the garden but lost it a year ago.

    2. Clarkpark 06/11/2015

      I guess it took 3-4 years for the garden to completely fill in.?

  10. GrannyMay 06/10/2015

    Absolutely love the transformation, cramscaping is the only way to go! That contorted hawthorn is superb! What is the tree on the left along your allee path?

    1. Clarkpark 06/10/2015

      Thanks everyone for your kind words! It's an old apple tree; When we built our home in the hillside orchard, we tried to incorporate the 60-70 year old trees into our landscapes.

      1. GrannyMay 06/10/2015

        That's why it looks so attractive - I love old trees! Each is unique in its posture and character. How wonderful to have a whole orchard of them!

  11. sheila_schultz 06/10/2015

    I love a gardener with a vision! Cramscaping is most definitely working for your beautiful garden spaces ;) And, just so you know... you've got me lusting after your 'Snakethorn' Contorted Hawthorne!

  12. GrannyCC 06/10/2015

    Wow it is gorgeous. We GPODers seem to be coming up with new terms. Cramscaping is good! I have lots of that and sounds like others do too.Love to see the before and after pictures it really shows off your hard work. That contorted Hawthorne is amazing.

  13. Nurserynotnordstroms 06/10/2015

    Oh seeing your gardens and hearing about your old orchard brings back very fond memories. My family were apple growers in Entiat and Wenatchee,this is most likely where I naturally get my love for being outdoors and loving digging in the dirt. Your gardens are so beautiful especially the contorted hawthorn,I always enjoy your photos Patricia thank you for the lovely garden update,happy gardening to you.

  14. beckysspring 06/10/2015

    I love this... I have been dreaming about the plantings for around our deck for a couple of years... You method is truly beautiful and inspiring.

  15. user-7007140 06/11/2015

    What fun your garden is, so much choice and so much interest in what you have chosen. For lots of GPODers this will get our heart beating faster. Mental shopping will be in full force. Top of that list for me is that marvelous hawthorn. Wildlife friendly, sturdy and survives - 10 deg. F. cannot be beaten. And the white clematis is just stunning. Thank you for today's treat.
    And don't believe Tim when he states that he can stop buying plants anytime!

    1. Clarkpark 06/11/2015

      We had 106 degree heat this week and Hawthorn is happy with a little extra water!

      1. user-7007140 06/12/2015

        That is truly impressive. Can you tell me the height of the hawthorn - we may be moving to somewhere with less room and I'd really love to have one of these.
        Thank you Patricia

        1. Clarkpark 06/13/2015

          It is 11-12" tall and remains narrow. Good luck in finding one?

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