Garden Photo of the Day

Highlights From a Washington State Garden

By Kim Charles

Cardiocrinium gigantium

Margot Navarre is grateful for her special garden.

We live less than a mile from downtown Bellevue, Washington. Our four-season garden is a tapestry of ground covers, native trees, shrubs, and a few speciality plants. We live in a place where homes are being torn down and replaced with megamansions without green spaces for gardening. We are grateful to have a third of an acre to play with and have tried to make the best of every part of it. The Cariocrinium gigantium (the largest species of any of the lily plants) bloomed May 17 (almost a month earlier than in previous years) and is always a cause for a celebration.

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Cardiocrinium gigantium in May
Front entrance garden
View from the deck.
Woodland garden with native ginger, oxalis, sword ferns and vine maples.

View Comments


  1. user-3565112 09/26/2016

    Margot, You just might have the best 1/ 3rd acre woodland garden on the planet. The view from you deck & the woodland path seem to be endless. The PNW gardeners are amazing.
    Great work , good luck, Joe

    1. margotnavarre 09/26/2016

      Thanks so much. We do live in a great area where we can find great plants and gardeners.

  2. wGardens 09/26/2016

    That lily certainly is a "traffic-stopper"! Beautiful gardens. Love your mature trees and path also. Using alliums is a wonderful idea. Love the pop of color, the stature and overall effect. Thanks for sharing!

  3. NCYarden 09/26/2016

    Wonderful use of your 1/3 acre...what better way to enjoy it than to garden on it. That Cardiocrinum gigantium is very impressive. Really like your woodland setting. Thank you for sharing..

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 09/26/2016

    Hmm, Margot, with all those mega-mansions with barely any yard space popping up in your area, maybe you can start charging admission for entry and a relaxing walk-about in your beautiful naturalized setting. To see that much colonized woods loving ginger is quite a delightful sight and the back up layer of ferns is perfect.

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 09/26/2016

    Gorgeous! Are those prayer flags in the last pic?

    1. margotnavarre 09/26/2016

      yes, that is the last picture.

  6. user-4691082 09/26/2016

    It doesn't look like to have to mow grass...very green! I love the ginger also... I wish I had more shade. Does it freeze where you are? Everything looks so lush and calm!

    1. margotnavarre 09/26/2016

      Our first frost date in around November 17. However, the last few winters have been more wild then previous winters and less harsh winters. I see a lot more tropicals grown in our area then ever before.

  7. wittyone 09/26/2016

    Oh, I thought people had gotten over mega-mansions and were returning to reasonable sized homes with lush landscaping surrounding them like a beautiful frame around a lovely picture. My mistake.

    Your home and lot must come as a welcome exception. So serene and inviting. I can imagine how relaxing it is to sit out on your deck and view the tall trees and lacy under growth.

    In the view from the deck what is that blooming tree (is it blooming or is that just light shining off the leaves?) on the right-hand side? It certainly lights up the surrounding area.

    1. margotnavarre 09/26/2016

      Thank you for the lovely comments; we spend a lot of summer evenings on the deck. The tree is the japonica stryrax and blooms in spring and helps with some screening from the side neighbors.

  8. annek 09/26/2016

    You've created a woooded wonderland on your property and that lily is something else. How long have you lived there? Certainly long enough to feel enveloped by your forest of beauty. Gorgeous!

    1. margotnavarre 09/26/2016

      I bought the house 20 years ago. There was a lot of garbage and a thicket of blackberry, holly and weeds in the woods. I have cleared and planted most everything except the Doug fir trees. I remember the realtor saying have your friends over for a weekend and you can clean it up in a weekend. . . Here I am 20 years later in my 50's and still find the occasional piece of trash when digging in the soil but still enjoying the journey.

  9. Cenepk10 09/26/2016


  10. sheila_schultz 09/26/2016

    Folks talk about taking a 'walk in the woods' and you have the privilege of just walking out your back door! What a lovely view, Margot, and your wonderful ginger is definitely worthy of a celebration! Do you have many critters that come along with your wooded surroundings?

    1. margotnavarre 09/26/2016

      We have a lot of birds including the pileated woodpecker and nuthatches ( a few of my favorites) We have the occasional rabbit passing by and some moles and voles but no deer. My dog does fetching from the deck to the woods and can do a little damage when off the trails. I limit deck fetching in spring when the trilliums and other little plants are starting to bloom.

  11. margotnavarre 09/26/2016

    Thank you for the nice comments about the garden.

    The cardiocrinium giganteum was about 8 feet. The plant has only one bloom in a lifetime which takes about 8 years before it blooms. Once finished, the stocks can be used as decorate pieces in the garden and a few bulbs are produced from the plant. I will plant these in the garden and patiently wait for another cycle to arrive in the garden.

    1. sheila_schultz 09/26/2016

      8 years? You are a very patient gardener, Margot. Your prayer flags have found a perfect home!

  12. margotnavarre 09/26/2016

    Thanks so much. I am lucky to say the ginger has been doing great in dry shade and not the best soil.

  13. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 09/26/2016

    Such a green relaxing looking garden, Margot. We are lucky here in the PNW to be able to grow so many unusual plants, aren't we. Our ginger gets crowded out a bit by sweet woodruff and hypericum but it's a nice blend and I'm grateful to previous owners for planting all of them. When you talked about your property being full of garbage, I thought that you meant invasive plants, but you really had garbage:) Great job beautifying that.

  14. schatzi 09/26/2016

    Beautiful! Sorry about the mega-mansions. I have never figured out why anyone needs that large a house - and no room to garden. Yours is a lovely oasis of woodland beauty. Great job.

  15. user-7007498 09/26/2016

    Margot, you have a very beautiful woodland garden that looks so peaceful and restive. Great place to come home and relax. Very hard to tell you have only 1/3 acre, as you have screened the neighbors well. Love the asarum. I am trying to get it established in my garden, but it is a very slow go.

    The cardiocrinium is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  16. user-7007940 09/26/2016

    Nice garden. I am from Bellevue. I live in Newcastle now. I would love to grow a Cardiocrinium gigantium, but don't know where I could put it in the garden.

  17. janeeliz 09/26/2016

    I'm drooling over your cardiocrinium...spectacular!!!...esp. in your beautiful woodland setting. You've certainly made your property into a very lovely, private, expansive looking garden; it is appears much larger than 1/3 acre. Just love it all!

  18. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/28/2016

    I made a comment on post day but had some computer problems. Just popping back to say that I knew that when I saw the Cardiocrinum photo that a great woodland garden was to follow. I was not disappointed. Looks great.

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