Garden Photo of the Day

Lots of spring treasures in Jeanne’s Washington garden

Today's photos are from frequent contributor Jeanne Cronce in Washington State (previous posts HERE.) She says, "I have been busy catching up with the weeds. All the colors are so beautiful this spring and many shades of greens. We who enjoy gardening are so fortunate to do so!" Jeanne, it's always a treat to tour your garden! So many cool plants….Bamboo, magnolia, euphorbia, ornamental rhubarb, that gorgeous 'Sem' sorbus (am I right?), that beefy potted Podophyllum pleianthum (swoon!!) But that first photo is my absolute fave. What a perfect color match–so sophisticated! It's all YUMMY.

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  1. Nurserynotnordstroms 04/22/2015

    Jeanne,your gardens look so great,the plant in the pot(not the podophyllum) but the other one we have that in several pots because I was told it will sucker and run like a sumac,so it's good its in a pot.Darn I can remember what it's called though. You even have blossoms on your hydrangea,we aren't there yet. I want to send some photos in but we are littered with cherry blossoms,they love that in Japan,me not so much looks messy to me. Our blossoms have lasted a very long time this year and it was so beautiful. I can't wait to wonder your gardens in July when you have an open garden. It all looks so very beautiful and I am glad we got an early spring look at what's happening in your world.

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Good morning Glenda! The plant you have commented on is a false spirea. I have always liked them but didn't want to do the work to keep it under control so I got a huge pot and called it good. The colors of it are so nice and it is a graceful looking one. If you do plant it in the ground they get really rangy looking and no so nice. The cherry blossoms sound so pretty. Its like pink snow. Some homes around here have the "Quanzan" cherry trees and they are the pinkest this year! Well you enjoy the season, Glenda! See you soon...

      1. greengenes 04/23/2015

        false spirea...Sorbaria!

      2. Nurserynotnordstroms 04/23/2015

        Yes it's Sorbaria I can't remember plant names but who cares I still have fun in my gardens. ?thanks everyone.

  2. user-1020932 04/22/2015

    Jeanne, i never tire of seeing your garden. you and i have many of the same plants but you have MANY i want and don't have! you have not a green thumb but 10 green fingers,,,,,,,,maybe toes as well. always a pleasure to see your plants/garden

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Hey Jeff...Yah Iam even getting a little green behind the ears, too! Thanks and wouldn't it be cool to live close by because I like to share! There are so many different plants out there to discover. I have to tell myself that I cant have them all! But it is totally an addiction when it comes to gardening. The best therapy around!

    2. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Hey Jeff! I think iam even green behind the ears, too! Hope all fared well last night in the cold! Is it suppose to get warmer? Too bad we don't live closer I would give you some plants. It is fun to share.... take care...

  3. perenniallycrazy 04/22/2015

    Happy to get a sneak peek of Spring in Jeanne's garden today! Your garden can give the botanical gardens a run for their money any day - amazing specimens, colors and height. Your garden also seems endless. I guess your energy and passion for gardening are a match for the size, scale and volume of your gardens. Impressive indeed!

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Hi Cherry! Never compared my gardens to a "Botanical" type but I guess I have a little of a whole lot of different plants. It is a lot of fun to try to grow different things and just to create areas like an artist to a canvas. But I have created a lot of work which I totally enjoy doing but my body is saying slow down. I cant do what I used to do without groaning out of bed in the morning. I keep telling myself, "No more gardens" but its quite hard to do! Enjoy the day!

      1. perenniallycrazy 04/25/2015

        I hear ya. Always feel my age especially during the spring start-up, though hubby said that he felt twice his age after hauling and spreading a ton of compost recently.

  4. VikkiVA 04/23/2015

    Wow, you have some very interesting plants in your garden. I am familiar with some, i.e. Fothergilla as I have that also, however what is that "prehistoric" looking plant in he 4th pix? The one with the gigantic leaves. I love the pink and green foliage plant in the brown pot. What is it? Thank for sharing your lovely garden. Vikki in VA

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Hi VickkiB! Isnt the fothergilla a fun plant! The color is so nice and needed in gardens. So many different textures to it. Anyway the plant you have inquired about is an ornamental rhubarb. I believe it isn't edible but it sure is pretty! It starts off very dramatic with totally red foliage and as the season continues it starts to turn a dark green with a burgundy underside. The leaves make great "cement" leaves. But its hard to cut off the leaves and loose the fullness of it. The second plant which you have inquired about is a false spirea, meadow sweet or astilbe. This plant should stay in a pot because it is a faithful spreader! Plus you get the beauty of the plant when it grows so tightly together. Well VikkiB hope you have a great spring and summer!

      1. greengenes 04/23/2015

        Sorry VikkiB... its called, "Sorbaria" instead of meadowsweet or astible. Thanks to Diane Jaeger! Iam not good with names. If I like the plant well it has a place in the gardens but I don't function with all the different names. Maybe because my mind is in the dirt all the time! Ha ha

  5. Lindafaem 04/23/2015

    Beautiful place with all the wonderful plants and flowers, and a great dog too !
    I live in a damp valley in Vancouver, Wa. I can't have a lot of things here, as too damp, and some things the slugs really gravitate to, esp Hostas. But, they love a lot of things, I have to be very diligent about keeping them away, or there are no plants or flowers. Am wondering if you have a slug problem, it doesn't say where you are in Wa, unless I missed it. Thank you for sharing !

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Good morning Linda. Your place sounds like a fern grotto! Yes, I do have a major problem with slugs and snails! But I vowed this year that I would be diligent and wage war on them! It seems iam winning. We live in Port Orchard, Washington and it is a cooler climate compared to eastern Washington. Well may the best person win in your gardens. I have a feeling that's you! Our dog is a wonderful dog! The best one we have ever had. I like your picture of yours! Need to have a big dog to keep the deer and raccoons away. Bye for now...

  6. michaeljgoltzman 04/23/2015

    Wow. Beautiful

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Thanks Michael! Hope you are able to enjoy digging in the dirt!

  7. User avater
    meander_michaele 04/23/2015

    I'm such a fan of all your wonderfully exotic (to me) beauties, Jeanne. And, you are such a master of ying and yang...having that pop of chartreuse right near a darker foliage plant so they both end up being extra expressive. Your spring garden is just so fascinating.

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Good morning Micheale! Thanks for the lovely comments. Its quite funny while gardening all the things that just happen "on the go" so to speak. But that's the fun of gardening. Iam not one to have everything planned out in advance. It just all works out and becomes what it is! Neigh, neigh! Have a wonderful day!

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 04/23/2015

        I know just what you mean, Jeanne...I am a long standing student in the school of serendipity when it comes to gardening. I don't plan in a very organized way. I bring things home from nurseries and the big box places and then decide what to do with them. You seem to have a sense of adventure and an eye for the unusual which I admire.

        1. NCYarden 04/23/2015

          I'm right there with you. Too much design just doesn't allow for enough whim. It's just too fun to try something new, or in some cases to just rescue a plant neglected at the retailer. And I am a strong believer that the gardens with Mother Nature's hand have a sense of designing themselves based on the conditions of our topography and micro-climates. We are just servants in the art and care, but rarely have the last word without drastic measures. And it usually works out. Plus it seems to soften the disappointment when something fails because it doesn't pose a huge disruption to "the plan."

          1. greengenes 04/23/2015

            Right On! Well said!

          2. sheila_schultz 04/23/2015

            Apparently, I'm with amazing company when it comes to a free-flowing garden design! The only designs I tend to follow through with are my container gardens, but even those are
            'kind of' decided by what the nurseries have in stock!

          3. GrannyMay 04/23/2015

            Absolutely agree! Even when I start with a design in mind, plants don't perform as predicted, or they disappear, others are added by chance or deliberately, until the original plan has been refined by reality, often into something much better than anticipated.

  8. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/23/2015

    Jeanne, what a treat to be in your garden this morning! I think your hostas are eventually going to die of envy being next to that rhubarb! That stand of bamboo is thrilling to me; such great form and texture. All of your spring colors are fresh and invigorating. Thanks for taking time out from weeding to put these together. Love the tight clump of variegated foliage in the second photo. It looks so familiar, but I can't put my finger on it.

    1. MichelleGervais 04/23/2015

      Is it 'Axminster Gold' comfrey? (Symphytum X uplandicum 'Axminster Gold')

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/23/2015

        I don't think it is big enough to be the comfry, although it is hard to get a sense of scale. The leaves look sage-like to me, or like the taller veronicas.
        Jeanne, put on your thinking cap!

        1. greengenes 04/23/2015

          Hi Tim... its scrophularia, variegated figwart...I couldn't find my thinking cap so I had to look it up on line....

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/23/2015

            I knew it looked familiar. I love Far Reaches and have gotten into the bad habit of ordering plants from them spring AND autumn! I stumbled upon that figwart when I was considering planting redbirds-in-a-tree, Scrophularia macrantha. If your variegated S. auricula had the cool red flowers of S. macrantha, it would be unstoppable! Both are cool as they are, however, and on my 'in consideration' list! Thanks for looking it up. You have good taste! :)

      2. greengenes 04/23/2015

        Hi Michelle... Well it is a variegated figwart which I purchased from Far Reaches Farm. It other name is scrophularia. It sure is a happy plant!

      3. GrannyMay 04/23/2015

        After Jeanne said it was a figwort, I found a link that describes it perfectly as Scrophularia auriculata variegata. See

    2. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Hi Mr. Tim! So glad to share with you, my rock friend! Well the hostas feel kind of wimpy next to the rhubarb for now but I will be cutting two larger leaves for making cement leaves. Then they will all be in harmony with the size issue! The variegated foliage is a variegated figwart or also called scrophularia. It really brightens up a dark area. I have been wanting to divide it but I have been putting it off because I don't want to lose the size but we will see... Have a wonderful day!

  9. NCYarden 04/23/2015

    Good morning, Jeanne. Great to be touring your garden again, even if only virtually. It's such an exciting array of plants and colors. That Sumac or whatever(?) in the brown pot is amazing, between it's feathery texture and gradient of hues. Nothing quite like the tidy and refined look of Spring emergence. And the bamboo is this a "tame" cultivar, or do you have a barrier underground, or just stay on top of nipping new unwanted shoots? Either way it is a handsome clump. Wish I could be there with my own eyes, but thank you for sharing nonetheless.

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Hi NC Yarden... I was just telling GrannyMay it would be so great if I could put together a video tour of the gardens. I will have to look into this for you all. Well the plant that is in the pot is a false spirea or sorbaria. It spreads like sumac though. And if grown freely it looks rangy and sparse. This way in a pot you get the fullness of its colors and leaf form. The bamboo is called, "Cambell" from bamboo garden in Oregon. This dosent spread by runners and it is a great clumper. this is about five years old planted from a six inch pot. Oh and with lots of compost. Glad to share ... Have a great spring!

  10. greengenes 04/23/2015

    Hi Diane! You have cleared up the name for me of the Sorbaria! I stand corrected! Glad you enjoyed the gardens. So sorry about the cold back there! You have had a tough winter there. Well the bamboo is called, "Cambell". We purchased it out of Oregon and it was in a six inch pot. It is about five years old now. It dosent run but the clump gets bigger and bigger. It makes a wonderful barrier or break in a view. I love the look of the canes. They have come up with a shorter version of it which we have too but I sure like the height on this one. Glad you enjoy it!

  11. cynthialarge 04/23/2015

    I'd love to hear the wind rustling in that bamboo!

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Hi Cynthia... isn't it wonderful when the bamboo rustles in the wind! Happy spring!

  12. digginWA 04/23/2015

    Jeanne, what is the very conical conifer in the pic above the sorbaria? And do I spy a columnar beech just to the left and behind it? I like the composition in that shot.

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Hi Tia... the conical conifer is a "fat albert" spruce. I love their shape and you don't have to do anything to it! And yes miss smarty pants! ... it is a columnar beech! You guessed it! Do you know them well? They are the last thing here to leaf out. I always think they died but them bingo... they show me life! You have a great day!

  13. wittyone 04/23/2015


    "Axminster Gold" comfrey was my immediate thought for that first picture. I think it just may have not attained it's ultimate height at this point.

    Strangely enough I am journeying north in just a few minutes to get one. They are scarce as hen's teeth to find on the net here in the U.S. but seem to be on every street corner in the UK. i was so lucky to find one just about 30 miles away and so can get one that has some growth on it right now and not the tiny, tiny ones that come in the mail.

  14. GrannyMay 04/23/2015

    Jeanne such a treat to wander around and see how your garden is growing after the mild winter. Gorgeous! You're definitely ahead of us, but not by a lot, judging by the plants we have in common. I have added Sorbaria and ornamental rhubarb to my ever-growing wish list, though I'm trying to stick to very drought-tolerant plants for new purchases. I love that misty/rainy view with your dog on guard!

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Hi GrannyMay... happy spring to you up there! I am glad you like to wander around the gardens here! If I knew how to set up a video I sure would for you all! Even with music! The ornamental rhubarb is planted under a flowering cherry so it dosent sit in a moist area. But it is a heavy feeder. I mulch it with some kind of compost. This spring I used chicken dirt from the chicken yard and it was full of weeds!!! So I had to remove it and buy some clean stuff. Glad you like our dog. He is so sweet! Have a wonderfilled spring and summer!

      1. GrannyMay 04/23/2015

        Maybe you can find someone who would do the video for you, that way you can be the star and do a narrative as well.

  15. schatzi 04/23/2015

    Hi Jeanne. Good to see your garden again. I love the dark maroon tulips and leaves together. Your false rhubarb is magnificent. also like the blue ajuga ? next to the red
    barberry. Everything looks lush and lovely.

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Hi Shirley! Hope all is well with you guys! Yes, you are right that is a ajuga. I just couldn't seem to capture the fullness of the blue color. It starts off a dark sapphire blue. And if you want more they sure do multiply but dosent seem to get too carried away. Have a great season!

  16. raleighgardener 04/23/2015

    Just beautiful! I can see you must really enjoy your garden, and that's what it's all about.

    Love the deep purple reds in the first photo! In the 2nd one, the variegated white and green, is that a sage or Axminster Gold Comfrey? I love it either way! My AG comfrey has broader leaves, and the margins are yellow, not white, and the variegation is not so mixed. I love it, and got mine from Variegated Foliage Nursery in Eastford, CT. I stopped there on a trip from NC to MA, and it was well worth the drive. He also does mail order. He told me he has 75 plants just now. I also love your gold leaf bleeding heart! I got one from VFN that turned out to have pink AND white flowers on it. I guess two plants in one pot.

    Thank you so much for sharing your garden with us!

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Hi Marilyn...I do enjoy gardening..quite a lot. Yes, that's what it is all about for sure! The variegated plant is called, "Scrofolaria" or figwart. I purchased it thru Far Reaches Farm. It sure brightens up a dark area. Iam so tempted to divide it but I don't want to lose the fullness where I have it. But I sure better decide soon! Thanks for the name of the nursery. I will for sure check it out. Have a wonderfilled spring!

  17. sheila_schultz 04/23/2015

    Good morning Jeanne. It's so perfect that you photographed your gardens with the mist in the air, they are absolutely dreamy! I find them both exciting and very peaceful all at the same time.
    I'm particularly enjoying the photo of your pup next to the path. All the layers of interest... the textures and color combos are a perfect marriage. There is so much going on, but yet is has a comfortable feel. Everything truly could not be more perfect. I love your sense of design.

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Thanks Sheila... yep, that is our wonderful dog. He is so sweet and protects me when iam out in the garden. He barks at the crows and even airplanes as they go by. When iam bending down pulling weeds he is right there to tell me he either loves me or wants to go into the house with a big wet kiss! He is half lab and half german shepard. Best dog ever!

      1. sheila_schultz 04/23/2015

        There's nothing like a furry protector standing guard as we toil away in the garden! I have two and I wouldn't feel safe without them ;)

        1. greengenes 04/23/2015

          So true, but jack is getting old and has a tendency to go lay on the porch and watch me. But when I go back into the woods I call him and he gets excited and seems to have the energy of a two year old dog! Some neighbors down the road had one of their horses killed by a cougar so I don't feel real comfortable in the woods at times. Its probably long gone by now.

          1. sheila_schultz 04/23/2015

            We have 2 German Shepherds, 11 and 2. I was actually joking about being protected since our tiny back yard is totally fenced in and the only scoundrels in the area are the devil squirrels that girdle my trees and taunt the furry girls for fun, but... When I am outside, the young one is touching me, learning gardening techniques and our older girl is watching the tormentors from a resting position. Your Jack has a job to do and like many of us old farts, he just waits until you really need his skills and he is all yours. Lucky you, lucky Jack.

          2. greengenes 04/23/2015

            That's all so sweet! The German Shepard is a wonderful breed! We have thought about our next dog... (sorry jack) but he is getting old and we have to have a big dog to chase off all the wildlife. That is so funny about the devil squirrels. They are nasty! Jack used to catch them but he isn't that quick anymore. He does catch a rabbit now and then. I hope they don't arrest jack for hurting wildlife! Ha ha but things are getting out of control or maybe too much in control....anyway have a great evening. I get to spend some time with my granddaughter!

          3. sheila_schultz 04/23/2015

            Our dogs are our gifts, and there are so many in shelters that just need a loving Mom and Dad ... and a job to do. Jack is a very lucky boy.
            Have fun with your granddaughter tonight! You are going to have fun ;)

  18. patrickwalk 04/23/2015

    What are the plants in the sixth picture down with the red peddles and the last photo in the back with the white buds?

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Hi Patrick... Well in the sixth picture down that is a "Bleeding Heart". It normally has green leaves but this has the yellowish color which really brightens up a dark area in the garden. And the last photo is a "Fothergilla". This is quite a nice shrub. Its slow growing and these are the flowers first. The leaves are a dusty blue color which is really fun in the garden. Happy Gardening!

  19. GrannyCC 04/23/2015

    Hi Jeanne thanks for sharing your beautiful Spring garden. Everything is so early this year on the West Coast.. Love all the big leaved plants you have. Last year May and I took a course on making concrete leaves. Some of yours would have done well. I love the Sorbaria in the pot.

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Hi GrannyCC! How are you doing? Better than new? Wouldn't that be nice! Well that is so cool that you did the cement leaf thing. I will be making them again this year. In fact two of the leaves off the rhubarb will be my next victims! They have very dramatic shapes! Hope you are enjoying the spring!

      1. GrannyCC 04/23/2015

        Hi Jeanne
        Doing well my new hip is perfect just waiting for the second one to be done hopefully within the next 6 months. Here is a picture of one of my leaves. Can't remember what plant it was but it was a tall plant with yellow flowers. In the picture there is still some of the leaf on the concrete which I like the look of. Unfortunately it did dry up. I had thought of painting it.

        1. Nurserynotnordstroms 04/23/2015

          Oh such a great leaf,I used hosta sum and substance when I did mine but I love the shape of yours looks really pretty and I did color mine and then sealed it.

          1. GrannyCC 04/24/2015

            That would be a great leaf, I also did one out of Sweet Coltsfoot (Petasites frigidus) which grows in a boggy area of my garden.

          2. Nurserynotnordstroms 04/24/2015

            I had not heard of that plant before I had to look it up and I would love to see a picture of your cast leaf using that one. I bet it's lovely. I added coloring to my mixture and then also painted a bit when they were complete. Unfortunately moving them my sweet heart has broken several ,he felt so bad about the breakage. I happily still have a few scattered about the gardens though.

          3. GrannyCC 04/24/2015

            I will tale a picture of it. The Coltsfoot is blooming now. I will take a picture of that too.

          4. Nurserynotnordstroms 04/25/2015

            Ok I would love to see it?

          5. GrannyCC 04/25/2015

            Here is the Coltsfoot. The leaf I used was about 18 inches across,

          6. Nurserynotnordstroms 04/26/2015

            Oh that's a really great leaf,I love it. You did a great job with it you have your leaves out amongst your plants in the gardens?

          7. GrannyCC 04/26/2015

            They are in the greenhouse right now as I sealed them in the Fall so they will go out in the next few days when I decide where to put them!!

        2. greengenes 04/23/2015

          OH! That is beautiful! I like the color, too! Which is part of the leaf... very nice!

          1. GrannyCC 04/24/2015

            The leaf that is drying is the green and the darker colour. It is all gone now as it dried up and I just brushed it off. I took the picture so I would remember the colour. Just need to get busy and paint it.

  20. user-7007059 04/23/2015

    Good morning Jeanne! Can you tell me what the little purple leaved plant is that's growing between the forest grass and the polygonatum in photo five? My photo is too small for me to tell (or maybe my eyes are too old??) whatever it is, your garden is looking lovely!! I love all your colors and textures, and I'm always really drawn to large leaved perennials. Are you opening for NPA any days besides July 4&5? I really would love to see your garden but I'm open those days as well so can't see it then.

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Hey Peggy... well it is a form of a spurge. I purchased it a long time ago and it always pops up here and there. It has a tendency to get moldy though when planted too close to others and then it dies back. Yes I will be open by appointment on other days. So you will be welcome just let me know! Happy digging!

      1. user-7007059 04/23/2015

        Great! It's beautiful in the photos and I'm sure so much more so in person!

        1. user-7007059 04/23/2015

          And thanks for the identification - now I see it could be spurge, I thought it also looked like it could be one of the low, tender Tradescantias, but thought it was too early for it to be there. Or a really small pjm rhodie… :)

  21. Meelianthus 04/23/2015

    Goodmorning Jeanne ~ Always such a wonderful delight ! And yes, we have talked about "garden therapy" before and it's SO great isn't it ! Everything looks beautiful and especially stunning when things first emerge. Your Scrophularia is grand, mine has been decimated by slugs, although they seem to leave it alone when the plant is up 4 or 5 feet. All of your photos are so enticing, really beautiful.

    1. greengenes 04/23/2015

      Hi Linda! Four or five feet on the scrophularia? Nice! I would so love to see it get that big here! Oh happy days!

  22. annek 04/24/2015

    I have plant lust and zone envy. Fabulous photos of your spring garden, Jeanne. The graceful bamboo, inspiring deep burgundies (even in your pots), the sweet-faced dog, charming tulips...I could just go on and on. Your garden made my day...

  23. Clarkpark 04/24/2015

    Jeannie, looking at your pictures made my day. Picture 8 is my favorite; excellent composition of plant material! What is the name of your deep burgandy tulips? I would love to plant some in front of my smoke trees. You are a very talented gardener and thanks for sharing your garden!

  24. user-7007327 04/24/2015

    You have a keen eye for color combinations. Your entire garden beckons all to sit awhile. Cute dog.

  25. user-7007538 04/24/2015

    What is the name of the pretty pink and green leaved plant? (It is the third picture after the bleeding heart.) I really enjoy the pictures of your garden, curious which part of Washington? We live on the Key peninsula.

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