Garden Photo of the Day

Marti’s “Garden from Disaster” in Seattle (12 photos)

Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of Marti Bosma

Today’s photos are from Marti Bosma in Seattle, Washington. She says, “We recently bought the badly abused house next door for my mom to live in. She is 95, and moved from Baltimore to live near one of her kids.

“The house had been lived in by a hermit for 35+ years, and required a huge amount of work to get it into living shape (we did most of that work). The yard had basically not been touched and had a huge (18 feet) laurel hedge (bane of all Seattle gardens!) around it that touched the house on 3 sides. We took out the hedge and put a new wall with trellis (my husband built the trellis).

“Our wonderful neighbor helped us pour a sidewalk going from the driveway (which we just finished last week) to our yard so Mom could get to both easily. We changed the stairs to make them usable by a walker (though she doesn’t yet use one), and THEN made the garden!

“These are before (fall 2012) and after (spring, summer, fall 2013) pictures of the front. The tall drink of water helping with the hedge is my son Joseph (just before he had 4 foot surgeries), and our dog Archie. The guy putting in windows is my husband Bill.”

Wow, what a transformation, Marti!!

View Comments


  1. TheRealKathie 10/11/2013

    How inspiring, touching and wonderful on all levels.

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    meander_michaele 10/11/2013

    Marti, what an amazing accomplishment. You and your family put in such an above and beyond amount of work to create a very special living situation for your mom. I hope she has settled in well and is enjoying her beautiful flower filled walkway between your houses.
    That is such a unique and handsome your husband built. I am sure in the years to come, it is going to have many interesting flowering vines making use of it.
    Archie looks like he's a pro in striking a pose for his photo shoot. He almost looks like he's saying, "Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close=up." Ha, that's a famous line from an old Gloria Swanson movie called Sunset Boulevard.

  3. wGardens 10/11/2013

    What a wonderful project to do for your mom! Truly a labor of love. And a huge improvement for your neighborhood!

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    HelloFromMD 10/11/2013

    I am moved by the huge effort you made for your Mom. Is she a gardener? The trellis is impressive and looks wonderful with the tulips! Hope your Mom got to see them. The whole garden is lovely.

  5. tractor1 10/11/2013

    A lot of work but always nice to see a neglected house rehabed. I hope there's another entry without all those steps and I'd have those huge trees removed if that hasn't been done already. The block wall and trellis look great. A good deed, I hope your mom enjoys living there for many years.

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    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/11/2013

    Great transformation. Love the trellis design.

  7. sheila_schultz 10/11/2013

    What a lovely view for your Mom to enjoy from the safety of her new home. She has been given the priceless gift of your love and time. She's a very lucky woman.

  8. GrannyMay 10/11/2013

    Marti, I will echo TheRealKathie and others - truly inspiring, touching and wonderful!

    The front trellis-fence provides enclosure and safety for your mom without being a visual barrier. Did you put similar trellis-fence all around the house? I have used the same open concept for all my fencing and love the look.

    Your mom must have passed the "gardening gene" on to you and now will benefit by your talent in creating such a perfect place for her to spend her days. She must be happy living in this new safe and lovely home right next to yours.

    An enormous amount of work, but knowing you have done your best for your mom is worth it all!

  9. annek 10/11/2013

    You must have one happy Mama! What a grand gift your family gave to her. You've made an oasis of flowers that I'm sure she appreciates. What a love you are! (And I adore the trellis. Wonderfully designed)

  10. wildthyme 10/11/2013

    Marti, your mom is truly lucky to have a daughter, son-in-law, and grandson (and granddog, Archie!) to take on a project of this scope for her. I hope she enjoys the environment you've created for her.

  11. wittyone 10/11/2013

    Wow what an enormous amount of work done in such a short space of time. I could see getting the outside work done (and there must have been huge amounts of interior work to do as well) but you've already got a great start on flowering plants. I'm amazed.

    I know your mom must be appreciative of all the work done basically for her benefit and the neighbors must adore you all for the rehabilitation of an eyesore.

  12. martibos 10/11/2013

    Thanks to you all for such a nice response. The neighbors have been so great, and everybody has had fun discussing the changes. The trellis fence is nice and open for plants, but also for talking with neighbors. The trellis is now on the front and one side, and we have the same in front of our own house. The house is up 7 stairs, but we have a gate at the left end of the porch where we can put an outside lift if it is needed. At this point, my mom is still completely ambulatory, but does spent as much time out on the porch (no steps to get there) reading, visiting with folks. I started all the roses from fall sales or from bareroot in the winter, and wanted them in to make the garden bones, and places for other vines to scramble. Perennials are expensive, so I bought overcrowded ones and split them, next year should be even better! My mom left a lovely garden in Baltimore, years in the making, so I wanted her to feel welcome here.

  13. ancientgardener 10/11/2013

    What a loving gift to your mom and what a lady she must be to be so mobile at 95. The trellis is unique and offers so many possibilities. The tulips in the spring were lovely. I bet she will be out there doing a little deadheading and weeding now and then. At 85, I can work for hours on my little Rubbermaid stool from Walmart. Just the right height. She and I are both lucky to be getting about w/o canes and walkers. Gardening keeps one young and limber.

  14. cwheat000 10/12/2013

    That little house looks so full of life and love. Beautiful job from beautiful people. I took care of my grandma till she was 96. Oh so challenging, but of so rewarding. Good for you for not taking the easy route and giving her a wonderful place to spend her days. Gorgeous fence/trellis and lovely plantings. You have a super cute dog, too.

  15. dirtgirl1949 10/14/2013

    What a lovely story and photos. Your lucky Mum having you to create a garden for her plus you being so close at hand. It is always wonderful to see a house and garden being transformed and reminds me of an old neglected wooden house near me, which has recently been bought by a young couple who are in the process of creating a garden and bringing life back to the house. It just makes me smile passing by, so I am sure your neighbours get the same feeling passing your lovely gardens. Well done Marti.

  16. kterra 10/19/2013

    Very nice!! Love those trellises! I write from Bremerton, WA, so I can really agree about those horrendous hedges with which the Northwest is plagued!! I had one torn out too, and the same spot has a nice trellis setup with honeysuckle vines and clematis growing on it.

    You have done a wonderful job!!

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