Here in the company town of Newhalem, Washington, located in the North Cascade National Forest, Bruce Fowler has been busy at work in his home garden. Started less than three years ago, it is still a work in progress—moving plants, adding others, expanding beds, and creating rooms of color and texture in every corner. Winters are long, and although Newhalem is only at 500 feet, it is nestled along the Skagit River, which cuts through a gorge of a granite in the Cascade “Alps.” Winters can be long, and the planting zone for this area is very deceiving. With the cold, wind (both hot and freezing), snow, and hot summers, hardy is the word of the day!
This time of year Bruce finds heuchera a balm for color while he awaits the showing summer blooms of rudbeckia and echinacea. Sweet viola faces pop up here and there, and the hostas are unfurling their beautiful foliage that will anchor summer blooms. The use of garden art also adds the the drama.
This year Bruce has added a raised garden and tiered herb beds.
The patio is adorned with pots arranged for color and texture in contrasting palettes that complement the turquoise lawn furniture. Fences and posts have been painted black to give the lime and chartreuse “pop.”
A rich purple heuchera contrasts nicely with the fragrant white blooms of sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum, Zones 4–8).
Heucheras in sunset shades provide long-lasting color.
A warm-colored osteospermum (annual) complements a heuchera in a pot.
A cheery viola (Viola × wittrockiana, cool season annual)
Lots of color from foliage in a container. No flowers required!
Bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis, Zones 2–8)
Cheery garden art in a mass of colorful foliage and flowers
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