Garden Photo of the Day

Spring in the Cascade Mountains

Extreme weather doesn't stop this gardener

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.”

purple heuchera

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)

tiered containers for edibles

Using tiered containers for herbs and vegetables is a beautiful way to display these ornamental and edible plants.

foliage plant container

Lots of color from foliage in a container. No flowers required!

Bleeding heart

Bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis, Zones 2–8)

garden art

Cheery garden art in a mass of colorful foliage and flowers


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View Comments


  1. PattyLouise 06/01/2020

    Love! Very interesting & inspiring garden. Love your use of color & plant choices.

  2. user-7525974 06/01/2020

    Your garden photos are gorgeous. I particularly like the middle photo where you used a Japanese Maple in a container arrangement with some very nice heucheras. I use lots of both.

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    treasuresmom 06/01/2020

    That osteospermum and heuchera are fab together! All is so very, very lovely!

  4. User avater
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      simplesue 06/01/2020

      I feel like we are garden neighbors when we start to recognize GPOD gardens. Thanks for that link for the "big picture"!

  5. User avater
    simplesue 06/01/2020

    Nice seeing a garden that not only appreciates flowers but also colorful foliage. I like the idea of the fence painted black to make the color pop. That tidy well organized herb garden is super!

  6. pamelaroats 06/01/2020

    Very nice containers and everything else was wonderful also. Nice photos.

  7. Sunshine111 06/01/2020

    I love all the contrast! Fabulous!!!

  8. sheila_schultz 06/01/2020

    Subtle colors combined with brilliant textural differences equal beauty in the garden for me. I'm liking what I see from your design combinations, Bruce. Oh... your humor shows in your art. Love it!

  9. sheila_schultz 06/01/2020

    I just checked out the former post... thanks treasuresmom. Bruce, you are indeed an artist. Listening to the rushing water with the visual of your gardens must be divine.

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    meander_michaele 06/01/2020

    Hard not to indulge in a sigh of admiration and envy for your beautiful use of heucheras. I'm particularly beguiled by the grouping that are in the "sunset" colors...they are so warm and welcoming.

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