Garden Photo of the Day

Tia’s garden in Washington, Day 2

This bed was one of my favorites, combining Berberis ‘Concorde’, our native kinnikinnick, a long-forgotten amsonia, Crocosmia ‘Coleton Fishaacre’ (a luscious gold), a cute larix, brunnera (possibly my fave perennial), and ceratostigma.

Merry Christmas Eve Eve, everyone, and welcome to Day 2 in Tia Scarce's garden! In case you missed it yesterday, she said, "These photos are from my Kirkland, Washington, garden. It was eight years in the making. My goal was to create a garden that can withstand our annual dry period without any supplemental water. Pesticide-free, only the lawn got an occasional hit with organic fertilizer. I mulched every three years or so with a rich compost. We recently sold it, opting instead for a smaller, sunnier, easier to maintain property." Scrumptious plantings, Tia! So cool and wonderfully textural. And those floating glass balls are mesmerizing. Thanks so much, again, for sending in photos!


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Come and meet up at the  Northwest Flower and Garden Show this year!

I'm scheduled to give another GPOD talk (A few of you will be getting emails in the next two weeks as I put together the slideshow…), and a number of people have emailed to say that they'll be at the show, and that they'd love to meet up with a bunch of fellow GPODers!

The RSVPs so far:

Glenda Curdy (Nurserynotnordstrom)
May Kald (GrannyMay) – tentative
Catherine Campbell (CrannyCC) – tentative
Tia Scarce
Jeanne Cronce (Greengenes)
Sheila Schultz
Shirley Graves
Chris Niblack (ChrisSeattle)


So…who else is going to be there?? Let us all know in the comments, and we can start planning an outing! Perhaps after-dinner drinks one night at the bar at the Sheraton?  I'll repeat this announcement for the next week or so, at least, and keep a running list of who's coming….enticement for even more people to come. Oh, and when you comment to say you'll be there, give us your real name so that I can plan name tags that include both that and your screen name…

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And as always, SEND ME PICS OF YOUR GARDEN, OR A GARDEN YOU'VE VISITED! Email me at [email protected]. Thanks! –Michelle

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Blue fescue, a very decorative begonia, and a very forgiving fern under a 'Limelight' hydrangea, with a dwarf ginkgo in the corner.

More of the reds and oranges that I rely on for continuity in my gardens

A hardy fuchsia with a hakonechloa

This is a fall peek through the seed heads of the Agastache ‘Golden Jubilee’ against the color of the 'Shishigashira' Japanese maple with the Panicum ‘Shenandoah’ showing its fall habit.

This enkianthus was a stunner in the spring and fall, here overhanging a coleus and hardy cyclamen.

An atmospheric fall day showing off the Arbutus unedo ‘Compacta’ with Physocarpus ‘Coppertina’ behind

View Comments


  1. Nurserynotnordstroms 12/23/2014

    Tia day two definetly does not disappoint,Beautiful combinations and great photos. I love the dwarf ginkgo photo the combinations are perfect. I too have a pot with floats that I enjoy very much they move in the wind and it's very relaxing to watch. You are very talented and I will most certainly be looking forward to seeing your new gardens and how they progress.
    I am also looking forward to meeting you at the garden show also.

    1. digginWA 12/23/2014

      That ginkgo cultivar is Mariken. Super slow and well-behaved.

      1. Nurserynotnordstroms 12/24/2014

        Thanks for the name Tia I appreciate it very much.

  2. perenniallycrazy 12/23/2014

    Wow! Love all your plant combos and garden accessories. Such a great eye for design as well as photography.

    Sorry to have dropped out the last few days. I have a busy Christmas schedule and have fallen ill. Michelle, plan to attend one day of the NWFGS but the date is still up in the air. Shooting for the Wednesday for now so please sign me up.

    Happy Holidays Everyone!

    1. sheila_schultz 12/23/2014

      Feel better Cherry!

  3. user-1020932 12/23/2014

    missed yesterday so catching up this :am. GREAT plants, so many that i really like and a great many that i love but have no success with here. i especially like the Brunnera and Arbutus and Shishigashira,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,i love them all

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/23/2014

    Such wonderful, healthy plants in great combinations! Those dangling red fuchsia ballerinas dancing over the hakonechloa is really a killer. Can't remember if I asked this yesterday: when do we get to see your new garden? :)

    1. digginWA 12/23/2014

      Oh, well ... Hmmm. Four years? :)

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/23/2014

        That's totally fair!

  5. NCYarden 12/23/2014

    Awesome variety. The collector's gene for sure. As always, Japanese maples are my favorite and that shot of the Shishigashira with its Fall flourish is outstanding. That prolific fuchsia is amazing as well. Your Brunnera has got to be one of the healthiest I have ever seen. It is actually one plant I am still struggling with growing successfully here. Maybe this will be the season, but so pleasant to see yours in the meantime. All of your garden is delightful to see. Thanks again for sharing.

    1. user-1020932 12/23/2014

      the Brunnera "disappear" here and never really thrive, i've decided the heat and humidity takes them out,,,,,,,,,at least that's what i'm blaming it on

      1. NCYarden 12/23/2014

        Hi Jeff, thanx for the insight. Stubborn gardener I can be sometimes. I moved what might be my last one this Fall to a new bed we built. We'll see, or maybe we won't. Have a Merry Christmas.

      2. GrannyMay 12/23/2014

        I have one Brunnera that does well, several others that are on the brink of disappearing. Don't really know why, guessing that the one that does well gets marginally more water.

      3. user-7007327 12/23/2014

        Jeff, I live in the deep south and my dawson's white brunnera dies down and comes back. It does not like sun and will burn. Beautiful little blue flowers in the spring.

        1. user-1020932 12/23/2014

          good to know, Elizabeth, maybe i'm writing them off as a loss and digging them up, i'll get more and give them a chance ,,,,,,,again

      4. digginWA 12/24/2014

        Has anyone tried the new Silver Heart cultivar? The leaves are thicker and I recall the grower saying it should perform better in heat and humidity.

        1. user-1020932 12/24/2014

          thanks for that tip, i'll search it out for next year

  6. wGardens 12/23/2014

    Fabulous plantings and pairings! Great use of pots and accessories. I KNOW we all look forward to seeing your new gardens and up-coming projects! Thanks for sharing.

  7. greengenes 12/23/2014

    It just keeps on getting better! These are great combinations, Tia. Iam so looking forward to an Enkianthus that I had recently purchased this fall which is full of buds! Again, the orange touches, even in the plants is wonderful! I just found a website, which was advertised in the latest "Fine Gardening" magazine, who sells Orange poppy seeds! If anyone is interested in all kinds of beautiful poppies check out "One stop poppy shop" on line. Well Tia, Iam so looking forward to meeting you in person at the NFGS coming up. Have a wonderful Christmas and a great New Years!

  8. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/23/2014

    Your darling brunnera is appropriately blessed with those perfect heart shaped leaves ...since they evoke a definite love reaction. What an amazing grouping that first picture presents. It would certainly be one of my favorite beds also! You have so many successful pairings that reveal a very gifted gardener so your new efforts should be immensely pleasing also...just in a different way if the sunnier location changes what plants you will be using.

    1. digginWA 12/23/2014

      I'm still finding out what I have here, including soil type, and listening to what the garden wants from me.

  9. GrannyCC 12/23/2014

    Wonderful plantings and combinations. Good luck with your new garden Tia!

  10. sheila_schultz 12/23/2014

    Tia, you didn't disappoint with day 2 ... what fabulous foliage and beautiful textural combinations. What would we do without our wonderful 'Jack Frost' Brunnera? I can't imagine my gardens without it. Thanks Tia, see you in Seattle!

  11. user-7007327 12/23/2014

    Love the brunnera and orange balls. You have a great eye for color combinations. Are you an artist?

    1. digginWA 12/23/2014

      I'm a dabbler. :)

  12. schatzi 12/23/2014

    Gorgeous combinations and that maple is a stunner. Hardy fuchsias are some of my favorite plants. They do so well here in western WA that I call them "bullet-proof"! Love the grass-begonia-fern combo - great texture. So beautiful - how could you give it up?

  13. Meelianthus 12/23/2014

    Hello Tia ~ I have so enjoyed all of your beautiful plant combinations over these two days. How difficult it must have been to say goodbye to all of them. Sometimes gardens can become too much work and one has to scale down. Looking forward to seeing your new garden adventure. Thanks for sharing all of your hard work.

    Wishing ALL of you great gardeners a wonderful Christmas and really looking forward to meeting some at the NWGarden Show - and another of Michelle's great talks.

  14. GrannyMay 12/23/2014

    Tia, you have the artist's eye for plants and for photos - beautiful combinations! Actually, I'm not surprised that you could leave it at its peak of perfection and look forward to a new challenge. Can't wait to see what you do next!

  15. user-7007140 12/23/2014

    More treats today. I particularly love the Japanese maple (of course), and the plant combination with the brunnera is absolutely stunning. So many wonderful ideas you are sharing which will provide inspiration. This an amazing garden and, like others, I'm very anxious to see the next one. Meanwhile, next spring's shopping list keeps getting longer!

    Can anyone tell me how many photos to send from an iPad? Is it better to send an email from a PC and use attachments. My WiFi is unpredictable. Any help would be great.
    Thank you, Tia and everyone. I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday season.

    1. Nurserynotnordstroms 12/24/2014

      I always send from my ipad and email. You can only send five at a time though with each email. Good luck

      1. user-7007140 12/25/2014

        Thank you for your help. I will try the five images routine. Happy holidays to you.

      2. user-7007140 02/27/2015

        Well,thanks to your advice my attempts were successful. Love all this support.

        1. Nurserynotnordstroms 02/28/2015

          Good Eddie I'm glad that worked out. This must mean more photos are on the way. Gardeners are the best people kind and caring, that's why they are so successful with plants.

  16. digginWA 12/23/2014

    Regarding the ginkgo, look for the cultivar named Mariken.

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