Garden Photo of the Day

Washington Blooms

By Alexandra Dittrich

It's always nice to catch an updated glimpse at past GPOD gardens.  Here are some photos from Peggy Fox's current garden.

"Hello, it’s been a little while since I’ve sent any photos in to GPOD, but everything has been blooming so beautifully this year so I wanted to share some views and vignettes from late spring and summer around the garden.  I love to experiment with color combinations and textures!  I garden in Gig Harbor, WA, which is zone 8A."

Click Here and Here to see past posts from Peggy's garden.

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  1. frankgreenhalgh 08/09/2016

    Hi there Peggy - from Aussie land. What a 'blooming' ripper of a garden you have created. Definitely succeeded in the texture and colour stakes. Congratulations on the photography as well. I take it that you are situated on the edge of the harbour i.e. the water in one of the pics. Looks very tranquil and relaxing. Cheers, Frank

    1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

      Hi Frank - yes, we are located on Puget Sound about an hour southwest of Seattle. Thanks for your kind comments about the garden (Is it good to have a 'ripper' of a garden?) :) I do love to photograph the garden, and it's helpful to have a visual account of what's happening week by week, and year by year as well, as the garden matures. And it's tranquil a lot of the time, except on hot summer days when the jet skis and boats are buzzing past! It's fun to see people out playing on the water though.

      1. frankgreenhalgh 08/10/2016

        Trust me, Peggy, ripper is a compliment (nothing to do with Jack), only bettered by 'rip snorter'. You will have to excuse the Aussie slang.

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/10/2016

          I haven't chimed in on this, but no need to excuse the Aussie slang. It's purely delightful. Never met an Aussie I didn't like!

          1. frankgreenhalgh 08/10/2016

            Good on you Tim. I really appreciate your comment. I wasn't sure how you were receiving the lingo. And thanks for your thoughts on Aussies. Cheers, Frank

        2. user-7007059 08/11/2016

          Well I love the Aussie slang!

  2. user-7007960 08/09/2016

    A colorful palette for sure!!! Each pic is worthy of water coloring, Your color combinations are outstanding. It must not be easy to garden if it is a slope and tight plantings also. I love all the rocks integrated into the vignettes. Absolutely gorgeous gardens! Thx for sharing!

    1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

      You're right about the difficulty of gardening on a slope! I think it makes the garden more interesting though, to be on different levels. Mulching isn't easy, as the mulch has to get to places in buckets rather than wheelbarrows. Thanks for your kind words!

  3. ClareRocky 08/09/2016

    What a magnificent garden! Your plant combinations are beautiful and everything in your garden looks so happy and healthy. I love your head planter. What is that striking plant with the yellow foliage in the blue planter? It's so pretty.

    1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

      Thank you Clare, the plant in the blue pot has to be an Epimedium, but I'm sorry I can't tell you which one because the tag is gone, and as I said in my reply to 'NC Yarden' above, I don't actually remember planting it there - I remember planting a Thalictrum 'Evening Star' in that pot! If I figure it out which Epimedium it is though I'll let you know...

      1. ClareRocky 08/10/2016

        Thanks Peggy!

  4. wGardens 08/09/2016

    AWESOME. Your garden is fab! Love your plant choices/placement~ and~ the pots, the decor, natural stone. Wow. And great photos as well! What is the pink flower paired with the delphinium?

    1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

      Thanks Margaret! The flower that's near the Delphinium is Campanula glomerata 'Caroline', a really nice long blooming campanula. Sort of invasive, but easily removed.

  5. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/09/2016

    Wow, Peggy, each picture is a vignette of tantalizing perfection. As I scrolled and lingered, I'd subconsciously think, "Well, the next one won't be as sublime"... and then, BAM, there'd be a whole other color palette that worked just as beautifully as the one before it. You really could teach a master's class in great plant combinations. I love and admire how your accessory ornamentation works in such harmony wit the plant grouping it is placed among. Do you have an outside career where you make use of your wonderful talent in color and design?

    1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

      Really nice of you to say so! Thank you. I don't have an outside career, I spent most of my adult life raising (some pretty awesome) children. But I do have a degree in fine art from a long time ago, and now the garden is my 'canvas', and plants are my paint!

  6. user-4691082 08/09/2016

    Waterfront AND a garden that looks like that? Some people really do have it all! Congrats!

    1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

      Thanks Rhonda - can't say we have it all, as there are always sorrows... Gardening is a comfort and a joy, and I DO love being able to garden at the water's edge!

  7. NCYarden 08/09/2016

    Good thing I get to just type this, because my mouth is just hanging open in awe. Grand location with an exquisite garden. The colors sprawling across your garden are mesmerizing. Love that chartreuse colored epimedium(?) in that blue/purple pot - great combo. But all these photos are just amazing. Thank you for sharing...this really brightened my day.

    1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

      Thanks so much for your comments! The funny thing is that I don't remember actually planting an Epimedium in that blue pot - I planted a Thalictrum ichangense 'Evening Star' in it which people sometimes mistake for an Epimedium, since the leaves are quite similar. But the plant that's in there now isn't 'Evening Star'. Hmm. Early onset Alzheimers?? Anyway, I do love the chartreuse with the blue...

  8. MCgardener 08/09/2016

    Wow. Stunning! Ahh to be able to grow Alstromeria. I see you put special perennials in pots. Love that. Do you leave them in the pots in winter? Is that a Hellebore in pot in photo 3?
    Is that Houttuynia or Persicaria in photo 7?
    Your Combinations are so pleasing. You have great talent.

    1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

      Thank you! I do have lots of things in pots that I can leave out, but I also overwinter many pots in a small greenhouse. Let's see... photo 3 has a grassy plant in a purple pot - that one is Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold'. I have a Hellebore in a pot in photo 4, with the pink Astilbes in the foreground. The Hellebore is 'Silver Veil' and it's in the pot with some black Mondo Grass and a Fatsia japonica 'Spider's web'. I really love the silvery foliage of that Hellebore! The plant in the foreground of the water feature is Persicaria virginiana 'Painter's Palette'. I do have Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon' growing LOOSE in the garden. Oops. Kind of a love/hate relationship there...

      1. MCgardener 08/10/2016

        Oh! I acquired a Persicaria Painters Palette this year myself :). I am so paranoid about the Houttuynia that I had to ask! Yes my Houttuynia relationship has been at hate for year now! This must be the year I rein it in. Will dig around the edges of the huge patch. I should measure how big it is. If you have only a few- get rid of them while you can!!
        I put some in a pot in my pond this year and it looks great. This should be te only allowable place for it!
        Thanks for all the info!

        1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

          TOO LATE. :( I bought a 4 inch pot of that innocent looking little cutie, and when I turned around, it had reverted to plain green and gotten much taller, and spread its large, invasive self all through my rockery. The diagnosis is: My garden has Houttuynia. Not lethal, but not going away. But, it's pretty when it's flowers are scattered like little white stars through everything else. As matter of fact it shows up at the bottom foreground in the 5th photo, the one that has rock steps at the right and part of the rockery to the left. The Houttuynia is mixed into the roots of all of those perennials and shrubs.

  9. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/09/2016

    I'm very unhappy, Peggy, because you've brought out the worst in me. After looking at the older posts to refresh my memory and scrolling through the current photos, I am so envious that I need to either move in with you or move to a condo and stop gardening.
    All that purple? Bam! I'm sold. I love how the Kniphofia clashes and stands out against the sculpture and Lavendula stoechas.
    So many questions!
    In photo 2: A bi-colored Campanula glomerata?
    Photo 3: do I spy Dan Hinkley's new purple-leaved Hydrangea? Looks crazmazing with the purple pot, purple Heuchera, hakone grass and the cool stone bench.
    I'm crazy for glads, especially the simpler ones that are reminiscent of the species. The flower form on the glads in the last photo remind me of 'Boone', but it is a completely different color. Do you happen to remember what it is?
    So, I officially quit gardening. (At least until I get home from work today).

    1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

      You can move in if you promise to weed. And dig holes. and mulch. :) And I think I've seen photos of your garden in GOPD as well, yes? Your name is familiar, but I couldn't find the link to go back and peruse GPODs from past months and years. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement!
      So, in photo 2, yes. Campanula glomerata 'Caroline'. Photo 3, also correct! It's still fairly young, so only one bloom this year. The glads I got from Dan Hinkley's nursery when visiting Windcliff about 2 years ago. I'll root around and see if I left the tag nearby. It was a more 'salmony' orange last year, which pleased me.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/10/2016

        Thanks for the IDs. That Campanula is on my list now. I'm so jealous that you are close enough to visit Windcliff. I love PNW and need to get back sometime.
        And yes, I'm still spry enough to dig holes and I can't bear a weed, so I will weed with gusto! :)
        If you type 'vojt' in the search bar at the top of the page, all of my GPOD posts will pop up, plus I had the privilege of having my front yard featured in issue 158 in 2014.
        Your garden is truly a masterpiece and you obviously take great pride in your hard work. Cheers.

        1. user-7007059 08/11/2016

          So I finally got around to seeing your garden on GPOD, and WOW! I think we have similar taste in foliage. I love the foliage combinations you put together - so rich and visually delicious! I see that we both have a slope issue to deal with, but I think you've used that to advantage; it makes for a more interesting garden when there are different levels, and gives the gardener an opportunity to show the plants in different ways. I really enjoyed your collection of Heucheras - so many lush leaf textures and colors to play with, and love the Painted Fern and its companions in the photo that has Heucheras, Maidenhair fern, Hosta (Sum and Substance or Guacamole maybe, or...?), a beautiful burgundy Japanese maple and a light colored (concrete?) garden ball. Oh my!
          This year I'm reworking one of my long borders; the construction of a beautiful new fence and arbor decimated the garden at its feet, so though it's a lot of work, it's also an opportunity. It's now a partially shaded area, and the painted fern is figuring into that border significantly because purple is the unifying color.
          And yes, I'm lucky to live near Windcliff and Heronswood, along with many other fantastic gardens and nurseries!

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/11/2016

            Well, Peggy, you are very kind. I love so many different kinds of gardens, but there is that special zing when I find a garden in which I could truly feel at home. Much of my small garden is looking tired from all of the heat we've had this year, but there is always something looking good somewhere. I didn't go back to see exactly which photo you saw with the limestone sphere (love it!), but the only hostas there are H. lancifolia and 'Kinkaku', which is probably the one in the photo. I paid what felt like a fortune for Kinkaku many years ago ($40) and have no regrets.
            Have fun reworking your border. I do feel for your loss sustained by the creation of the new fence and arbor, but it is an opportunity. I feel the same way about plants that don't pass muster or die: an opportunity for new plants and re-imagined garden beds.
            All the best to you!

  10. VikkiVA 08/09/2016

    A paradise of lush beauty. Thank you for sharing. Vikki in VA

    1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

      Thanks, Vikki, I tend to get kind of obsessive in the garden!

  11. GrannyCC 08/09/2016

    Peggy your colours are amazing! you really have a wonderful eye for the combinations. What are those pink flowers with the Delphinians? They look like a lily but not sure.

    1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

      I do love to try out different combinations! The flower with the Delphiniums is Campanula glomerata 'Caroline', a really nice perennial that re-blooms a bit through mid-summer.

      1. GrannyCC 08/10/2016

        Thanks Peggy

  12. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 08/09/2016

    Good morning, Peggy. We sure live in a great place to garden, don't we and you have really made the most out of gardening in the PNW. Such color and visual interest in every shot. If that is 'Plum Passion' in the third photo, has it flowered for you yet? They had a few of those at one of our local nurseries, but our friend got the good one :( , so we decided to wait and see how his flower looks....still waiting. I also looked back at your previous posts. They were great, too.

    1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

      Hi Linda, It is 'Plum Passion', and it has bloomed. I'm really growing it for the foliage - the bloom isn't spectacular, but my plant is just 3 or so years old so maybe the blooms will get a little more 'oomph' as the plant grows. I really love the foliage though, especially when it has just come out. The leaves are mostly kind of dusky green now but that could be because it's not in much sun. Thanks for your kind comments about the garden!

  13. schatzi 08/09/2016

    Wow! Lush and lovely! I especially like the picture of the tuberous begonia and impatients. Your color combinations are wonderful.

    1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

      Shirley, here's a photo of the pot grouping on the opposite side of the door from the one posted above. I thought I was matching Begonia colors but it turned out to be kind of an eye popping orange! Can't always rely on plant tags... still, kind of fun!

      1. schatzi 08/10/2016

        Both groupings are gorgeous. Mother Nature's colors always go together. What is the pink flower with the blue delphinium?

      2. schatzi 08/10/2016

        Oops! I read further and you have already answered that question. I live near Lake Tapps, I would love to see your garden in person sometime. In my defense, I am a compulsive weeder...

        1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

          You'd be welcome to see it! And Lake Tapps is only about 45 minutes away.

      3. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/10/2016

        I love those colors together. They're fairly adjacent on the color wheel, so they sort of blend to my eye. I've been carrying over that same (or similar) Fuchsia Gartenmeister Bondstat (sp?) for years. Such a great plant.

        1. user-7007059 08/11/2016

          Yep, Gartenmeister. I've had these for about 4 years, I think. They can sometimes survive outside here but to be safe, I winter them over in the greenhouse. And I do love the orange, it just wasn't quite what I had envisioned for this year!

  14. sheila_schultz 08/09/2016

    Beautiful combinations, Peggy. I especially love the subtlety with the colors you employ in your designs... they are stunning. Typically I'm not drawn to garden art, I'm fine with it, but on the whole it's just not my thing. That said, I love the pieces you have used and where you have placed them! For example, the 'face' that is partially hidden under the sweep of green is perfection, and the multi-hued small globe surrounded by the blues, purples, greens and golds in the 3rd from the last photo is positively amazing! Thanks for the art lesson!

    1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

      Thank you Sheila - it's often hard to know how to incorporate art into the garden without overpowering the plants or having things look out-of-place. Pretty difficult sometimes to draw back and say 'enough'! The blue and chartreuse in the photo you mention are some of my favorite colors to play with!

  15. Cenepk10 08/09/2016

    Abosolutely gorgeous. Combinations & plants. You can tell these plants dont see drought & 100• day after day after day after day.... Do I sound jealous ? You betcha !!!!!

    1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

      Thank you! I think I'd be pretty frustrated trying to garden in heat like that! We do tend to get pretty dry during much of July and August, but not too bad this year. And never 100F at this house; we're on the shore of Puget Sound and the cool water (usually) keeps the summer air pretty temperate.

  16. diane_lasauce 08/09/2016


    1. user-7007059 08/10/2016

      Thanks Diane!

  17. user-7008212 08/10/2016

    Peggy your garden is awesome! I'm wondering what the large purple round spiky flower is in photo one ? I must have one !

    1. user-7007059 08/11/2016

      :) I saw that on a shelf at a 'Marshalls' store in the area and I kept coming back to it, thinking it belonged in the garden somewhere. It was plain wood, but then I realized that if I sprayed it the same color as my Alliums I'd have a quirky piece of garden art!

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/11/2016

        I had meant to ask about that. Glad I came back for the answer. It is perfect.

      2. user-7008212 08/12/2016

        I realized seconds after I posted my question to you that it was a piece of art and not an actual plant! lol

  18. digginWA 08/12/2016

    I am kicking myself for not getting out to the Gig Harbor tours this year! What have I done?? This is magnificent, Peggy. Your color sense is terrific. Hope to catch it next time.

    1. user-7007059 08/12/2016

      Thank you Tia! Sorry you didn't make it for the tour this year, we really lucked out weather-wise and there were some very lovely gardens to see. It seems probable that I'll be open for the Gig Harbor NPA Open Garden next summer; I keep thinking each year that I'll skip a year and then I don't... if you want to drop by for that you'd be welcome to! If you're in the area and wanted to drop by this summer you could do that as well, however much of the garden is looking kind of tired in the heat - it's at its best from May through mid July. I guess I need to expand its plant palette to include more late summer color!

  19. [email protected] 09/26/2016

    Peggy, gorgeous combinations! Love, love your gardens! Where did you find that blue & purple container? I've been looking for one like that. I live close to you in WA.

    1. user-7007059 04/17/2017

      Jen, I just noticed that I didn't answer your question here... I found that container at Peninsula Gardens in Gig Harbor, but unfortunately it closed a few years ago.

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