In early October last autumn, a few of us Portland garden bloggers ventured north, up I-5, to see our friend Alison’s garden. Alison makes her home in the Tacoma area and volunteered to host our Fall plant swap – a cherished event we all look forward to. I rode up with Laura, accompanied by a cello destined for a new home. I think Laura had thought of it as an interesting planter, but Peter – the happy recipient – may not have the heart to expose it to the elements. He just might have different ideas as to what to do with it!
Peter with his new cello!
Here are Laura and Peter, admiring Alison’s new greenhouse.
Those of you who have followed Alison for a while know that she is an east coast transplant, and has a great sense of humor. Her entire garden exhibits the plant geek revelry of a relatively recent transplant (trust me – I know one when I see one), but it also showcases an affinity for the absurd, quirky and delightful. I LOVED walking through her domain and discovering all the little details. I have a feeling that this is one of those places that will continuously reveal new secrets every time you return – it is just so wonderful and personal.
Here is Nigel – Alison’s lucky husband, stretched out in the Cabana.
I love how the red foliage (Begonia??) in the foreground is echoed in the red-flowering Sedums. This photo is from the front yard.
One of many quirky details found around the garden.
The stunning foliage of a Canna lily, embellished with a glass flower.
There was a lot of glass in the garden – like these exquisite mushrooms. As I bent down to see the little blue elephant, I noticed the slug gliding across the rock. The three make such a nice vignette together, don’t you think? Although I imagine the slug is the least welcome of the three…
A stellar combination of Angelina sedum and Eucomis (I think).
Exuberant foliage/glass combo – so vibrantly beautiful!
Great gatherings of textures, spikes and quirky details. I want one of those horned baby heads…
Great use of gabions in the garden – a pedestal for a pot planted full of succulents. Tetrapanax towering in the background.
There are many things one could do with a large pot, but Alison kicks the trends and does her own thing. Love the little Delospermas peeking over the rim. 🙂
This was my favorite surprise of all. Who else would think to put holographic glasses on an Agave?? Alison – this is pure genius!
The sound of water – a stream emerging out of a wooded area in the back of the garden. So peaceful…
Penstemon and Coreopsis making for a meadow-like feel.
And of course – the resident Bottle Tree!
I loved this combination of Lupine leaves with the Aster. So pretty!
Not sure who this is, but he seems to have command over the situation…
And don’t think she didn’t have a veggie garden… What a luxurious army of onions!
And beans… pretty red ones!
From the left – Jane, Alison and Emily, in admiration…
… and Loree wondering if it’s starting to rain. Naah… not this time.
Some kind of Spiraea, I think.
Love how the Hops is draping over the fence.
Not every house can say it has its own Raven!
Plenty of opportunities for chit-chat!
Love that Mourdry grass. At least, that’s what I think it is…
By far, the best Halloween decoration EVER!!! I really do love this!
This visit took place barely four months ago and I imagine most of this glorious garden is currently asleep – except probably stirring to start its spring growth in our abnormally warm temperatures. As always – it was great to see everyone, and to meet a few new people too. I didn’t take a picture of my oversized haul (does anyone ever leave one of these meet-ups with only a plant, or two???) but I’m happy to say that most of it still seems alive. The Agave pups are even growing! Thanks Alison and Nigel for opening up your home and garden to us all. It was indeed a treat that I would love to do again! 🙂