Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Yard Crasher: My Sister's Garden

My online, talented friend Mindy Northrup uses the term "Yard Crasher" to identify her blog posts about other people's gardens. I don't want to steal her term, but I kind of am anyway. Sorry Mindy. 

This is my sister Laura's brand new garden in Woodburn, Oregon. Purchased just this last April, Laura has already created a cute and whimsical cottage garden in her postage stamp-sized backyard. 

Here are some photos I took (rather hastily) last Saturday when I finally had a chance to drive up and visit her. 

This sign hangs on what is now the skeleton of a wrongly-placed, oversized Alberta spruce. 

Yes, the love of pink runs in the family.
Laura said she'll be removing the plant tags after she finishes making her map. 

A mature Butterfly Bush growing in the corner protected a vulnerable Star Jasmine from the
ravages of our record-cold winter. It has new leaves but hasn't started blooming quite yet.

Laura's property abuts a golf course. Nice to see all that complementary green.
There is a nicely sized, thick conifer not too far from the fence. We could hear birds chirping away in it.

This island bed in the center, just off the patio, is chock full of plant goodies. 

Here it is from another angle. 

Don't you love this rusty old stove? The stories it could tell. 

I have one in my garden too but it isn't nearly this cool. 

My sister is really good at placing her garden art. 

Why is it my Red-Veined Sorrel has never looked this good? 

Happy little faces. 

Terra cotta love. 

Here is a thriving Daphne 'Summer Ice.' 

Geranium phaeum blossoms


White Delphinium 

Foxglove,  Digitalis cv. 

More Digitalis and a pink clemmy neighbor.

Geranium 'Midnight Reiter' and Viola 'Hearthrob' working their magic. 

Simple, common Alyssum looks fabulous in this vintage container.

What I think are the chocolate leaves of Geranium 'Orkney Cherry'
contrast beautifully with  Golden Feverfew foliage. (Tanacetum parthenium 'Aureum') 

Pink Argyranthemum always makes me smile. 

I love these Sedum compositions. 

Rusty, vintage pots work so beautifully for housing Sedums, don't you think? 

My sister wasn't sure of this plant's identity. I did a Google search and I think it's Silene pendula
Do I need to have this plant? YES!

One of the plants on my wish list is Astrantia maxima.
This would be the fault of Scott of Rhone Street Gardens and his inspiring photos.
My sister has beat me to it. 

Laura used to own a farm in Baker City where live chickens roamed and ranged.
Now a city girl, she has these more appropriate cuties. 

And this sweet family too. 

And then there's Ma and Pa with the Portulaca hairdos. 

I'm a sucker for a cool vintage lantern. So is my sister. 

I wanted to steal this cool plant stand. 

This one looked a little too heavy to lift so I just drooled. 

I love this! 

Laura's Cerinthe major is blooming. I might have
to ask her for a few seeds. 

I love Gaura in any form but this variety,
'Passionate Rainbow' doesn't need to bloom.

Love this bench. 

Oops... an empty pot. But not for long, I bet.

See the photo of green lettuce on my sidebar? It is a link to my sister's awesome vegetable growing website. If you're looking for information or just feel like browsing, please feel free to click on it.

This past weekend was the open house for the five nurseries on the Cascade Nursery Trail so Laura and I decided we'd go exploring! However, we only made it to two of the five nurseries, Out in the Garden Nursery in Molalla and Secret Garden Growers outside of Canby, (Oregon). Part of the reason for that is because we got sidetracked by other nurseries that weren't on this "trail." Below are the few photos I took of Secret Garden Growers. I was too distracted to get any photos at the other nurseries. 

I love Horse Chestnut or Red Buckeye. I think this is Aesculus pavia
which is a smaller species--a large shrub rather than the more common 40 foot tall tree. 

My Podophyllum pleianthum was a no-show this year
which made me covet this one all the more. 

A gorgeous clump of Impatiens omeiana. 

I don't know what this is. It was growing in the grass.
Nicely sculptured isn't it? 
I hope you're not only enjoying your own garden, 
but having fun crashing other yards too. 


  1. I loved your sister's style. Her garden is wonderful! Thank you for crashing and sharing.


  2. I think the plant in the last picture might be red mustard. Your sister's garden is so much like your own, it's interesting that you both have the same taste. I share no similarities in taste with my two sisters, maybe I was adopted. Thanks for introducing me to another Oregon blog, by your friend Mindy.

  3. Oh boy! Did I ever love this garden crash!! So many beautiful plants and flowers! The vintage items scattered throughout the garden make me want to go on a scavenger hunt.

  4. Hey YOU !! Garden Crasher Lady !!
    Yes you and your sister do share many of the same likes and styles.
    Very cute and welcoming indeed : )
    That guara really caught my eye too .. no need for flowers at all with that foliage! .. I love that stove and the hens are too cute .. it is a well loved garden just like your own Gracie !
    Joy : )

  5. You and your sister have very similar tastes! Love it! How fun that you got to have a "sister and nursery day."

  6. Your sister packed a lot into her small space. I love that Gaura too!

  7. So much beauty in your landscape. I have to say that i love that stove filled with pink blooms - pink is a favorite of mine too in the landscape! Curious if you blooms ever appear on your Impatiens omeiana? xoox, tracie

  8. ps - thank you for linking up to Fishtail Cottage's garden party! xoxo, tracie

  9. Oh, what an lovley garden your sister has. I especially like that rusty old stove, it looks so great and adds a special touch!
    And of course, that wooden bench is wonderful, too.
    Happy garding in your own Yard!
    Best wishes from Germany
    Anita @ My Country Cottage Garden

  10. It is all so beautiful! I love how she made her beds stand out.

  11. I really, REALLY like your sister's garden -- from its postage stamp size to the rusty art (those chickens are precious). Glad you crashed it and passed on the photos to us.

    Your narrative reminds me that I need to get to work on a "map". I don't even have plant tags and seem to forget more than I remember from one year to the next...

  12. Grace, her garden is stunning, I too can see the similarities in your style..which is always inspiring.

    I'm envious that your silene is blooming already, mine is a lump of green up here, lol.


  13. Your sister has a beautiful garden Grace! I love a fern in bed-island and two figures 'Ma and Pa', ha ha! I see Butterfly Bush was useful this winter, it's such big and wide.

  14. Her garden is off to a fabulous start! I love that old stove, too. Very cool!! :o)

  15. The wonderful gardener's creative eye runs in the family! You two must have such fun talking plants together...

  16. Your sister has a beautiful garden off to a good start. I love the impatiens omeiana and that pale yellow, red-spotted Digitalis. Oh dear, my little Cerinthe seedlings are so very far behind. They did get a late start, after all.

  17. How fortunate to have a sister who enjoys her garden and plants as much as you do Grace and she loves pink too! A great chance to compare notes, swap seeds and cuttings whenever you visit :)

  18. Hi Grace, When you mentioned that her yard is small and the gardens are new, I didn't know what to expect but your sisters gardens are beautiful! Who could guess that they are so new....I love her taste in garden art! I may have to steal some of the ideas:)Happy Gardening! Sally

  19. What fun to have a sister nearby, and one who shares your passion for gardening. I can see your influence and it is probably reciprocal. I love the term "Yard Crasher"...well worth stealing.

  20. Wow Grace talent runs in your family...I love her design and whimsy....and when the gardens grow in they will be even more amazing.

  21. Her garden looks so pretty. I can see she has a love for those rusty pieces in the garden too. My kind of girl. LOL!She has a way of pairing plants together that I so lack in.She has been busy to get it looking so good after just moving. Beautiful!

  22. Lucky for you, I don't claim the rights to the title. :)

    How nice that she backs up to green space. It's nice to see another version of a gardener's city lot. So many beautiful yards I covet are on big old pieces of land.

    Now, I must pin away!!!!

  23. Hi Grace,
    Your sister sure has lots going on at her place! What a wonderful collection of plants and art! I have been going to garden centers to fill the holes where I feel too much dirt is showing. Maybe I'll find some time this week to go to an antique store instead. Maybe I could find something there to fill a hole with.

  24. Oh, I like it so much! It's easy to see that your sister shares your gardening green thumb and design sense. I like everything about it!


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