floramagoria (Quirk & Neill open garden)

dead duck

Where would we be without second chances? This dead duck could sure use one. Well, if you missed out on the ANLD tour does HPSO have a deal for you! Monday evening, 4-9pm, this outstanding garden will be open to members and their guests (if you’re not a member, this would be a fine reason to join). For you poor, deprived souls who live too far away, I’ll do my expanded coverage now.

front garden

The front garden is relaxed Northwest style, incorporating large boulders and lots of evergreens (nary a blossom in sight).

rocks nestled in greenery

See how the rocks nestle into the greenery as if placed there by Mom Nature herself.

texture & color

Playing with texture and the many shades of green keeps things interesting.

hen & chicks

Moving along the narrow pathway from front to back, we begin to sense that something different is in store. This hen with her chicks is a hint, the duck I led with is a “dead” giveaway: these guys have a sense of humor.

bolted lettuce

Almost as stunning as an Echium, why fight it? Allow that lettuce to bolt.

cute display of burro’s tails

Cute way to display burro’s tails, don’t you think?

first peek into back

The first peek into the back garden announces that the subdued palette will be left behind.

grating material

The rusted grating used for this table/shelf was repeated underfoot, a brilliant maneuver to keep gravel from straying from paths.

garden view

Color is used liberally, but tastefully, with dense layering.

painted bamboo

Flowers are only part of the story.


Grasses planted in the middle of a paved area reminded me of a big, friendly shaggy dog.

Asian influences

Asian influences appear in the design of the pavilion and the stone lanterns guarding it. As some have noticed, that is Scott of Rhone Street Gardens, who did his own post on the tour here, as did Loree of Danger Garden fame and that girl with the hammer, Heather. Each person saw the tour through a different prism, so it’s fun to compare.

stone lantern

Another angle reveals the plantings surrounding one of those stone lanterns.

mosaic carpet

Whimsical touches just keep coming. Peter, The Outlaw Gardener, did a post that included several mosaics by Clare Dohna. This looks like her work.

fountain and fire pit

It was when I came upon this scene that I began to have the niggling feeling that I had been here before. Working with designer Laura Crockett, the owners had totally transformed their gardens while keeping some of the elements of the earlier version. Indeed, I had written a post in 2009 raving about that incarnation.

caterpillar on driftwood globe

A globe formed of driftwood hosts a fused glass caterpillar. It was hard to tell where the designer left off and the owners took over.

plant geeks

But these guys are plant geeks, and that is everywhere in evidence.

light fixture by Gina Nash

On this tour, each garden featured the work of an artist. Here, in the pavilion, you see the work of Gina Nash, who works with recycled steel.

colorful bar stools

Even the bar stools have a tropical feel.

whimsical weather vane

The stunning design provides the backdrop for a garden that is all about plants. I’ll shut up now and just show you some of them.










Most of us garden on a humbler scale, designing as we go. For us this garden is a treasure trove of ideas. On the other hand, it is an example of what works when you seek out the right designer. You can have a showplace where your own personality shines through. These owners were absent the day of the pre-tour, but others sang the praises of their designers as good listeners, sensitive to the special needs of their clients and the site.

19 Responses to “floramagoria (Quirk & Neill open garden)”

  1. Scott Weber Says:

    Wow, I think I actually recognized one photo…I would never have guessed it was the same garden I was at…but there I am, wandering around! We all really see (and experience) gardens differently, don’t we!

  2. Alison Says:

    What a fascinating garden (I thought that was Scott I saw in one of your photos, I see from his comment I was right…) I often think when looking at garden tour posts that I need more places to sit in my garden. I really should get on that.

    That bolting lettuce is kind of magnificent. Thanks so much for posting your photos!

  3. ricki Says:

    Scott~That’s for sure, and where “different strokes for different folks” came from. Glad I could remind you that yes, you were really there.

    Alison~Least I could do to repay you for all your great tour posts.

  4. Shirley Says:

    Wonderfully personal and well-designed garden at the same time. Scott, I spotted you too. The combination of plant and art lovers working with a good designer is magic.

  5. Jenni @ RainyDayGardener Says:

    What an incredible garden, so full of unique ideas and inspiration. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed the tour. :)

  6. Peter/Outlaw Says:

    Le Sigh…I’ve only experienced this garden through blog posts and am grateful for all of them as each lens shows me something more to love! Do you suppose the owners would mind if I just moved in? Hope they like dogs! Fabulous garden! Thank you for the great images! I also recognized the Rhone Street Gardener in your picture!

  7. Loree /danger garden Says:

    Great pictures Ricki! I’m posting a little more about this garden later this week too but think I’ll link to you post for those that need more.

  8. Mark and Gaz Says:

    Thanks for sharing Ricki! A garden full of character and colour without overpowering everything else, inspirational!

  9. ricki Says:

    Shirley~It certainly was magic in this case.

    Jenni~Glad you could come along.

    Peter~Maybe we should let you know in advance the next time they open their garden.

    Loree~Thanks, and I am just going back to correct the oversight of not linking to you, Scott and Heather.

    Mark & Gaz~Glad it worked for you. I sure was inspired.

  10. Jane Scorer Says:

    Fantastic garden, so many unusual, quirky things to look at . Great imaginations at work here ! I would love to see it for real, but many thanks for this virtual tour !

  11. Grace Peterson Says:

    Looks like a wonderful, fun garden. The plant selections are so uncommon and illustrate what can grow here. Very nice. Thanks for a great post.

  12. Sarah/Galloping Horse Garden Says:

    What a garden. I wish I could have been there. At least I can steal some ideas – loved the burro tails, loved all the pots and succulents, and loved those hens and chicks.

  13. ricki Says:

    Jane S~No substitute for the real thing, but with four of us writing about it one can piece together a pretty good idea.

    Grace~Yes, FUN is a good one word way to sum it up.

    Sarah~I’m betting some of those very ideas will be turning up here and there.

  14. Jane / MulchMaid Says:

    That image of the Yucca rostrata with the golden orange kniphofia does it for me. Great post Ricki, with some wonderful detail shots.

  15. ricki Says:

    Jane~I did think of you when I posted those orange-hot pokers.

  16. Heather Says:

    You caught so many things that I didn’t see–thanks for posting these!

  17. ricki Says:

    Heather~You, me, Scott and Loree: put us all together and we paint a pretty complete picture.

  18. Wendy Says:

    oh my gosh – so many quirky and beautiful things! I love that “shaggy dog” and who can get bolting lettuce to look that great!! :)

  19. ricki Says:

    Wendy~I guess most of us yank the lettuce out the minute it threatens to do that…who knew?

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