Greetings from Seattle

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Peter's Garden: Part 1

Peter is someone I met in my garden. As a fellow member of the Northwest Perennial Alliance, he visited my garden when we had it open on a tour several years ago. We got to talking and I mentioned that I had a blog. Turns out Peter and Allison, who was with him, are garden bloggers as well as gardeners. 

Since then we have met up with Peter in other open gardens rather frequently as we tour. Until this year I had never seen Peter's garden, although as bloggers we share plenty of photos of our tended spaces. This year Peter dared to open his garden to NPA members. 

Peter's blog is called The Outlaw Gardener, and as you will see from photos of his garden, he does follow his own rules. 

If you visit a garden and encounter many headless bodies and disembodied heads, not to mentions detached hands, you might expect the macabre, something dark. 
 But while Peter is a very serious plantsman, his fun loving sense of humor shines everywhere. 

The Matilija poppies fill the parking strip in front of the house. 
 Peter and his partner bought this old Victorian in the historic district of Tacoma twenty years ago. They spent five years making it livable. Then Peter turned his attention to gardening. Picture this house just sitting in a patch of lawn. That's where he started 15 years ago. 
 But before we go into the yard, we had to explore the exterior planting. This is the curb view. 

 And this is the view "inside" the the public sidewalk. 

 Peter created all of the stained glass in this house. 

 The understory is rich in plant color and texture as the "jungle" closes in overhead. 
 There is nothing ordinary here. Paths are playful brick with mosaic medallions. 

 I don't begin to know the names of all of the exotic plants in this garden.

 Ah, we're making progress, getting a head. Don't miss anything tucked under or over or inside. 

 What to do with a fire pit you don't use? Build a fire - out of plants and glass. And add a "marshmallow". 

 There's even a fish pond tucked in.
 And some fat and sassy koi, thanks to the electrified raccoon guard. 

 Do you know anyone else who paves with grave markers? Peter assures me the names are all fictitious, inscribed on samples discarded from a monument company. Hey, they were free!

 Peter is very handy with his glass ornamentation. The plants are pretty too. 

 Into the bamboo forest, follow the blue glass road. 

 Heads and hands - kind reminds me of the 4-H motto. 
 It looked like this path went on and on until I realized the mirror-created illusion. 

 Broken crockery mulch - a sharp idea. 

 Forest or illusion? Only my image in the mirror gives it away. 
 Those pillows look nice and soft, don't they. They are concrete. Stone pillows for a stone bench. 

 Something's hatching. 

 Adam or alien?
There's more to come. So much more!


  1. amazing, what an imagination and lots of hard work...

  2. Wonderful photos, Linda! I'm so glad you and Tom got to see Peter's delightful garden. You've captured it beautifully. Looking forward to more.

  3. It was so nice to see you in my garden. As you know, I admire you and your gardens a great deal and it was a treat to have you visit my goofy space. You're welcome to come back any time!

    1. Peter, be sure to come back to read the comments as they pile up. Also check out my link on Facebook, where more comments are coming in :-)

    2. P.s. did you remember that the head planter on the blue table with the hand holding the heart (e.e. cummings - i carry your heart with me) is your namesake as her mondo grass hair came from your garden last year?

    3. No, I did not remember. I'm honored.

  4. Wow, this fellow has a delightful imagination. So unique. Admire his courage with the bamboo. I have seen it take over like kudzu.

  5. Love how he uses whatever he likes in whatever way he likes! He must be such a wonderful person to know. So creative!

  6. What a quirky, fascinating garden. (I was a 4-H'er, too. Head, heart, hands, health, if I remember correctly.

  7. For 15 years , that's an amazing accomplishment and a lot of creativity to boot. I would appreciate all the effort he put into this property.

  8. One word sums up this awesome garden....WOW!!

  9. It would make me feel like I missed something when I had to leave. Great photos.

  10. You definitely captured the spirit of Peter's garden!

  11. What a neat place! And he's done an incredible amount of work to create a very magical garden. I look forward to more! :-)

  12. Oh wow! The work that must have taken. I love the house too!

  13. The variety of plants is a wonder to me.

  14. Wow, that is a truly amazing place. It kind of reminds me of "Solomon's Castle" that we visit in Florida. The sense of humor of the owner at both places shines through all the unique displays. Lovely plants - amazing variety! You do find the most interesting gardens to tour!

  15. What a cool place!! I especially liked that beaded creation! :)


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