Woodland fantasy: Lane Garden at Seattle Garden Bloggers Fling


Faces upturned to the warm sunshine—that’s how Seattleites greet the sun, when it appears

Woodland gardens were expected at the Seattle Garden Bloggers Fling last month. But mix in a classical folly dripping with flowers, glass art, reflective water features, a sophisticated outdoor-kitchen patio, and the magic of shade-to-sun transitions, and you have the garden of Denise Lane.


We enjoyed an al fresco lunch in the Lane Garden on Day Two of the Fling. Afterward 70+ garden bloggers dispersed through the 1-acre garden to explore its winding paths, shade gardens, and sunny glades. Not far from the patio where we ate, but hidden from view until you enter the space, stands a romantic, flower-topped “ruin” and circular pond.


As if decayed over time, some of the columns are “broken,” and flowering plants cascade from above…


…including this trailing beauty.


A cast of an enormous gunnera leaf, colonized by moss, is the source of a trickling stream that feeds the pond.


The home’s contemporary entry is tucked into a woodland garden.


But in back a fancy outdoor kitchen and contemporary patio offers gathering space in the sun.


The day was surprisingly warm, so many bloggers retreated to the shade to rest and socialize.


Colorful glass accents appear throughout the garden—and indeed, in many Seattle gardens we visited.


Seattle has a thing for glass blowing.


Clearly, no worries about hailstorms here.


In the bright sunlight, blood grass glows like stained glass.


Hot colors seem to pulse.


Transitions from shade to sun can be magical, and this garden makes the most of them. Here a blue pot beckons you onward from the ruin’s protective columns.


Sunlight glances off fern fronds, creating a play of light even in the shadows.


A rolling stone gathers no moss, but this massive boulder isn’t going anywhere.


Hosta and a curving woodland path


A bistro seating area catches a spot of sun and attracts the eye.


More sun and shade contrasts


These curving paths are so enticing. You can’t see what’s around each bend, and so you are pulled along, eager to see what’s next


Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa)


Floating in each birdbath—fresh-picked posies and leaves from the garden


They look especially lovely in the shady woodland garden.


Even the smallest details are not overlooked. This rain-filled carved leaf lies in a fine-textured groundcover.


Trees receive their own starring role.


Tall, skinny birches nearly block the sun, which gamely tries to shine through.


Tree magic is also manmade, like this swing constructed of massive branches…


…and an arbor fashioned out of twisted, gnarled limbs.

Next up: A few pics from Bellevue Botanic Gardens and Pike Place Market. For a look back at the Epping Garden with its stunning downtown view, click here.

All material © 2006-2011 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

11 Responses

  1. […] up: The fantasy and woodland magic of the Lane Garden. For a look back at the stylish, colorful Ravenna Gardens, click […]

  2. Laura Munoz says:

    All of the Seattle post photos have been so lovely, lush, and green, and I’m so jealous as I look at my nutty-brown back yard. Pam, you have influence in garden-related issues, please do a rain dance!

    Ha! If only! I’m glad you’re enjoying the Seattle posts, Laura. I have a few more to go yet, so let’s enjoy the virtual lushness until the rains return to our own gardens. —Pam

  3. That is a very lovely and unique garden! I do love the blown glass and the way the light hits the different objects, plants. The soft, filtered light on the shady paths looks inviting.

    The shady areas were my favorite part of this garden, Freda. They really said Seattle to me. —Pam

  4. ricki says:

    I am in awe of the way you have captured the unique nature of each garden and the play of light and shadow…ALMOST as good as being there.

    Thanks, Ricki. You’re very kind. I wish I’d been able to meet you at the Fling. Maybe next year? —Pam

  5. Tatyana says:

    Thank you Pam! Your posts and other bloggers’ posts and pictures show me what I missed. Thank you for your high-quality photographs and nice commentary. I love the ‘ruins’ and dream about them since I saw their picture several weeks ago! I was lucky to visit one of a kind garden of Little and Lewis last year where I saw their columns for the first time ( http://tanyasgarden.blogspot.com/2010/07/happy-visit-to-inspiring-garden-of.html ). It was great to see them again in this lovely garden.

    Tatyana, it was wonderful to meet you at Dragonfly Farms, after enjoying your blog for so long. I’m so glad you stopped by to say hello. Thanks too for the link about your visit to the Little and Lewis garden. —Pam

  6. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    They make contemporary look good. Wonderful. Love the trees with the hostas at their base. Glass in the garden would be scary here. It is fitting because Chihuly is from that area.

    That’s what I heard, Lisa. The family and I visited a glass-blowing studio downtown and enjoyed seeing the artists at work. —Pam

  7. gail says:

    Pam, I wished I had walked the garden with you! You caught shots of so many things I missed! But, I’m getting to see them here and so beautifully showcased. gail

    It would have been fun to explore it with you, Gail. Next time! —Pam

  8. David says:

    Great post, Pam!
    I lived in Seattle for two summers and your post reminds me of the cool, deep shady woodlands I so fondly remember. The waist-high native ferns are so remarkable, along with the mosses that grow everywhere in every crevice. This surely must be one of the most remarkable private gardens in America. Thanks for a break from the drought.
    BTW:I’m trying to find something like that Japanese forest grass for my Texas woodland garden. Anything come to mind that can stand up to our conditions? Maybe a wide-leaf sedge or small native grass of some sort?
    Thanks,
    David/ :-)

    David, if there were something like Japanese forest grass for Texas, I’d have a garden full of it. I am growing a Japanese sedge (don’t know the botanical name) in a pot; you can see a picture of it if you scroll through the linked post. It requires more moisture than I’d be willing to give it in the ground, but it works fine for a pot by the door. It’s still not as great as the Hakonechloa though. Alas. —Pam

  9. […] organizers, describes her garden. For a look back at my visit to the woodland fantasy of the Lane Garden, click […]

  10. What a beautiful garden! Full of lovely ideas.

    I am most impressed at the kangaroo paw growing in Seattle — I would have thought that it was far too damp a climate! Denise must have a very green thumb indeed!

    Chookie, we were all surprised by the number of succulents and other dry-loving plants we saw happily growing in Seattle. The gardeners there must be masters of good drainage. —Pam

  11. andrea says:

    this was such a wonderful garden, full of details and discoveries. i think the man in the moon was one of my favorites too (your first picture), next to the little & lewis fountain of course!

    Yes, both of those were fun to discover—one grand and one intimate in scale. —Pam

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