Lorene welcoming 70+ bloggers into her Seattle garden on Day 3 of the Fling
In a post on her blog Planted at Home, Lorene Edwards Forkner, a co-planner of the Seattle Garden Bloggers Fling, catchily describes her gardening style as urban hillbilly chic: “I love to work with what is already right on hand. And if your basement looks anything like my basement – you’ve got a LOT to work with. Hands-on, can-do/make-do, fresh, playful….There’s a wonderful frisson between the rough and the beautiful that the garden embodies with grace.”
We garden bloggers aren’t always as hard to wrangle as cats. We were a rapt audience for Lorene.
Lorene’s garden is small compared with the other private gardens we’d seen, but there’s a sense of drama at curbside thanks to some overscaled plants, like the Stipa gigantea shown in the top photo. Lorene has planted up every inch of her sloping lot, and color brightens the scene, from red poppies…
…to a rainbow of sweet peas…
…to shrubs and sedges with golden foliage.
The bright Seattle sunshine made everything glow.
Lorene asked us to mention her new book, which is coming out soon from Timber Press: Handmade Garden Projects. Most of the projects detailed in the book were made in her garden, she told us. I assume this cool gabion tower is one of them. It marks the entry to her garden.
Gabion-style furniture in her back garden, including this curved bench around a firepit, invites relaxation. It’s a fun idea for Lorene’s gentler part of the world, but I couldn’t help thinking it would be like creating a condo for snakes and scorpions in my part of Austin. This is one project I’ll admire from afar.
Wire fencing rolled and secured, rocks, and a piece of tempered glass—an easy side table.
As you enter the back garden, the low path takes you to the firepit and Adirondack seating. The high path takes you up to a travel trailer folly (shown below) and a planted row of stock tanks that screens the garden from the alley in back. In between, a generously sized island bed and, accessible from both paths, a small deck built under poles hung with lanterns and prayer flags.
Looking back from the top of the garden.
The tiny deck is perched above the garden but feels cozy thanks to a tall screen of plants and an espaliered apple tree.
A vintage travel trailer is Lorene’s “cocktail cabana” and personal getaway.
Inside a wall is papered with maps, and comfy cushions offer a great nap spot.
Edibles mix with ornamentals in Lorene’s garden, and she’s quick to repurpose castoff objects, like these shovel heads…
…and an old metal chair, into garden art.
This is a great idea to get more height with a planted pot: pop a smaller one (of the same design) on top, and plant them both. They are charmingly (and economically) mulched with shards of broken pots.
Another fun display, especially for those who like a little formality: a mini-parterre garden in a child’s red wagon.
These were just a sampling of the creative decorative projects she had on display.
We bloggers were, as always, snapping away, gathering fodder for our blogs and other garden writing. Here are three excellent photographers in our group: Jim of Compost in My Shoe (the only male blogger on the Fling this year), Dee (red hair) of Red Dirt Ramblings, and Barbara of Mr. McGregor’s Daughter.
Life is indeed a party in Lorene’s garden, and my thanks to her for welcoming us!
All material © 2006-2011 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.