Garden Blogger's Fling, Portland: Joanne Fuller

Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa!
I thought about creating a holiday themed post but instead opted for a bit of summer color. How about another garden from the Garden Blogger's Fling? Last week we visited Linda Ernst's colorful garden, this week let's look at Joanne Fuller's garden, Linda's friend and next-door neighbor.

A bit about Joanne's garden from the Garden Blogger's Fling website:

 This small urban garden continues to evolve. I love big bold leaves, strong colors and quirky plants. These passions create a retreat filled with texture and form in a small garden where there is something interesting at every turn. Sit under the Japanese Maple and take in the newest arrangement of shade plants, or lounge in the tropical corner under the banana. Art continues to be a theme with glass, metal and stone artwork throughout the garden. Down the street, a whole different low-water, high-impact scene is emerging. This garden is a great place to come learn about how you can have high impact with a regular city lot. Come, relax a while and enjoy.

The front garden has a steep slope just as her friend and neighbor Linda Ernst's garden does, both full of shade-loving plants as this street in Portland is tree-lined and quite shady. An Asian-inspired screen reflects light and adds sparkle to this cool, green grove.

At the top of the stairs looking to the right is a path connecting the two friends' gardens in the front. The pillars on the left belong to Linda's home next door.

Under the shade of trees, hanging metal lanterns add to the ambiance of seating on the front porch.

Splashes of color are restrained in this area. Begonias add a pop of red against a sea of greens.

Along paths a variety of foliage plants invite a slower pace.

The reflective screen theme continues on the side of the garden, leading you to the back.

The silver leaves also lend a sparkle to the woodland setting.

Really a wonderful work of art in this gate; someone in the home is a talented artist and metalsmith.

Lovely Impatiens omeiana -- how I wished mine looked like this.

Beautiful native deer fern Blechnum spicant.

More metal working and a lovely sitting area just around the corner from the shady side path. Splashes of color in the form of glass floats dot the area.

More metal art in the form of a fence picks up the theme of the round touches.

Abutilon and glass flowers.

This wonderful piece of glass art is situated just on Joanne's side of the connecting fence.

In the back garden, it opens up to a wonderful patio area with two seating areas. This area really caught my eye with its turquoise accents.

A variety of pot styles adds an eclectic vibe to this cozy grouping, while a bamboo screen makes it feel intimate.

Wider shot, and what great furniture!

Sempervivum, turquoise and rusted metal.

More accents with foliage.

Sitting here under a shady tree for a spell on a hot summer day feels divine.

The enchanting woodland theme continues on the west side of the garden up against a fence while the other side sees a bit more sun. There's a stone fountain in the midst of the garden just visible on the left.

More orb shapes continue hanging in the trees adding additional layers to this rich setting.

A wonderful pebble mosaic spirals to a beautiful center:

Magic. See what I mean?

 Architectural elements in the center of the garden are dramatic but have an organic presence. This wonderful structure really gives this garden a sense of place and feels historic, like an architectural remnant from long ago.

It sweeps around and embraces the upper seating areas without closing it in. Oh, I do really like this.

Their dining area sits just above the rest of the garden with wonderful views all around.

A few steps down from the dining area above, a secret nook perfect for reading or sipping morning coffee. The turquoise is again echoed here in the drapery.


Another view of the woodland feel, sprinkled with enchanted surprises.

A closeup of the fountain mentioned earlier, covered in moss.

I imagine a lot of birds visit this.

Delicate looking Atrantia major. 

Moving back out to the front of the house and hell strip, Joanne has managed to turn her neighbor's hell strip area in to a no-water, xeric garden (with permission of course). Kitty was keen on showing me around.

From what I understand, this garden saw very limited water for its initial planting and growth period and no water from there on out. I might not have this entirely correct but in any event the garden is gorgeous. Lots of drought-tolerant perennials and shrubs and blooms for the pollinators. This is so much better than a strip of grass as it provides a small bit of much-needed habitat.

Asclepias speciosa or showy milkweed, a host plant for the monarch butterfly. This is what I have in my garden and I saw my first monarch caterpillar this year, I posted about it here.

Wider shot with kitty greeting the Flingers.

There is so much more to this garden, I could go on and on, but we shall end here. It has a magic woodland feel to much of it as I mentioned earlier, but it also has moments of sunshine and brilliant color hidden in unexpected places. There is plenty of seating here too, just like in Linda's garden, so it too feels like a space that's meant to be lived in.

Thank you, Joanne, for opening your wonderful garden to the Garden Blogger's Fling this year.  It was a highlight for me, and I hope to return if you have an open garden in the coming months.

This post concludes an action-packed 2014 in the garden; thank you dear readers for visiting Chickadee Gardens, for commenting, and for being a part of the gardening community. I am most grateful to all of you gardeners out there, a group of the best people a girl could know.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and here's to a fabulous 2015 full of garden dreams.


  1. Merry Christmas Tamara! I hope she and her neighbor both open their gardens next year, I'd love to check them out.

    1. Merry Christmas to you too Alison! I know...I hope so too, if she does let's go!

  2. I LOVE this garden. If I had made it to the Fling, I imagine it would have been hard to get me out of it. That metal fence is a work of art and the other art scattered throughout manages to accent rather than distract one from the beauty of the garden. Thanks for sharing your view of it and merry Christmas!

    1. It was hard to leave! I agree, I think the metal touches blend beautifully. You are welcome and thank you for reading and commenting! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

  3. This is absolutely enchanting.

    1. Agreed, it is. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. Perfect antidote to the dark, drab days of winter. Thank you for sharing.

    1. aaah, I feel it too, Grace. A little color goes a long way in these dark rainy days. Happy New Year to you, Grace!

  5. Anonymous11:47 AM PST

    We saw so many great gardens during the Fling that it is hard to pick a favorite, but this one was definitely one of them, for me. I too fell in love with the sweeping forms of that structure - it defined so much of the garden! And I loved all the metal art and cozy seating areas. Beautiful post of a fabulous garden. Happy New Year, Tamara!

    1. That form, that structure, oh my! What a wonderful idea and device to give presence to the garden. I love it! Happy New Year to you too, Anna!

  6. Thanks so much for the lovely pictures of my garden and your glowing praise. I love working and playing in my small space and sharing it with others. You all can come whenever you want. Happy New Year to all and here's to a great year of gardens.

    Best, Joanne Fuller

    1. Hello Joanne, thank you again so much for opening your beautiful bit of paradise to all of us. Your love of gardening and art shows and we appreciate the offer to come back. I'll watch for open garden days in the HPSO book, I think my friend Alison from Tacoma wants to join me for a visit. Thank you again, I'm thrilled you like the doesn't do justice but does add a bit of color on a gray Portland day. Cheers!!

  7. So much to love here. Gorgeous post. Thanks.

    1. Thank you Patricia! Well you can't go wrong in such a fab garden! Cheers...

  8. Thanks for brining back wonderful memories again Tamara, and so nice to be reminded of summer again!

    1. You two are so welcome :) It's a gorgeous garden with a lot to offer on a cold gray Portland day! Here's to dreams of summertime blooms....

  9. Such a lush, vibrant garden you captured so well. Thank you, and Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, Denise. You are welcome and Happy New Year to you too! Here's to a great gardening year in 2015.

  10. What a great garden! Thanks for the tour. I love all the lush green shade plants and the fence with the circles. The scarab-like stones at the center of the spiral are a nice touch!


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