Open Gardens - Bruce Wakefield & Jerry Grossnickle

Last weekend, I got to see a garden that I had wanted to see for a long time. I first saw Bruce Wakefield and Jerry Grossnickle's garden on an episode of "A Gardener's Diary" on HGTV. It was one of my favorite shows and aired when HGTV actually had gardening shows. I had no idea at the time that I would one day live close enough to actually see their garden in person as well as work with Bruce on the HPSO board. 

The garden did not disappoint and was worth the wait. It is like a botanical garden and so many plants that I had no idea what they were. It was a perfect day to see the garden. I was a bit rushed and needless to say, overwhelmed. I hope to return again when their garden will be open again in June.

A horse chesnut tree was the first thing I saw when entering the garden.

The garden is located on two acres and it is situated on a steep slope that has winding pathways that lead to various gardens. 

This water feature (as well as the ones in the previous photos) are near the bottom of the garden. 

Looking up the hill toward the house

Up near the house is a dry garden area with tropical plants

Stepping up to the balcony where you can see incredible views of the garden below

There are lots of pots on the balcony and Bruce said that many are just now being brought out of the greenhouse. I recall seeing this plant on the Piece of Eden blog!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Wow, I can see how it would seem overwhelming. It is a gorgeous garden on what I would think is a difficult site. They have tamed it well. So much to drool over. Great photos Phillip.

  2. I too loved Gardener's Diary and mourned its loss. I've seen this garden in pictures before and it's amazing. Even though you were rightly overwhelmed you've done a nice job of giving a sense of it.

  3. This is insanely beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for the lovely photos. I have a similar but mostly shady woodland garden behind the house, a quarter acre or so that slopes downhill, and even that smallish size absolutely is overwhelming. Hopefully when I retire I can spend more time out there and get control of the ivy, periwinkle, wild strawberry, lamium, etc. that threaten to smother everything else.

  4. I saw this great garden a few years ago when I was at Hardy Plant Study Weekend in Portland. I enjoyed it very much, in spite of it being nearly 100 degrees out that weekend. Thanks for sharing your photos and impressions of it. I hope you get a chance to go back.

  5. I toured this garden when Fling was in Portland, and am determined to see it again some day. Their open HPSO days don't coincide with my trip to Portland for study weekend, so maybe next year !

  6. It is a disgrace that HGTV is now HTV. I wish they would put all those shows on dvd's. I would buy them.

  7. So lush and green, what a beautiful oasis.


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