Lisa Fuller's Garden


I had been wanting to see Lisa Fuller's garden for a long time and I finally got the chance this week. It was a cold morning and her garden is very shady and I was thankful I remembered to bring my jacket. 

What a serene garden this is! Located in the Garden Home area of Portland, you would never know the bustling city is just right outside the neighborhood. Large pines, Douglas firs, Sitka spruce, Oregon ash and western red cedar tower over the canopy of this half-acre woodland garden. The understory is filled with native plants like Indian Plum (Oemleria cerasiformis), red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) and serviceberry (Amelanchier).  It is a haven for birds and wildlife. We were continually serenaded by birdsong, many of them unfamiliar to me.

When she first moved in, she spend a year clearing out blackberry and ivy. After that, more and more native plants began to appear -  salal,  snowberry, deer fern, sword fern, twinberry, douglas spirea, St. John's wort and others that she has yet to identify.

Lisa and I work together on the HPSO Library & Book Committee. We both love gardens and garden books and it is always a pleasure to be with her. Before moving to Portland, she lived in New Orleans where she owned a floral design business. She has also lived in California. She has lived in Portland since 2006.

Lisa is an artist which is most evident when you see her garden. She grows quite an impressive collection of trees and shrubs. Among the many plants she grows are numerous varieties of Japanese maples, hydrangea, dogwood, katsura and viburnum.

One of the first things we noticed was this beautiful weeping katsura that anchored a border next to her driveway -

Further down, a spectacular specimen of Acer palmatum 'Orangeola' in a pot and a blood-red witch hazel (Hamamelis 'Diane') -



Acer palmatum 'Orangeola'

Weeping Parrotia



 Lisa designed a tranquil Japanese-inspired courtyard at the entrance to her home -


Styrax obassia



Acer japonicum Aconitifolium 'Dancing Peacock'


Stachyurus salicifolius

The back garden is very different and extends quite a distance away from the house on a slight slope. Winding pathways take you past a variety of shrubs and trees, both in pots and in the ground -

Cornus alternifolia


Hardy Banana (Musa basjoo)

Persimmon - I did not realize that this tree was so beautiful. Now I want one!

Boxleaf Honeysuckle (Lonicera nitida)

Katsura leaves

Jeweled Chain Fern (Woodwardia unigemmata)


The garden is filled with interesting ornaments and art work -



 And touches of whimsy -

 Lisa's son is also an artist. He made these sculptures -



 And our journey circles back up toward the house and around to the patio which is filled with containers -

Lisa has a large assortment of succulents in pots but these had been moved inside the house. But in the ground -

Agave parryi

Lisa continues to work on new projects. She is redesigning her vegetable garden into a parterre. She is also working on a stumpery.  I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

Thank you Lisa for sharing your inspiring and idyllic garden.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. I have such wonderful memories of visiting Lisa’s garden, her love of plants and artist eye was evident.

  2. Woodland gardens are my personal vision of heaven, even though they're not something you find in my own area of the country. I love all the maples and other colorful foliage.

  3. Oh yes, I love Lisa's garden. So much to see. Such a feeling of quiet yet exciting.

  4. I do love gardens that are adjacent to natural settings, where the transition from the home garden to nature is seamless. A truly beautiful PNW garden.


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