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Vicki Green's Garden

Vicki Green's garden is one of the neatest and most immaculate gardens I've seen and it is a showcase for beautifully grown plants as well as art objects (she is a glass artist). The property was once wall-to-wall grass and now just a central portion is devoted to the green. A long pathway leads you around the perimeter of the garden adorned with lush plantings. Vicki is a master at pruning and her technique reminds me of the way Michael does it. She has trained many of her "shrubs" into small trees, such at the waxleaf privet and elderberry. A Wax Leaf Privet ( Ligustrum japonicum ) trained into an attractive small tree. I was taken aback by the size of the plants, some of which I grow, and my mind was racing. Driving up, I was immediately wowed by her 'Golden Spirit' Smoke Bush ( Cotinus coggygria ) although now I do recall seeing a very large on 117th St. However, this one is the most beautiful I've seen -   I also was surprised to see how large her 

Camille and Dirk Paulsen's Garden in Puyallup

I've now been to Puyallup but I still don't think I can pronounce it. This was the last day of our trip and as we headed south, there were still gardens to see. This was the last private garden we visited. It is the spectacular garden of Camille and Dirk Paulsen.

The description from our itinerary-

"When we moved here in 2011, we were thrilled to inherit numerous conifers, magnolias, Japanese maples and other beautiful trees that lent the garden a mature feel. It was hard to pick a favorite, but the giant weeping sequoia (aka the Dr. Seuss tree) captured our imagination with its whimsical nature. A true living sculpture! We kept the trees but redesigned most everything else. As Camille's passion for plants grew, the lawn kept shrinking. Our former front lawn is now a sunny plant-filled oasis with a welcoming pergola, pond and waterfall. Dirk's hand-built Torli gate graces an Asian-influenced shade garden, while a mossy fernery adds interest to the other side yard. Our back garden features vine-covered arbors, colorful containers, tropical beds and a peaceful pond and waterfall surrounded by woodland plants. The extensive use of stone is a unifying feature throughout." 

I knew I was going to love this garden from the moment we pulled up and I caught a glimpse of their fantastic collection of conifers. The front garden is an artfully designed area with a central pergola that is surrounded by stonework, a double-sided waterfall and a stunning collection of plants.



Here is our group taking a photo break under the pergola. That is Camille standing next to me -

This is the very cool double waterfall. The opposite side of the waterfall faces the pathway to the front door and the water falls on that side too.

Dirk's magnificent Torli gate that leads to the side garden. Camille told me that on a clear day, the gate perfectly frames Mt. Rainier in the distance. It was overcast the day we were there so we missed that. Thankfully, Camille shared this photo with me -

On to the side garden which features a 'Black Pearl' redbud, Japanese maple 'Beni Schichihenge' and 'Geisha Gone Wild', fuchsias, hostas and other shade-loving plants -

Rounding the corner takes you to the back garden with incredible views -

Looking down over the pool is a beautiful planting of Mexican Feather Grass (Nassella tenuissima), Himalayan Honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa), Mimosa (Albrizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate' and Honey Bush (Melianthus major)

Clematis 'Polish Spirit'

I loved this - two Japanese maples braided together - 'Viridis' and 'Tamukeyana'

Clematis 'Dr. Ruppel'

Another great photo by Camille with Mr. Rainier in the distance

The side garden on the opposite side of the house featured ferns and this fantastic tree trunk that Camille came across while driving through a nearby neighborhood. She stopped to inquire and ended up getting it for the garden.

There was so much to see and not nearly enough time. So many beautiful plants and artistic details. Thank you Camille and Dirk for sharing your paradise with us!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Another gorgeous garden. Those views are magnificent. Love the big dead tree surrounded with ferns etc.

  2. P.S. Love the picture of the child photo bombing. Or was that a garden fairy??

  3. I'm so jealous that you've visited Camille's garden before I have! She's been inviting me up for awhile now but I haven't been able to make it. Soon.

  4. Wow - just wow! Thanks for sharing this beautiful garden.

  5. This garden looks amazing! I want to live there ;-) Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Steve B.

  6. A whole higher level of gorgeousness. A paradise!

  7. Thanks for sharing this visit! I've met Camille and her family as they toured my garden years ago when they were down this way but I've never seen her garden. Hopefully there'll be a chance of that during the Garden Bloggers' Fling in 2023. I love that very photogenic tree trunk and the pond but the whole garden, not to speak of the view, is magnificent.

    FYI, your latest blog post showed up as it should in my feed today. I don't know if that's related to something you did, my reloading of your blog's URL, or some switch flipped by Blogger but it was good to see.

    1. Kris, apparently it happened because I had deleted my Feedburner since I've been told it was going away. I had to re-tweak some of my settings in Blogger and apparently that was the problem.

  8. What a treat that you got to tour Camille's garden! Hers is one of my favorite gardens in this area, and she's one of my favorite people too. I hope you got to speak with her, she's the sweetest, most generous person.

    1. Hello Alison, yes I did and she is wonderful. I didn't know you lived nearby!

  9. How lucky you are to live near such incredible gardens! I’m convinced that the people of the Pacific NW are the best gardeners out there. I love how this one borrows views from Mt. Ranier.

  10. Thanks so much for documenting your tour of some amazing gardens. I'll be returning to these photos many times!


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