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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 


Begonia 'Canary Wings' at the top left, surrounded by various fuchsias.

A few annuals scattered throughout the garden and in pots on the deck. They are well-watered and fertilized weekly or sometimes bi-weekly. Most do well with the exception of the annual Vinca which has failed me every time I've planted it. It was a staple in the old garden but doesn't want to grow in the new one. 

Here are some of the ones that look good at the moment -

Cleome 'Senorita Rosalita' - I remember growing cleome, or "spider flowers" we called them, in Alabama and they would get huge, towering to 6 feet or more in late summer. I really love this dwarf variety and I liked it so much last year that I planted it again this year. 

Wishbone Flower (Torenia) - another favorite for shadier areas. Not a lot of blooms on this one right now. I have it in a pot on the deck.

Dichondra is another favorite. It is a very versatile plant and grows fine in full sun or even full shade. 

I've become a big fan of snapdragons since moving to the Pacific Northwest. In the South, they were treated like pansies and only did well during the cooler periods. It grows all season here and the colors are amazing, especially the salmon/orange combination. In the foreground is a dwarf lavender and heather.

Outside the front window, Allium 'Millenium', heathers ('Multicolor' and 'Firefly'), buddleia, snapdragon, echinacea, hebe and Viburnum 'Davidii'.

Coleus 'Electric Slide' has overshadowed the hosta and grass. 

Coleus 'Hottie'


Cape Primrose (Streptocarpus) overwintered in our kitchen window. This has become another favorite because it seems to bloom constantly in full shade on the deck. 

Begonia 'Dragonwing' doesn't seem to be as floriferous as it normally is, not only in this pot but elsewhere as well. It is a mystery.

Another shot of the snapdragon with a new echinacea that I forget the name of.

Lantana out by the street ('Rozann' geranium in back). 


Plectranthus 'Guacamole' has been amazing! This is the first time I've grown this one.

Painted Tongue (Salpiglossis sinuata)

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Lovely, one and all, Phillip. I keep planning to plant Cleome from seed or plugs but somehow always fail to do do when that window is open. I can't imagine snapdragons blooming during the summer - like your Alabama garden, they're a spring flower here.


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