Friday, May 28, 2021

Visiting the garden of Wes Younnie

My friend—artist and garden designer—Wes Younie, moved into the neighborhood a couple of years back. It's taken me much longer than it should have (I blame COVID) but I finally visited his garden last week...

It is a plant paradise, heavy on great design.

A flat of Acaena inermis ‘purpurea’ was in holding, bound for a client's garden. I love this stuff.

Peony and yucca... all the cool kids are doing it. 

Yes of course we toured with wine. It was nice to relax the COVID protocol—being fully vaccinated—and move around outdoors unmasked. Here Wes was reading a label for me.

I don't think I've ever met a rodgersia that I don't love.

Wes plans a fountain focal point at the end of this pathway, eventually.

Eccremocarpus scaber

Daphniphyllum, the same form as I saw at McMenamins in Eugene, Oregon. Turns out Gossler Farms is the source for this beauty.

Looking back towards the house. As you may have noticed earlier—and will probably see in later photo's—painting is underway. The dark charcoal color is the future.

Mahonia! And a gnome with history, I can't remember exactly, but this gnome has followed Wes for a few years now, originating in a garden he visited as a youngster.

Pretty dreamy, right? Hard to believe Wes has only been gardening here for two years.

Mahonia gracilipes (the tall large leaved plant).

Saxifraga dentata

The plants in the crack were placed there—I had to ask.

Ditto here.

This lovely spot is hidden from all except those lucky enough to enter off the alleyway.

Now we've walked back around and are touring the wide hellstrip plantings.

You can see the painting in progress here, and how wonderful to be able to walk along the edge of the garden and see all the plants at waste level!

Blechnum penna-marina

I do wish I could be successful with allium plantings. I just can't stand their deteriorating foliage and forget where they are and put a shovel through the dormant bulb. Every damn time.

Moving to the west I was thrilled to spot a couple agaves.

Sempervivum 'Gold Nugget' (mine rotted...)

Agave parryi

A happy aeonium that overwintered in place.

Another section of hellstrip...

Agave parryi and echeveria.

I think this is a mangave, and the thin "foamy" plant is Artemisia versicolor 'Sea Foam'.

The always stunning Cerinthe major 'Purpurascens'.

Looking back towards the house.

And the hellstrip plantings on the other street—as the house sits on a corner.

I didn't get the name of this dark beauty...

Allium siculum (aka Nectaroscordum siculum)

Buddleja globosa

I really wish I had room in my garden for this one.

Just a few more shots...

I'm jealous of Wes' success with Acaena inermis ‘purpurea’.

And this sedum! Mine died out so quickly that I can't remember its name.

He also has had success with that little silver moundy plant that I've killed a few times.

We end back with one of the first Agaves, because why not? Thank you Wes for sharing your stunning garden with me. There are so many stars all hanging out together, happy in their place. Well done!

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. I can see that Wes is a kindred spirit of yours.

    The plants have grown so well given that they have only been in the ground for two years!

    I bought one of those Allium siculum last year and it hasn't come back this year, which is disappointing.

    1. Sorry to hear that, and yes—the garden looks much more mature than it's years.

  2. That was so much fun! Wonderful tour of a gem of a garden. Two years old? Incredible.

    1. It was a fabulous way to spend a Thursday evening!

  3. Oh my, maybe someday my shade garden will grow up to be like Wes'. What a delight! The unknown dark flower looks like it might be Aquilegia 'Black Barlow'...guessing as it's seeded all over my garden and looks to be the same.

    1. Yes I think you are correct! And perhaps you'll share a plant with me at our next swap?

  4. His garden is stunning. Time for a second Portland Fling! ;)

  5. Jeanne M DeBenedetti-KeyesMay 28, 2021

    Lovely! Great shots, Loree. I love all of the textures and plant combos! Looks like he "cramscapes" too.

    1. Yes indeed he does, Wes is a talented cramscaper.

  6. Amazing for only two years!

  7. I love that garden and the planting. Sigh.

    1. I fell like I could go back again and again and discover more.

  8. Fantastic garden. Such smart use of color. I’m interested in the lime colored maple in the first pic. It has such a narrow habit and I’ve never seen a narrow maple in that color before. I have the narrow Twombley’s Sentinel, which is red in spring.
    Wes doesn’t pressure wash his concrete tile- I wonder if that’s part of his color scheme too. I really like the rich looking pavers, no joke! I think you should let yours be 😊

    1. Perhaps Wes will chime in about the maple. As for the tile... power washing our pavers (after 14 years of use) was one of the best things we did this spring. They were nasty. Slippery when wet and with rings and patterns of use from the pots I placed each summer. The garden feels fresh and new. We won't do it every year but we also won't wait 14 years to do it again...

  9. Wonderful combinations everywhere. Amazing that this garden is only 2 years old!
    Love the Saxifraga dentata.
    In the first shots of the hell strip, there is a tri-colored, shield-shaped leaf. Is that a Persicaria?

    1. It is a persicaria, and in fact Wes and I talked about the fact we both have it, but slightly different versions. Mine is known as Persicaria runcinata 'Purple Majesty'.

  10. The garden is clearly packed with wonderful plants but it feels as though everything has the necessary space to shine. The plants in the cracks had me thinking I need to do more of that myself.

    1. Indeed everything does have the space to shine!

  11. That artemisia surprised me with zone 4 and up ! it is so eye catching I thought for sure it would be a much higher zone to start with. I have that purplish sedum and can't remember the name now of course. All these plants are curiosity jewels in this garden and it certainly seems more established than 2 years. All that TLC must have made the difference. I love the "crack" plants !

  12. Pure perfection everywhere you look. Love those pruned little shrubs. I agree with Chickadee that the dark flower is probably Aquilegia 'Black Barlow' which I used in a vase today.


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