Friday, May 27, 2022

Mary DeNoyer's garden; there are podophyllum there

I first visited this garden in 2019, for the HPSO Study Weekend Event—and have intended to get back ever since. I finally made it on a recent, rainy, Sunday afternoon...

Mary's description of her garden for the HPSO Open directory: "In mid May this year, the many different podophyllums are showing their best color and most are in flower. My garden is a 23 year experience of learning and passion. In this 75 x 100 ft. organic city garden, I collect many shade plants including varieties of arisaema, podophyllum, saxifrage and dactylorhiza for the more shaded and private back area beds. I love playing with textures, forms and shades of green foliage. The sunnier south-facing front garden is more drought tolerant. A wide variety of blooming plants keep it fun and interesting all summer long along with it's evergreen bones. I've added a rock garden along the drive.

The sunny south-facing front garden may be more drought tolerant, but it is still quite lush. Especially with all the rain we've had.

Eryngium venustum in the wide hell-strip.

A very shaggy conifer with long cones.

We'll be walking around that bend in the lawn in a minute, entering the side garden and into the shady depths. First however, look at that light green length of ground cover on the left, edging the lawn.

It's an arabis, perhaps A. ferdinandi-coburgi 'Old Gold'. Lovely as it is, what I really wanted you to note is the standing water between it and the lawn. We've had so much rain this spring, the soil is positively saturated. It was pouring for the first half of my visit, I took photos from under cover of an umbrella.

Persicaria in a pot, where it can't get away from the gardener.

I remember these adorable planters from my previous visit. Mary has expanded upon the log/stump theme with more planters you'll see in the back garden.

I didn't look under it's skirts to see if this peony was supported with a framework, but it certainly was standing tall despite the rain.

I did spot a small patch of podophyllum out in the front garden—and there was probably more than just the one—however this is where the podophyllum spotting gets serious. Mary grows so many and they are all gorgeous.

I asked if she lifts and divides her podophyllum, thinking that would account for the number she has sprinkled about. Here's her reply: "The in ground ones I divide a lot. The potted ones so far I've just given larger pots or moved into the garden. Podophyllums like room to spread or run a bit. The ones in pots don't multiply as fast because of that." 

I am such a wimp when it comes to dividing my plants. I'm always afraid I am going to do more damage than good. Maybe Mary will let me watch her in action sometime so I can get some pointers and see how a pro does it.

Polygonatum kingianum

Look at that hosta! I think it's June.

And those arisaema leaves!

With blooms...

Calycanthus occidentalis (I think), and a canoe planter that's been highly coveted among a few of my friends.

Swoon! Check out that patch of variegated lily-of-the-valley!

Dove tree, Davidia involucrata.

More arisaema and the first of many faux bois planters we'll see.

And more (more! more!) podophyllum...

I love how she's planted Disporum cantoniense 'Night Heron' to grow up through Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty'. Genus!

Perhaps a patch of 'Red Panda' next to it?

Okay, time for the big podophyllum "pièce de résistance"...

I didn't catch the name of the one on the far left, although if I were naming my vote would go for 'Snowflake', the one with the great red and green coloration is Podophyllum 'Imperial Sunrise'.

And the most sought after podophyllum (if you're a collector or plant nerd), Podophyllum difforme 'Starfish Strain'...

I wasn't completely on board with this one, until I saw it in Mary's garden. Now I am in love.

Have you been counting? I thought about doing a count, but decided not to bother. It's an impressive collection and that's all that matters.

I finally tore myself away from the podophyllum lust and moved on...

More of those containers!

And an agave...

The back deck...

Covered patio off the side of the garage...

And a view of the two...

I think this small garden could be called a scree garden?

Rock-garden next to the driveway.

And just a final two photos, of a very exuberant planting in what might be an old bird-bath?

Ferns, saxifraga, hosta... Mary does it all with style and excellent care for the plants. 

I'm ending with a bonus shot from a garden just up the street from Mary's. Why? Because I love their custom agave planter!

All material © 2009-2022 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. What a beautiful array of foliage! I am just learning about mixing colour and texture and the garden shown here is such an inspiration!

    1. It's an inspiration to seasoned gardeners too!

  2. Lovely garden.

    It does share a lot in common with yours, but it has some differences as well.

    I didn't realise that there som many different kinds of Podophyllum.

    Good to see another cramscaper, ha ha!

    I have been told ny my wife for cramscaping the garden. She says it is just "a collection of plants" now. Yeah, right, what does she know!

    1. Wow... "just a collection of plants"... !?! I am sure it's much more than that.

  3. yep, I'm slowly catching on that it's the shade lovers and woodlanders that fill in so early and give such a lush look, and that might be the best option here at the coast. Warning, I will likely steal that fizzy show of ferns and saxifrage!

  4. It's a spectacular garden. There wasn't a single plant I wouldn't covet if I had more shade - and regular rain. Pretty as the Podophyllum are, I caught my breath on sight of the peony but then I know you'd expect that.

    1. It was a fabulous peony, so yes... I would expect nothing less.

  5. I'm in lustful heaven. I have 3 Podophyllums; one doing great and two are only OK. I think I need to move mine based on looking at where she has hers. What a divine group of plants; so beautifully combined and maintained.

    1. I am definitely looking at my garden with an eye to how I can work in more podophyllum.

  6. So insanely green! So insanely moist! My eyes are having a hard time focusing.

    Great garden--all the plants so beautifully healthy and well grown. The Podophyllums are fabulous. Took a fancy to them when I saw them at the Portland Fling--but not a genus for SoCal's climate. Thanks for the tour!

    1. As I am sure you'd agree, too much of anything can get old. The MOIST is getting very very old.

  7. What a shady, lush treat. Mary is an amazing gardener...and those planters are especially charming. Thanks for getting wet for us (again), Loree. Even with all the rain your photos are gorgeous.

  8. AnonymousMay 28, 2022

    I love everything about this garden, especially with such emphasis on the shady bits. I covet a Podophyllum but have yet to get one. Seeing the vast collection (and "pièce de résistance") I'm even more interested, but who can choose?
    Good to know they do well in pots.
    Ditto for the Arisaema (yummy) and Persicaria!

  9. What a stunning garden. There is so much to see. Quite envious of that Polygonatum kingshianum. Gorgeous. Everything looks so lush. What a change from last year. Feel free to send us some of your rain. We are already in drought conditions.


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