Wednesday, March 13, 2024

L.H.'s fantastic Vancouver Garden

In the booklet handed out with this June '23 event it stated that "L.H." (they used her full name) asked those touring her garden not take photos—consequently I almost didn't make this stop. There were more gardens to see than time to see them, and if I couldn't take photos, well, maybe it was not worth it. Naturally curiosity got the better of me... 

Once there I got to chatting with L.H. and she relaxed, deciding photos were okay, as long as there were no identifying features publicized (her name, address). Thank goodness, as there were may wonderful things in this garden that I want to share.

Bam! Is that red or what? I asked the name of the flower as I wasn't familiar with it. Sadly I do not remember what I was told.

I do love it when ferns pop up in unexpected places.

From the event booklet: "This is a classical English garden which reflects the 100 year old Tudor Craftsman house. The garden is crowned by a magnificent multi-stemmed Magnolia × soulangeana 'Rubra' estimated to be 80 years old. It took 40 years to achieve what you'll see. The garden densely planted...has a steep grade. There is a water feature which consists of 3 ponds and stream covered by a steel rill. All were hand dug to protect the magnolia and prevent soil compaction.

Astrantia, I believe.

This looks like an adiantum, a maidenhair fern, but yet it's also different than the typical western maidenhair. What I don't know about ferns is a lot.

There's the rill crossing the lawn, and we're standing under the Magnolia × soulangeana referenced in the garden description. There were a couple of blooms on the tree, but they were too hidden by the leaves to get a good photo.

I love this so much!

I wonder if she ever has issues with raccoons, I didn't think to ask when I had her ear.

Magnolia arm.

Such a handsome old tree.

I love the industrial look to the metal cover. I'm not sure the style really fits in this garden, but it would in mine.

Small children could get lost in that gunnera.

No raccoon damage there.

Acanthus spinosus, I believe.

I never did figure out how to get back into that corner. Perhaps the point.

There were a staggering number of clematis in this garden, weaving in and out of things.

These next two images of very happy Blechnum penna-marina (Austroblechnum penna-marina) hint at why my plants aren't terribly happy.

It's said to be drought tolerant, but it certainly appears to like moisture.

At the top of the steps I turned to look backwards at where I'd been.

I love the foliage, but that red certainly pops.

Where the water begins its journey down through the garden.

I used to not like aeonium on tall stems. Now I adore them.

Oh! There's my agave! (there's always an agave if you look hard enough...)

But wait, something even more interesting...

Pyrrosia on a rock! I can't remember if I shared this previously here, or on Instagram, but I was in AWE! I know many pyrrosia grow as epiphytes or lithophytes in their natural settings but this definitely drove that home (and also encouraged much experimentation).

Greenhouse behind the garage.

Upper level...

Turned around and headed back down towards the street now.

Bye bye pyrrosia on a rock (and agave).

I don't remember if these were plants in holding, or plants for sale...

A parting glance...

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All material © 2009-2024 by Loree L Bohl. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. What a gorgeous garden, I'm so happy she changed her mind about pictures. The water features! Pyrrosia on a rock, that is really cool. The greenhouse built behind the garage is such a great idea. Was that original or did they add it?

    1. I believe the greenhouse was a later addition.

  2. Tracy in VA.March 13, 2024

    The red flower is a Maltese Cross. Stunning garden.

  3. the red flower is commonly called "Maltese Cross", botanical is Lychnis chalcedonica. Easy to start from seed, long-lived, takes a fair amount of abuse, likes sun, moderate water, will spread a bit but not aggressively. (2 plants in ~ 10years is acceptable. )

    1. Thank you for the name! (I assume you're Tracy in VA?)

    2. No, I think we just wrote simultaneously. I'm in Washington.

  4. I'm glad the owner acquiesced to photos - it's a beautiful garden. I love the water features. Where water is more reliably present, maybe the raccoons don't feel the need to rampage through every water feature they come upon.

  5. Thanks goodness--your photos really seem to do it justice. What a lovely garden; the water features, in particular, are quite impressive. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Glad you enjoyed, it was a treat to visit.

  6. This garden is really special, every photo resonated. Those interconnected water features are like nothing I've seen, as is the stone stair with wrought iron handrail. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You're welcome! The water was so low-key, not a big fancy pond or fake feeling waterfall. Perfect.

  7. A beautiful garden with only a touch of bloom color. Photo 28 really made my heart sing with the gnarly trunk snaking its way through the dens foliage.
    Your comment regarding aeonium "on tall stems" is a reminder that we evolve as gardeners, and so do our likes and dislikes, thankfully.
    I do remember you posting that "Pyrrosia on a rock", maybe as a tease after the fling... it left a strong impression on me: I absolutely love it.

    1. I am excited for more pyrrosia/rock experimenting to come!

  8. Lovely, Loree! L.H.'s gardener won a "Best in Show" for Pyrrosia linearifolia 'Urakoryu Jishi' on a black cube-shaped rock at the Alpine Garden Club of BC in 2023.

    1. OH... interesting. She gave me his name (I'm sure I have it recorded somewhere?) as I was so curious about what other pyrrosia experiments he'd done. I really need to find it and get in touch.

  9. Ah, the lushness that can be achieved with summer water. I don't normally like Magnolia x soulangeana (the flowers always look dirty and faded to me), but I do like that one with its strong character. The rock wall looks great too.


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