The Tom Gillies Hardy Fern Foundation Display Garden
The Fern Garden is where foliage and texture prove their value in the garden. A combination of hardy ferns from around the world and fanciful plants create the feeling you have entered a miniature wonderland. There are ferns that are as small as three inches to ferns that will eventually get as tall as a small tree. You’ll have to bend down to discover how the mouse plant got its name. Brush aside the leaves to reveal what appear to be little brown mice. Our native evergreen groundcover, the inside out flower (Vancouveria, hexandra), is another little gem and an underused plant. Then there is this garden rooms one show off, blood root (Sanguinaria Canadensis ‘Multiplex’), whose purest of white flowers seem to glow from a distance in the spring.
The Mary Jane ‘Squeak’ Allen Shade Garden makes its home under one of Lakewold’s most remarkable trees the ‘Wolf Tree’. This garden area is at its peak in April. Blues, whites, pale yellows and burgundies punctuate this contemplative garden room. Sheltered by the Wolf Tree, a multi-branched Douglas fir many hundreds of years old, you will find Trillium ovatum, T. Sessile, and T. grandiflorum, the pink Dog toothed violet (Erythronium dens-canis), and in May and June look for the illusive Himalayan blue poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia) and Japanese Maple Acer Goshiki, a wedding gift from Mrs. Wagner's mother.
Heading back down the path from the Shade Garden will lead you to the Woodland Garden, where you will see just how naturalistic a man-made stream and pond can look. The majority of Lakewold Gardens’ maple tree (Acer palmatum) collection resides along the stream banks. Other notable trees include the Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica), Lions head Maple (Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashura’), Acer p. Shindeshojo’, the Umbrella pine (Sciadopities……) and a Chilean flame tree (Embothrium coccineum)whose brilliant red hummingbird attracting blossoms appear to ignite each May and June. As the woodland path leads you past the Picnic Point, take note of the native oak collection. Our endemic Gary Oak (Quercus garryana), found scarcely scattered throughout Washington and Oregon, makes its home on the banks of Gravelly Lake.
Follow the paths and you will exit the woodland and enter into the Rock Garden, where you will find a collection of alpine cushion plants and many miniature species bulbs. Matilija poppy (Romneya coultleri) and Pacific Coast Iris flank the path between the upper and lower rock gardens. In the early spring, the walk from the rock garden on the South Border trail is intoxicating, thanks to the beautiful fragrant flowers of the Magnolia sieboldii. Springtime also brings up a large patch of Avalanche Lily (Erythronium oregonum) at the bottom of the path.
Most of Lakewold’s collection of late spring and summer flowering perennials find their home on the South side of the Wagner House where they can soak up their required six hours of sun per day. The display starts in the spring with Hyacinth, peonies, alliums, and hardy geraniums and ends in late fall with Asters and Agastache. This garden room is frequented by many wild visitors including: butterflies, hummingbirds, dragon flies and bumble bees throughout the summer season.
The Knot Garden
Just North of the rose garden and near the verandah is the Elizabethan Knot Garden - resembling a ribbon, tied loosely. This garden area, also designed by Thomas Church features culinary herbs, whose leaves tend to be more ornamental than their flowers, adding a wonderful pungent fragrance to this space.
One of the most undiscovered garden rooms of the entire property is the Library Court Yard. This secluded space, surrounded with Camellias and Rhododendrons is well-shaded and protected from harsh winds. For this reason it is able to support marginally hardy species such as the Rhododendron fragrantisima and a variety of statuary.