Going back once again to the Denver Garden Bloggers Fling last June, let’s talk about the private garden of Dan Johnson and Tony Miles. I loved it. It was relaxed, joyful, and crammed with goodies.
Dan Johnson is a serious garden person: Associate Director of Horticulture at the Denver Botanic Gardens. And yet in the GBF program he says that his main garden goal is to figure out where to put all the plants he has acquired. In other words, he is just folks. Possibly he is having a little too much fun here, but I won’t tell on him if you won’t.
Just a fantastic combination in the front garden: some kind of Sedum, Ice Plant, and ‘Star of Persia’ Allium. The first two are guesses, actually.
I love this pink poppy leaning against a spiky Yucca. Sort of an odd couple: one languorous, one electric with energy.
Pretty sure this is the front of the house.
The porch has a lot of pots, and a lot of cacti. I have never seen so many hanging cacti in my life.
Doesn’t seem to bother her that she has all these green tentacles growing out of her head.
This detached doorway serves as entrance to the back garden.
I’ve remarked elsewhere that Poppies seem very happy in Colorado. And what’s that hanging there?
Some kind of mutant squid turned into a planter. Very intriguing.
A big patch of thyme serves as background for deep blue glass.
One of several seating areas in the garden. I love that dramatic purple wall.
Some very colorful koi in the garden pond. I think that’s fishing wire stretched across the water to frustrate hungry predators.
Another doorway heightens the sense of adventure.
You can kind of see here that the garden in back slopes downward away from the house.
Glowing California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica) combined with spikes of blue flowers (Penstemon?).
Another view of the floral blue and gold with a shady sitting area. Some repurposed something to the left serves as an elevated planter.
There are also luscious Irises at this time of the year. The garden is full of objects of all kinds, many of them found and repurposed.
Further back there is a smaller building – maybe an office – also in adobe.
Thanks to Loree Bohl at Danger Garden, I know that this hanging succulent is Sedum morganianum. Not my sort of thing, but impressive.
You can always tell when gardeners really take pleasure in their garden. You get the sense that Dan Johnson and Tony Miles don’t spend too much time worrying about design or what “fits”. And yet an instinctive sense of style ensures that this wildly carousing garden comes together beautifully.
Those yuccas seem to be Yucca rostrata, but the first one may be Yucca linearifolia, or some other more rare yucca.
Thanks for the ID. I am ignorant as to Yuccas.
It is more information than you need for your region, where most Yuccas are not so well suited.
There are others too. There seems to be Yucca rupicola and some other tree like yucca with wider leaves, like Yucca schidigera.
They really did seem to have a wide selection of interesting Yuccas.
Several do well there. It is unfortunate that more species of Yucca are not as popular here, where we really should be using more of them in landscapes.
“Wildly carousing” says it perfectly. I do love the way the house seems secondary. The whole of it seems very serendipitous but I think I detect a subtle Medusa theme.
Hmm. You could be right, though I’m not sure what a Medusa theme would look like. I think this garden is not as haphazard as it first appears.
I thoroughly enjoy these busy gardens.
I loved it, definitely.
Where are all the people? Did you run straight to the back garden? Stay after the rest of us left? I am impressed.
Haha, I have a lot of patience! I lurk until people move on. I loved this garden and really didn’t want people getting in the way of the flowers.
Absolutely incredible. Reminds me of how much I adored succulents when I lived years ago in Southern California. I agree with wildly carousing.
The succulents were interesting but not my favorite thing. I liked all the bright color and energy of this garden most of all.
I’m in with Loree, how did you get all those people-less shots ?? This was also one of my favorite Denver Fling gardens. Your comment “You get the sense that Dan Johnson and Tony Miles don’t spend too much time worrying about design or what “fits”. is spot-on. And not everyone can pull that off !
I really like that smaller adobe building. The standing doorway appeals, too. So many of these gardens feel too full to me, but I certainly can understand how the urge to plan and plant can grow a bit boisterous when both the knowledge and the energy are available.
I wish I could find a standing door like that. I wonder how you set it in the ground so it is stable.
This garden has got loads of character! I like the doors leading to other parts of the garden…and if my garden was big enough I would try idea. A fun garden!
If my garden was big enough … certainly among the saddest words, along with might have been.
Beautiful irises. It’s an incredible planting mixture.
Yes, isn’t it!?!
Quite the collection! Not just plants, but all the odds and ends which take forever to find, and they’re all placed so creatively. It looks like a fun space to enjoy and I bet there’s something for every season.
I loved this garden too! The thing that impresses me most is the way that all of the objects are so deeply integrated into the garden, as if they grew there like the plants and are happily carrying on a conversation with their neighbors. It seems from the photos that it was a garden made to walk through and spend time “in” rather than just for looking at it.
What a great description!
What fantastic gardens! I loved following along with your descriptions.
Thanks for reading our posts. Glad you enjoyed them.
This garden surely looks interesting… Did I see wind chimes in front of the smaller building? Lovely!
I especially like all the blue features of this garden, the flowers, pots etc.
Thank you for your comment today! I adore Nasturtiums but haven’t had much success is growing them. 🙂
Yes, I meant to talk about the blue pots.
It looks marvellous with so much going on… surprises everywhere and like you say, very stylish. Thanks for sharing!
Definitely a garden full of surprises.
Oh my goodness! I absolutely love this garden, it’s fantastic. Those tentacles on the head!!!! Loved the tentacle hanging pot too. I bet you could spend days here and still not see everything.xxx
Yes. Sadly we had less than 40 minutes.
You are right, he does look like he’s having way too much fun! What an inspiration…
Wonderful garden! I think every picture has amazing stories!