Monday, July 27, 2020

A visit to Tangly Cottage Gardens

I first met Skyler during the Portland Garden Bloggers' Fling, held in the summer of 2014. I started following her blog, Tangly Cottage Garden Journal after that, and I have been entranced by her easy writing style, self-made gardening career, and her serious gardening and propagation chops ever since. 

In late May, I had the pleasure of a real visit to Tangly Cottage Garden just prior to Skyler's spring plant sale. Everything was as tidy as possible, and Skyler's partner, Allan Fritz was just finishing up mowing the grassy paths when we arrived.

The first plant I set eyes on blew me away; Fremontodendron (californicum?) or flannelbush, has been on my lust list since I saw it at McMenamin's Edgefield property. This one was in perfect flower and showed the gorgeous range of warm color that makes it uniquely appealing.

We were trading plants via the garage, so I somehow missed going inside the front garden. As a result, I have just a few pics of the driveway area and side garden.  I loved this juxtaposition of the foxglove with the Agave americana variegata.

A Grevillea I have forgotten the name of. So pinky-red, with such bright green foliage!
Skyler loves a container, and can cleverly integrate almost anything that holds soil (and even a few things that don't) into her planting groups.

Here she is doing some last minute weeding behind one of her largest containers, a decommissioned canoe that's being used as a pond.

The canoe floats up a stream of Allium christophii, punctuated by Rosa sericea f. pteracantha and geraniums.

The freshly mowed paths lead me throughout the sizeable back garden beds.

With a garden this size, Skler can grow the really big plants my modest urban garden can only dream of, like the Gunnera manicata, above, the Fremontodendron at the beginning of this post, or Calycanthus ('Hartlage Wine'?), below.
This green and purple portal is about halfway down the garden, and seems to mark the change from more intensively cultivated beds to beds of bigger shrubs and trees.

There's lots to discover and enjoy as you head deeper into the garden

Cistus x hybridus 'Mickie'


Turning back and approaching the house, you see Skyler's love of strong color come into play again.

It was a delight to to actually tour the garden Skyler blogs about almost daily, as she chronicles her work and home gardens, what she's reading, and her philosophies and musings, in the small Washington coastal town of Ilwaco. If you give it a read, I bet you'll be as hooked as I was.


  1. I've been following her blog for some time now. Not only is the gardening great but her book reviews are wonderful. We have some of the same tastes in reading (and gardens too for that matter).

    1. Yes, Skyler has many facets, and all are intriguing.

  2. I love Skylars' blog, I read it every day she posts. Rarely do we get such a detailed peek into a professional gardeners daily routine and it has really inspired me to focus more on organizing the tasks in my own garden.Now I have my very own mental 'workboard'.

    1. Agreed. I feel like quite a lollygagger when I see that work board.

  3. Wow, she has added some more cool plants since I was there last. Her garden is wonderful. I was supposed to go last year, but dog problems called me home, so this was a nice update too!

  4. Replies
    1. I think I know what you mean. It’s such a gardener’s garden.

  5. Skyler has an agave! I had no idea. Thanks for the blogger's look at another bloggers garden.

  6. What a great garden. Thanks for the tour. Ha, a canoe used as a pond--how creative is that!

  7. Hey, I missed this! Thanks so much. Someone gave me that agave. :-) Jane, thanks for seeing so much. That is indeed Hartlage Wine. I appreciate that you recognized exactly what the purple portal is supposed to do, and also gave it and its twin a name.

  8. Lots to discover is a good way to put it! I love the view looking back at the house--so colorful! And the sedums...and the Agave/foxglove combo...and the flannelbush. Yummy.


Thank you in advance for jumping through the annoying but necessary word verification hoop to leave your thoughts!