Inside Out

Inside Out

Gardens can be enjoyed many ways, but one of the nicest is to create a view from inside the house out into the garden that can be appreciated in any weather and any season. The living room of this home looks out onto an abandoned pickleball court in the back yard. With a broad expanse of concrete it’s not particularly attractive.

The homeowners and gardeners planted a Coral Bark Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum ‘Sangu Kaku’, against the house at the basement level below the living room. As it grew, May Lou trained the maple into a narrow fan shape. It stays close to the house, and the branches arch gracefully to the sides to filter the view.


From the outside the maple looks good against the house, but you don’t really get a sense of how much good work it’s doing for the interior view. In late summer the golden green foliage is attractive. Come winter the bare stems will be bright red and if we’re lucky, dusted with a light snowfall. In between the leaves will turn a nice shade of red-orange in autumn.

The rest of the garden around this 1960s Bellingham home also has a Northwest-Japanese feel. The bones were there when the current owners purchased it in 1998, but it had been neglected after a few years of service as college student housing.

Entrance Gate

This entrance gate is one of the new additions to the garden, but it looks like it has always been there. As you pass through the gate you cross a wide wooden bridge to the front door of the hillside home.

These photos were made this morning for a gardener profile which will appear in the next issue of the Whatcom Horticultural Society Journal. I shot with my all-purpose 24-105mm lens. For the interior shot I added an off-camera flash at 1/4 power with a warming gel, aimed toward the blue chair in the left corner by the window. Otherwise I used natural light, taking advantage of the overcast morning.

The home and garden went on the market this morning.

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