EDMONDS — Deb Taylor and Ken Morrison are artists: she is a weaver and a painter; he works as a sculptor and photographer.
Their biggest art project, however, is their garden. It’s like an outdoor gallery with garden art that picks up the colors and structure of the deftly arranged plants. Beauty and practicality combined.
The Edmonds in Bloom Garden Tour folks have been after Taylor and Morrison for years to get them to put their garden on the tour.
The couple, both 67, finally relented, and those who visit on Sunday will be pleased that they did. [Photo gallery]
The Taylor-Morrison home, located near Five Corners, is replete with art, inside and out.
Taylor, who worked for many years at area plant nurseries, started the couple’s vast collection of diverse climate-oriented plants and is the lead visionary of their outdoor rooms.
For Morrison, who crafted the beautiful metal gates and railings throughout, it’s all about the edible plants.
“It’s fun to be able to stick something in the ground and then dine on it later,” Morrison said.
And dine they do. Their raised beds are home for herbs, garlic, peas, squash, tomatoes, celery, peppers, artichokes, asparagus, kale and lettuce. The fruits they grow include grapes, figs, blueberries, apples, pears, strawberries and rhubarb.
The plant collection includes a variety of succulents and ferns, lilies, gunnera, viburnum and bamboo, along with an amazing array of colors from their dahlias, sedums, crocosmia, peonies, honeysuckle, campanula, phlox, nasturtiums, roses, hydrangea, rhododendrons, salvia, camellia and hosta.
The trees on the property include a weeping larch, black willow, Venus dogwood, Japanese maples, vine maples, a huge filbert, pines and firs and a rare aralia elata tree.
“In the fall, the aralia elata produces these amazing pods and the leaves turn from green to peach red to deep gold,” Taylor said.
The front and back gardens also feature a living willow arbor and fence, a wooded “secret” garden and dry creek bed, a greenhouse, a pond, several outdoor “rooms,” a big, covered back patio, colorful furniture pieces that match Taylor’s paintings, a cozy front porch, walkable paths and a small patch of lawn.
Taylor and Morrison give much credit for the beauty of their yard to Peter Everill, 25, who also works for Sky Nursery in Shoreline and freelance horticulturist Kristine Kishida, 63, of Edmonds.
“Deb and Ken are my favorite clients,” Kishida said. “It’s a lovely place and I love working here.”
Having the help lets Taylor and Morrison concentrate on their art work, teaching and entertaining.
“We draw from nature for our art,” Morrison said. “It always amazes me as the garden develops during the year. I even look for the changes from morning to afternoon.”
It’s an oasis, Taylor said. “But even more, the garden is one big sculpture.”
If you go
The 21st annual Edmonds in Bloom Garden Tour is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 17. This year’s tour, which organizers say is the best ever, features seven stops including a dazzling rose garden, a Puget Sound-view garden surrounding an historic home and a cluster of rain gardens. Tickets are available online at www.edmondsinbloom.com and at Sky Nursery, Garden Gear, Wight’s Home and Garden, Bountiful Home and Frances Anderson Center. Cost is $15 in advance or $20 on the day of the tour.