the scented garden.

A while back one of my readers, Jackie, contacted me to ask if I wanted a free dresser.  After a few messages exchanged and life intervening a bit, Mr. Q and I finally drove to St. Paul to pick it up a little over a week ago.  You guys saw the dresser itself in its ‘before’ state last Friday …

When we pulled up to Jackie’s house to pick it up I immediately knew I was in for a treat.  Her gardens were spectacular.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera with me at the time.  But it didn’t take me long to convince Jackie to let me come back the next day with my camera so that I could share her garden with all of you.

Not only did I bring my camera when I went back, but I also brought my sister so that she could take notes and ask questions while I took photos.  Plus I just knew that Debbie would really enjoy meeting Jackie and seeing her lovely gardens.

That is a breadseed or opium poppy above.

We’d actually been wandering around Jackie’s garden for quite a while before we realized that there was an underlying theme to most of the plants … scent.  Jackie is partial to plants that are known for their scent.

For example, the plant in that no. 8 crock is Popcorn Cassia, and guess what it smells like … yep, hot buttered popcorn.  It really does!

Some of Jackie’s other scented plants included Lemon Verbena, Soapwort (or Bouncing Bet), a variety of herbs and a fantastic collection of scented geraniums.

Much like the common white garden geraniums in my photo of the dresser above, scented geraniums are also not true geraniums.  Both are actually Pelargoniums, but while the common garden geraniums are grown for their flowers, the scented versions are grown for their amazing fragrance.  Some of the scents include rose, lemon, mint, apple and cinnamon.

Pelargoniums are not hardy enough to face a Minnesota winter outdoors, but you can easily overwinter them in the house.

But lest you think that Jackie’s garden is all about smell, there is also plenty to delight the eye as well.

I fell in love with quite a few of her beautiful statues, planters and other garden ornaments.

And I quickly realized we were kindred spirits because her most frequent answer when asked where she got something was ‘an estate sale’.

Jackie also clearly shares my love of all things rusty …

as well as all things vintage …

I love the way she has used indoor pieces outside like this stool that holds a potted plant.

She has several mirrors placed strategically throughout the garden that make the view seem expansive.

She has a couple of old bikes in her garden which reminded me that I’ve always wanted one myself.  I need to be on the lookout for one of my own.

Jackie has some unique plants in her garden that I’m definitely going to look into adding to my own too.

I have no idea what that plant is called, but Jackie is fairly sure that she purchased it at Tangletown Gardens so next year when Debbie and I hit the Tangletown neighborhood garage sales we’re definitely going to stop in at the nursery and see if they have this plant.

I’m not sure what this next flower is either, but the bees sure loved it.

I’m totally envious of the bricks that Jackie has used throughout the garden, both as pathways and as edging.

Once upon a time all of the streets in Minneapolis and St. Paul were made of brick.  Over the years those brick surfaces were either simply covered over with asphalt or ripped up and redone.  When they were ripped up, the bricks were just up for grabs.

There has been some effort made lately to salvage and restore some of the few remaining brick streets in the cities though, which is a fabulous thing.

If you pay attention, you may see a few other interesting items interspersed throughout Jackie’s paths and patios too.

There is so much more to see, but I’m going to have to break this out into two separate posts because I’m running out of time to get this post finished.

But I’ll be back next week to share Jackie’s potting shed, front porch and green house so be sure to stay tuned!

And in the meantime, have a fabulous weekend.  I hope to get some furniture painted and maybe I’ll get in a little gardening too, how about you?

30 thoughts on “the scented garden.

  1. Oh. My. Goodness. I am amazed at the beautiful plants, garden sculptures and rusty iron wonderful ness. It’s a feast for the eyes. It’s exactly what I would love to have at my house. Then I remember I am too old to dig up our yard, I live where it gets too hot and dry and it does require lots of hand watering and keeping up with. I’m a wishful gardener, but these photos are so inspiring. Thanks for sharing!


    1. I’ll write more about that in my 2nd post about Jackie’s garden, but yes, it does require a lot of work. Jackie & her husband are retired and she estimates that they spend up to 40 hours a week getting the garden up and running in the spring, and then 2 – 3 hours per day in ongoing maintenance. Even just watering all of the pots takes an hour or two. It definitely must be a labor of love!


  2. This is so inspiring! Beautifully done…and educational to boot. Never heard of a plant smelling like popcorn! Love all the different shades of green and the staging elements as well. No wonder they spend so much time on it…a true labor of love.


  3. What a fun way to start a Friday, with a great garden tour. You have the knack of capturing everything to its best advantage. My husband, who feels that I have WAY too much “stuff” in the gardens already, will be sure to see this post! I like Jackie’s use of unusual items and those old bricks are priceless. The competition for ferreting out yard and estate sale garden ornaments just became more intense! Looking forward to Part 2…


  4. What a fabulous garden! I enjoy touring gardens. The yard art is fantastic! I especially love the old bricks! I drive my husband crazy when we go to nurseries. I once wanted the stepping stones that were planted in the nursery garden. I asked if they could order me some. The owner said that they no longer carried them. I asked if I could buy the ones that were in the garden. Well, we spent the next couple of hours digging them all out! My poor husband just kept shaking his head 😂 He was not to happy. Be now we laugh about it and the stones look great in my garden!


  5. This is beautiful. My husband is the gardener in our family and I love that he has made it so there is something blooming all summer long. Lots of color. I believe the bee loving plant is thistle. Can’t wait for part two.


      1. Do you have it in Sweden too Goedele? I’ve noticed that a lot of the same plants that grow well here in Minnesota also grow well in the Norway and Sweden.


      1. I googled Globe Thistle, sure looks like that’s it! The photo I found online even has the bee on the flower, just like mine 😉


  6. That was an awesome yard! You forgot about the pineapple and chocolate smelling ones. I got lots of inspiration too for next year. I am already thinking about what I want to line the backyard gardens with now. And maybe turning the old raspberry patch into a flower garden.


  7. Wow what an interesting garden. I love all those beautiful plants and statues and rusty pieces but those bricks are the finishing touch. Just one more reason I love to visit you in “quandie land”. Look forward to the next installment.


  8. Wow! Such a treat to tour! Their garden has so much soul with all of the unique treasures. My friend from Bryn Mawr also has bricks from when they tore up Lyndale and Lake. An entire patio and walkway! You’ll have to peek during the next sale.


  9. What a beautiful garden. It definitely puts mine too shame. I’m not sure what the proper name for the plant is but I have one in my garden too. When I purchased the bare root, the label referred to it as Sea Holly. It came home with me because my sisters name is Holly and she loves the ocean.


    1. My sister’s name is Debbie and she loves Disney, so I guess if I ever found a plant called ‘Disney Debbie’ I’d have to have it too 😉 Sea Holly sounds so much more like a plant though! So, I just googled it and Sea Holly has a distinctive collar of petals around the thistle part of the flower, so I think the one in Jackie’s garden is not a Sea Holly but a Globe Thistle instead.


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