Artist's Garden

Web-exclusive photos from the full story about glass artist and gardener Linda Ernst and husband Greg Dermer featured in the March/April 2014 Gardening How-To issue!

Glass artist and gardener Linda Ernst and her husband, Greg Dermer, have spent more than 20 years developing the gardens on their 75 foot x 100 foot lot in Portland, Oregon. They've created intimate garden rooms, myriad living vignettes and numerous dramatic focal points using art, ornamentals and more. Read the full story in this issue (March/April 2014, pg. 40) and check out these web-exclusive photos!

Linda Ernst's Portland garden is divided into many rooms. Near the garage, which is situated near the back of their property, an elegant garden gate separates a sitting area in the side yard and the dining area in the backyard.

A beautiful glass bowl serves many purposes in the yard—a focal point, an artistic accent, a splash of color, a place to float cut flowers and a birdbath, too!

Burgundy-colored irises and the golden leaves of Tiger Eyes, a compact variety of sumac (Rhus typhina ‘Bailtiger'), create drama along with a rusted steel sculpture near the west wall of the garden in the backyard. Linda has since hung handmade glass tiles in front of the narrow window.

One of the newest additions to the garden is a contemporary water feature and a narrow planter that borders the dining area on two sides, providing white noise and a drinking fountain for the birds.

Green rushes protrude playfully from a terra cotta planter surrounded by ‘Southern Comfort' heuchera in the backyard near a passageway to the neighbor's garden.

Foliage plants in a variety of colors and textures create excitement in a corner near the backyard dining table, including ‘Spiderweb' fatsia, Astelia chathamica, hellebores, daylilies and yellow monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus).

Purchased from a local artist, this statue sits on a section of tubular steel that Linda's husband Greg Dermer, a metalworker, fashioned into a simple but elegant stand. Linda uses the same stand design for other pieces of art in the garden because she likes its clean lines and the cohesiveness that comes with its subtle repetition. Linda brings the statue, made of pottery, indoors in winter.

‘Golden Sword' yucca, ‘Redshift' coreopsis and ‘Lemon Twist' coleus provide beauty and an interesting study in contrasts in the Ernst garden.

A stunning swath of black-eyed Susan blossoms, edged with ‘Caradonna' salvia, create a wild, meadow-like scene, tempered by walls on two sides and Ceanothus ‘Dark Star', a shrub that serves as an anchor in the corner.