Thrill of the Chases: Photo Gallery
Ione and Emmott Chase's home in Washtington State was meant to be a simple place to retire, but tending the 4.5 acre "yard" became a passion for them both. Now, more than half a century later, it is an inspiration for all gardeners.
The view from Ione and Emmott Chase’s home juxtaposes the drama of Mount Rainier’s snow-covered peak with the near landscape’s gentle swaths of Erica carnea, lawn, and old-fashioned Pfitzer juniper.
For the full story on the Chase's garden, see Great Gardens: The Thrill of the Chases.
A juniper, given to the Chases by a friend, sits at the foot of the deck off the living room, its sculptural profile well-suited to the Japanese entrance garden. At its base: the common but nicely scented spring blooming perennial Aurinia saxatilis.
Beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax) is a West Coast native that flourished under Ione Chase’s care, even though it’s typically hard to cultivate, given its reluctance to seed, need for good drainage, and fleshy taproot that resists transplanting.
The rock garden features dwarf and alpine plants that would be lost in the expanses of the meadow garden. Throughout the property, Ione favored hardier plants — such as the Aquilegia vulgaris, Armeria maritima, and Erysimum sp. (dwarf wallflower), all shown here — that could take care of themselves when she and Emmott went to their Canadian cabin for two months each summer.
Emmott installed this 2,000-pound bench made of sandstone from the local Wilkeson quarry at the edge of their forest, and Ione surrounded it with Smilacina racemosa, an herbaceous perennial whose blooms smell like lily of the valley. Next to the bench stands one of Ione’s favorite trees, the Douglas fir, which she liked for its highly textured bark.
Pea gravel, rock, and a pool basin of exposed aggregate anchor the entrance area. Ione softened the spare hardscape with clusters of blue Aquilegia flabellata ‘Ministar’ (foreground) and pretty, lavender-flowered Penstemon davidsonii (center).