From the street, a hint of what’s to come.

You know what I like even more than the grandest of professionally designed gardens? Personal gardens, the funkier and more colorful the better.  And I found a fabulous one the other day, thanks to a garden-coaching client wanting to show me the best garden in his neighborhood.  Indeed it is.

Pond and seating in front yard.

The gardener, middle-school teacher Jeannie Bloomer (great name, right?) is a collector of not just interesting plants but of interesting stuff.  But I love her garden most of all for her lavish use of exotic colors – and for the half a dozen or so seating areas she’s created in a relatively small space.

Gardener Jeannie Bloomer.

Incredibly, the outdoor dining room above is perched on the sloping side yard, just outside the kitchen door.

I love the complementary house colors.

In the back yard, more seating and ponds.

Tiny lawn used to good effect. There’s a similarly small one in the front.

Even the utility zones are fun-looking.

This back patio served as a display area for a yard sale the day I visited.

I couldn’t resist buying the big wooden dragon in the center of the photo above – for just 3 bucks.

Bamboo growing in trough-like container along back wall of house.

So now that you’ve seen the kind of garden I fall for instantly, I’m curious – what’s your favorite type of garden to visit?  And is there a difference between your favorite garden to visit and the kind you’d want to have yourself?  Me, I know I could never pull off what Jeannie’s done here, so I’ll just appreciate her artistry.