The sound of Mill Creek can be heard as the scent of lilacs fill the air. Each curving section of the garden, from iris bed to tulips to the hidden Zen garden, offers its own calming touch. 

When Kevin and Mark bought the home seven years ago, they brought with them many ferns, as well as other shade- and water-loving plants, from the Seattle area. They added these and kept the main features that were already established, such as the large shade trees and old lilacs.

Kevin and Mark simply added and organized — which, in a garden, means a lot of work.

The east-side iris bed, with bright color and lush foliage, was “a flat pallet of weeds,” Kevin says. 

But Mark and Kevin planned carefully, so they could keep the transplanted damp-climate foliage from withering in the dry heat. One section of ferns is shaded by a fence and large tree; the plants are labeled with humor and precision.

“It started as a joke because we’re forgetful,” Kevin laughs. 

Mixed in with the growing leaves is Kevin’s artwork, with real leaves in concrete. Leaf shapes and colors mix here and there in

the garden.

Tucked away in the shade is the Zen-garden section, which originally was going to be a pond. They decided that wouldn’t work, then put all the dirt back in. It settled on its own and created an intriguing landscape. Lush hostas grow almost everywhere.

Karlene Ponti can be reached at or 509-526-8324.

Karlene Ponti began as Special Publications Writer in 1999, work includes Lifestyles, The Weekly and Business Monthly. After Wa-Hi, Ponti attended Whitman and is a UW graduate. Later she was ordained a Christian minister at CDM Spiritual Teaching Center.

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