The Garden of Dianne & Dan Latham (aka 'Latham Park')

In the past few years I've been on numerous garden tours, thanks in large part to the annual Garden Bloggers Fling and the GWA conference.  There are many gardens that I have yet to write about - in fact, I still have to go through the photos from this years travels.

Today, I'm going back...way 2016 and the Garden Bloggers Fling in Minneapolis.  My favourite type of garden is a "gardeners garden" - you know, where the homeowners love really shines through - and the garden of Dianne and Dan Latham was just that.

Dianne & Dan's garden, described as a mini-botanical garden, is often referred to as Latham Park.

There were many interesting flowering plants throughout the garden including a diverse collection of lilies, which is not surprising considering Dianne is a member of the North Star Lily Society:

I’m a huge fan of hostas and this garden had some lovely ones:

Lilies and hostas abound

I quite liked the way the lilies were grouped with the hostas in the photo above.  I have several lily clumps in a front garden bed that are looking rather lonely – the perfect spot to replicate this combination.

A dainty flower in one of the beds really caught my eye with it's curved petals punctuated with dark pink:

This one looks so familiar but I just can't place it...
This gorgeous specimen is most likely a collarette dahlia

Many of us were fascinated by a “mystery” tree:

We sought out the owner, expecting him to tell us it was some sort of exotic specimen.  His answer?  A white pine.  That’s it.  It’s unique shape and texture are the result of annual trimming.  Didn't I tell you we learned something new at each and every stop?  By the way, the owners were simply a delight to speak with - so very enthusiastic and generous in sharing their knowledge and answering our many questions.

Of course, a park wouldn’t be complete without a water feature:

The pond was home to a couple of unusual plants that were particularly eye-catching:

An unidentified beauty
This one appears to be a double form of Oriental lily (thanks Helen!)

The 2nd plant that caught my eye (and most every other bloggers too) was the lotus with it's beautiful pods:

Oriental Polypan Lotus Lily

I’ve only ever seen these in dried arrangements so it was fascinating to see a live specimen.

Not surprisingly, however, the one area of the backyard that drew my interest the most was this:

Row of Espaliers

Espaliered apple trees, dripping with ripening fruit, lined the fence:

I made sure to take a straight on photo of one of the trees so that I could refer back to it should I ever get around to doing this on the west wall of my house:

Espalier Apple Tree

A beautiful garden and more inspirational ideas jotted down....which luckily I did at the time or I would never be able to remember them 2 years later!

P.S.  Give me a bean, fava and pea plant and I will quickly identify which is which, but I'm still finding my way when it comes to ornamentals.  Not all of the plants in the gardens we visited were labeled, in which case, I've done my best to identify them when possible.  If I've misidentified any of the ornamentals in this post (or you know what any of the "mystery" plants are), please feel free to let me know in the comments :)


  1. Hi, What a beautiful garden tour that must have been. Love going on garden tours! Nancy

  2. Oh yes, this was one of my very favorite gardens during that Fling! I mean they were all awesome, but this one had so many surprises--like that White Pine. You got a lot of great photos, Margaret. Thanks for sharing the memories!

    1. Thanks Beth :) Garden surprises are the best, aren't they?

  3. What a lovely garden, packed full of plants. It's so interesting looking round someone else's garden, not only do you come across plants you don't know, so learn something new, but they also give you inspiration for your own garden.

    1. Very true - I get inspiration from practically every garden I visit. Even when the garden is not my "style" or is in a different climate, I will often come back with at least one or two inspiring ideas to try at home.

  4. Lovely flower beds - my kind of thing and no slug damage on the hostas? The plant in the fifth picture looks like a dahlia to me.

    1. I actually don't get that much slug damage on my hostas either - it probably depends on how much rain you get and how shady the spot is.

      It may very well be a dahlia - when I am taking in all the beauty and experience of a garden, I often forget to ask the homeowner or fellow bloggers about plants that I'm not certain about.

  5. I remember this garden well, it was inspirational. Those lilies were marvelous. Thanks for sharing the memories.

    1. Some gardens really stand out - this was definitely one of them. And you're welcome :)

  6. Hi, Margaret,
    I still have to write about this garden! It was definitely gorgeous with all those lilies. Your mystery plant is, I believe, a dahlia -- possibly one of the flower forms called "collarette." There are many. And your "unidentified beauty" looks like it might be a double form of Oriental lily. Google Image Search will show you. They're quite breathtaking.

    1. Thanks for the info, Helen! I think I still have a couple of gardens left to write about from the Toronto Fling...has it been 3 years already? Where does the time go??

  7. Well, I certainly enjoyed my armchair walk around that lovely garden.
    So nice to see your photographs, thank you.

    All the best Jan

    1. Ha! I do enjoy a good armchair tour, especially in the winter!


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