"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

Cascade Medical Foundation Garden and Art Tour

By on July 26, 2021 in Featured Homes with 0 Comments

Bud and Pat Dietrich cozy up to Bud’s whimsical rock snowman, with Mountain Home in the background. He’s enjoyed creating garden art, moving major boulders around with his backhoe and crafting sculptures with metal hexagons.

Editor’s note: Uncertain how possible COVID restrictions might affect the annual Home and Garden Tour, the Cascade Medical Foundation pivoted to a Garden and Art Tour this, the 25th year, of the fundraiser. Here is a story of one couple’s gardens — and the artists who will be there.

Story by Susan Lagsdin

Photos by Mike Irwin

The grand home on North Road, advised their realtor, was a great bargain for Bud and Pat Dietrich in 2007.

It was close to their existing property, where they intended to build. “At first we were just going to flip it,” she said, “and then build a new house up at our pear orchard.”

A very visual problem was the neglected garden. The whole four-acre yard had lain fallow for a few years of probate; weeds reigned victorious, flowers and grass were long-dead, and the foundation plantings looked way beyond surviving a comeback.

However, hard labor, constant attention and a lot of water brought it new life, enough that the house itself began to feel like home. The Dietrichs had also fallen head over heels in love with their mountain surround — that and a 2018 remodel that opened up the dated interior re-confirmed their intention to stay put. 

And that decision suited Pat just fine. In her childhood, her military family uprooted itself dozens of times, and though moves in adulthood have been fewer, she was good and ready for the serenity of one home, one yard, one community.

Revived plants and a revised floorplan aren’t the only changes. As a complement to the plantings, over the years the couple added dozens of pieces of garden art like craggy rock stacks, hexagons and discs, wooden carvings and metal kinetic art pieces.

Some were gathered on their travels: an airplane from Iron Springs on our Olympic coast, a bear from Arizona, a lighthouse from Tennessee. Others were found locally, a few were crafted by Bud himself.

“There were huge boulders on the property that we had to move around,” Pat said. “Luckily, Bud has a backhoe.” And he loves to use it.

Growing up on a working farm in Colorado, he made easy work of thinning out and repurposing the daunting rock-studded perimeter.

He said he once hung Christmas lights on the silver spruce trees at the road’s edge, but they’ve since doubled in height, so now they go au natural at the holidays.

The circular entrance driveway is centered by a garden that originally held a large, bland terra-cotta feature. It was replaced by a tall, wind-sensitive metal mobile full of flash and color by noted Seattle-based kinetic sculptor Andrew Carson.

Echoing a Monet, this north-facing water garden offers a cool and peaceful welcome at the entrance to the Dietrich’s home. One of the original features, like much of the greenery it was pampered back from disrepair to photo-op beauty.

Most plants lived again, and the art pieces added texture, but all was not well.

The Dietrich’s straight-on views of Mountain Home, Icicle Ridge and Tumwater Mountain still had to compete with a disconcerting sight from their main living areas: a huge span of pale river rock and stubborn weeds that filled their back yard.

They became inured to it over the years, but Pat said, “The recent improvements to the patio had made it even more of an eyesore, and I couldn’t stand it any longer.”

Finally in the fall of 2020 they hired Judy Nilson of Anderson Landscaping to beautify, with a curbed and curved garden surrounded by lawn, that one last large area of discontent. 

Most gardeners keep on editing and revising even when their landscaping is considered a finished draft. When asked what she’d change, Pat replied, “I would be more careful with my plant choices; I would probably have picked different ones if I’d been familiar with the designer’s list.”

 She’s not sure that massed plantings of perennial flowers will actually mass; she knows she’ll never have another ornamental plum tree near the walkway (purple splotches occur).

But she loves her whimsical “fringe tree,” aka Graybeard, her trio of Sky Trails evergreens, two Redbud trees with their showy spring blooms, and the Little Lime hydrangeas.

Pat is grateful that their orchard manager, Israel Ledezma, has taken charge of garden maintenance, but she’s surprised at how much branch clipping and deadheading of blooms she still does.

“I also get to do the fun stuff like adding and planting the garden pots,” she admits. “And then Israel has to figure out how to get water to them.”

With its full-grown trees and revived shrubs complemented by the gratifying new additions, the Dietrich’s garden is now TA DAH! ready to show to the public on Aug.7. It wraps around their home from the gracious entrance drive to the raised beds at the far fence line and will be open to meandering and inspiration-gathering, as will displays by the three guest artists.

Teri Zimmerman of Silvermoon Art Glass, whose stained glass and etching artistry graces many fine north central Washington homes, is the Dietrich’s art partner for the Cascade Medical Center event in August.

Teri Zimmerman, for one, is quite familiar with the home. When Pat and Bud purchased it, they were so pleased with the quality of her stained-glass windows that they had them removed….

…but to be immediately replaced with one of her subtler geometric designs, echoing the art deco era. Two clear etched glass pieces remain, but main room windows and the front door are new.

Teri’s specialty for 45 years has been not the manufacture of glass but working subtractively, sculpting existing glass by etching and sandblasting. Beveling, as well as designing and piecing leaded (clear) and stained (colored) glass are also staples of her repertoire.  

 For many years Teri and her husband Steve — “my life and art partner,” she says — designed glass, with up to 15 employees, for the fast-paced westside world from the Seattle Home Show to Seattle show homes. Their deliberately life-altering move to Plain in 1992 led to simplicity and a clearer sense of purpose.

 Since then, Teri and Steve’s art, whether it’s a votive, a light catcher, a deck surround, one bathroom window or the curved and etched wall at the Wenatchee Valley Clinic, has touched the lives of hundreds of area homeowners and art lovers. Requests for Silvermoon glass now come from all over the globe.

Steve is gradually retiring from the daily grind, so to speak, and Teri is the master glassworker on new commissions.

Large installations continue to absorb her talents and time and are a satisfying counterpoint to the smaller and more personal pieces she crafts in her studio.

She’s worked with two owners over 20 years, retrofitting windows to temper the medieval-look Knights of Pythias “castle” in downtown Baker City, Oregon, which will eventually become a civic center.

 And closer to home she’s currently designing and installing multiple stained-glass windows for the traditional chapel (patterned on an iconic Douglas, Washington structure) of the Grace City Church in north Wenatchee.

 The natural world of mountains and timber that surrounds Teri in Plain inspires some of her designs, but it was in Seattle and on the Washington coast that she developed a love of marine life that she fosters to this day, with varied sea plants and animals informing many of her favorite artworks.

 Teri and Steve may have pared back their big-city business, but they grew an accomplished artist, and will also offer for purchase some of the symbolic designs in glass and paint created by their daughter Amber Zimmerman.

 The two other local artists who will share the display space at the Dietrich site are Bob Cline, with a selection of his designer bird homes, and Dawn Kranz, best known for Empty Bowls pieces and her Cabin Home dinnerware. 

About the Author

About the Author: .


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *