If flattery will get you anywhere, then Judy Massong and Art Butler have arrived on Queen Anne Hill, where their dark-shingled house offers just the right, stately counterpoint to the colorful, billowing garden they created around it.

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If flattery will get you anywhere, then Judy Massong and Art Butler have arrived on Queen Anne Hill, where their dark-shingled house offers just the right, stately counterpoint to the colorful, billowing garden they created around it.

Massong came to gardening only recently when faced with a ruin of a construction site. “I was looking at rubble so long with this project, I couldn’t envision the garden,” she says. Massong started with a property pretty much devoid of flora, save for antique roses that spring up here and there from the original garden. Massong is a busy attorney who travels for work and spends a few weeks a year in France at a second home the couple shares with friends. Yet she set in to learn how to make a garden, becoming an active member of the Northwest Horticultural Society. “I’d seen and admired gardens, but it hadn’t been part of my life before this . . . I had taken biology,” says Massong, who was a nurse before she was an attorney.

Her love of France and memories of her Yakima childhood influenced every decision along the way. The couple asked architect Stuart Silk for a French-town-house-style home. “Because of our budget, we ended up with a shingled box,” says Massong with a laugh.

When living in San Francisco years ago, she’d admired a street of shingle-style houses in the Presidio-Pacific Heights neighborhood. Silk was familiar with these historic houses, designed at the beginning of the 20th century by architect Earnest Cox. Hence “Bay Area shingle-style” lent a different twist to the home’s original inspiration. French doors, formal garden rooms and a gravel dining terrace are all clues to the Francophile genesis of the house and garden, as is the pomegranate tree along the front walkway. “You see pomegranates growing all over France,” says Massong. “The trees have orange orbs of fruit hanging off the branches until November.”

Massong hired designer Carolyn Temple to help her divide the garden into a series of formal rooms. She wanted the garden to look good at least 10 months of the year — especially in the evenings, as she and Butler love to entertain. Massong planted flowers she’d grown up with in Eastern Washington, such as iris and peonies, with plenty of lilies, phlox and roses for perfume. “The plant palette is pretty much Yakima,” says Massong, who enjoys this connection with her childhood. “I love flowers,” she adds. “I want to know the garden is alive and always changing.”

How can such stylistically and geographically disparate influences as Yakima, France and San Francisco blend so harmoniously on a single property? Each is a piece of Judy Massong’s history, distilled by time, memory and affection in this most personal of gardens.

Valerie Easton is a Seattle freelance writer and author of “A Pattern Garden.” Her e-mail address is valeaston@comcast.net. Barry Wong is a Seattle-based freelance photographer. He can be reached at studio@barrywongphoto.com.