Friday, September 7, 2018

Gardening next door to Windcliff — my visit to the Brindley garden

Imagine living next door to Dan Hinkley's Windcliff, would the plant passion rub off on you? Or would you veer off in the opposite direction and just let the native plants of the area take over, vowing not to turn into one of "those people"? Well I can't report on the other neighbors, but the Brindley's appear to be embracing the fun and are definitely on the gardening bandwagon...

Isn't the entrance fabulous? No doubt a gate is needed to keep out hungry deer as well as lookie loos.

Just inside the gate are several treasures such as this tall Schefflera delavayi.

And tree ferns!

Who knew Yuccas and tall conifers could look so perfect together?

I believe the darker green layer above the Hakonechloa, and below the chartreuse froth, are multiple Aloe striatula (or as we're supposed to call them now, Aloiampelos striatula)

Before I go much further I should mention this garden was designed by the talented Shayne Chandler, who's garden I visited back in 2013 (here), he's done a fabulous job!

I believe the matching Yucca are Y. recurvifolia 'Margaritaville'.

You may have spotted a few raindrops in earlier photos. As luck would have it a little moisture did start to fall from the sky at this point, not enough to do anything other than make my hair a mess for the rest of the day. I took advantage of the greenhouse though, to pop in and change the battery of my camera, which was dying.

Then I had a feeling I was about to round the bend and...

...see an amazing view of the Puget Sound...WOW! Right? Of course a blue sky would have made it all the more gorgeous.

Here's where I have to mention that I find lawns in various stages of summer dormancy (a little green, a lot golden) very distracting. They detract from an otherwise beautiful garden. I edited my photos down as much as possible to cut out the lawn, but I have to wonder of the homeowners just get used to it and don't see it anymore? Or does it not bother them?

Scabiosa or Knautia? I don't know how to tell the difference.

Eryngium yuccifolium, I believe?

I saw this plant in a few gardens I visited this weekend (after the Kitsap Peninsula on Saturday I toured a few Seattle gardens on Sunday) and believe it's Oenothera odorata, possibly 'Apricot Delight'.

It's wonderful.

My camera just kept gravitating towards the view...

Anyone care to venture a guess on the bright green business in the foreground?

The View!!!!

Wow, that's a lot of Saracennia.

The soft blue Verbascum almost looks like an Agave, or is that just me?

Time to explore the deck and along the back of the house...

Making great use of the rocks.

Those Echium pininana are self-sown (I learned that from Alison, who visited the garden with me that day and posted about it here).

Pots on the deck...

And oh ya, in case you haven't seen enough of it yet, THAT VIEW! Oh, and the garden too...

Agave parrasana?

Another of the self-sown Echium.

I've no idea what this is, but feel like I should.

Looking backwards.

I'm assuming the blue-leafed tree is an Acacia, there were several growing next-door at Windcliff.

I wonder if the area between the flat rock "benches", with the pebbles and round cement balls, is plumbed for gas?

I also wonder if the Acacia cognata Cousin Itt goes elsewhere for the winter? Or is it really mild enough here that it can overwinter outdoors, in a container?

One last look at the garden and towering Madrones (which I realize I've neglected to call out until now)...
As I head up the shady side of the house to meet up with Alison and Peter who are ready to go.

Oh but what's that!? Anyone want to go glamping?
More Echium, and what's over on top of that pole?

Pretty cool. I was told by another visitor that Karen Brindley made these and is selling her work at a nearby farmers market (I promptly forgot which one...) Update 7/30/2019: I received a comment from Meredith Chernick of Fern Street Pottery letting me know she's the artist behind the finials and they were a custom order.

So that's a wrap on my visit to the Brindley garden, I do hope to be back someday...

Weather Diary, Sept 6: Hi 88, Low 57/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. The plant you feel like you should recognize -- might it be Pacific Coast Iris? I never even saw that glamping area, how cool! I'm glad you enjoyed the Brindley garden despite the rain, it's one of my favorites. I think this might be their first year with Cousin Itt. I asked whether it would go into the greenhouse, cause it probably wasn't hardy, and he just shrugged and said "we'll see." I think his wife is more the gardener than he is, she might have had a more definitive answer. She was lying down indoors that day with a back injury.

    1. It might be, it's definitely Irisy. I saw you talking to a fellow, but he disappeared by the time I got over by the house, I would have liked to meet the owners.

  2. Brings back warm memories of that special day! Love the Brindly Garden!

  3. I think they are giving Dan Hinkley a run for his money. That is a beautiful garden and to have that view from the house and deck, oh my! I am going to have to remember that Yucca/evergreen combo as that is something we could do in our climate.

    1. Glad to read that something transferred to your climate.

  4. Wonderful to see all the documentation from these garden visits the three of you made!

    1. Isn't it fun to see different people's take on the same garden?

  5. Another drool-worthy garden. I loved the plants and the view. How big was that property? It looks huge.

    1. Huge! I am no good at guesstimating size, but it definitely qualifies as huge.

  6. Everything Kris just said. Plus I just realized that maybe "the view" is so great because it provides a blank backdrop against which the textures of the garden shine. Maybe any "empty space" back there would be just as good... "Here's a view of the desert wasteland" probably wouldn't have the same effect. Or would it?

    1. The view would have been entirely different on a sunny day, I wish I could have shared that with you.

  7. Love your blog - been reading for a week now (started with the desert time trip posts in 2013 I think!). Love desert plants and am working on my own cactus garden at the moment.
    Keep hitting refresh hoping for the next post now!
    Cheers, and please, keep up the good work!

    1. Glad you're enjoying it! I post M-F between next post coming up in a couple of days.

  8. Ok, it's settled. Next time I visit Windcliff, I'm definitely seeing the Brindley Garden, too. So much to love and so much I want to examine more closely in person. As for the lawn, us rural gardeners do become somewhat inured to it as an inevitable part of the landscape. I can usually ignore it here, but I would gladly get rid of it all in favor of expanded gardening areas and areas left as sort of guided natural areas, where weeds are managed and natives are encouraged, maybe with just a handful of self-sufficient exotics. Septic drain fields are a challenge, as they have to be left open, free of trees and large shrubs, but I would turn that area into a sedge lawn/meadow. I can't do any of that here. Next garden.

    1. You should, it's a great garden. There were a few things I didn't get to even look at (a naturalistic area to the left as you walked down the drive, for example) as my travel partners were ready to go. Thank you for addressing the lawn issue I spoke of, but it's not just a rural thing. I see it in beautiful gardens around the city too.

  9. Very impressive garden. The view is fabulous, ditto the plants.

  10. Those plantings among the rocks steal the show from that sweeping view / the madrone tree. Yuccas and conifers, with gray skies - I think I've seen that, somewhere...

  11. Hey there!
    Meredith Chernick of Fern Street Pottery here.
    I am the artist who made the pottery finials for Karen’s beautiful garden. They were custom ordered, not from a farmers market. I’m wondering if you are able to update your blog to give appropriate credit? I am about 1/2 mile from The Brindley’s and Windcliff. As a working artist, my pieces are available at local galleries, botiques and online at Thank you!

    1. Thanks for your comment Meredith, and yes...I will make changes to the post. Meanwhile...your pugs! OMG. They are adorable.


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