Friday, November 5, 2021

A return to Heronswood...

Oh Blogger, why do you play games with me!? Things had been going so well with photo uploading, but then you go and refuse to load these 38 photos in the order I requested... why!? Ugh. Cutting and pasting them all back into the order I planned is a job too big to bother with, but I did cut this first image from the end and bring it to the beginning. Because when heading across Puget Sound to visit a famous garden you simply must start with a photo from the ferry trip...

Coverage of my September 11th visit to Heronswood Garden—across Puget Sound from Seattle, on the  north Kitsap Peninsula—will span more than just this one post. Today I'm sharing photos from the original garden, the part around the house where Dan Hinkley and Robert Jones lived when they Heronswood was a thriving nursery in the 1990's. After a rather dark period in the mid 2000's (when the garden was owned by W. Atlee Burpee & Company and eventually closed) it is now owned by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe and employs a group of amazing horticulturists, who, along with a group of dedicated volunteers, are returning the garden to it's former splendor and then some (read more about the history here).

Since my photos are flipped we'll start at what was for me the end of the garden, with these rather luxurious tree ferns...

I wonder what my garden would be like if I could grow these monsters?

I believe this is a Little and Lewis feature.

Dryopteris sieboldii

Now those are some arches! If you've seen Heronswood photos on other blogs you've probably seen these as they're a distinct feature of the garden, when I visited back in 2013 they were here, but a little thicker.

Close up of a gorgeous astelia...

Which is on the right, below.

Formal-style gardens usually leave me bored, but not when there's a huge banana and towering bamboo in the distance.

Ginger! Or more precisely Hedychium coccineum 'Tara'.

The arches again, with a nice patch of sarracenia.

A close-up.

Schefflera delavayi, which I think might be growing in the spot once occupied by a most stunning variegated daphniphyllum. It's gone now (disease) but lives on in my memory and photos from my previous visit (here).

Can you make out the clear plant labels in this photo? I really appreciated them, ID easily located, but no ugly tags sticking out of the ground.

Eucomis autumnalis subsp. clavata

I do love a space enclosed by plants.

Another eucomis, either 'Oakhurst' or 'Sparkling Burgundy'.

I think this one may have been Eucomis bicolor.

Repetition, there's a reason it's a regularly used.

Blechnum chilense, aka parablechnum cordatum, aka Chilean hard fern

Dunno but a big leaf rhododendron always grabs my eye.

Mahonia oiwakensis, I believe.

You could see bits of the stump on which these plants are growing, when I visited in 2013. Not anymore!

So good!

Oh! I think this is Begonia aff. palmata DJHM 13008, aka Myanmar Hardy Begonia. I bought one from Dancing Oaks this spring.

More Little and Lewis. I wonder why there's nothing growing in the bowls?

Podophyllum something or other...

Arailia cordata seeds.

There were lots of roscoea around the garden.

They were not all upright.

And just like that, we're back at the beginning which, thanks to Blogger software, is also the end. More coverage of Heronswood to come!
All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Thanks for sharing the photos.

    I wonder why some Roscoea flop and some stay upright?

    1. You're welcome... and maybe it's as simple as something walking on them?

    2. Some varieties are short, I think, and don't flop.

  2. So nice that the garden got rescued and is looking so good.

    1. Indeed, and continuing to grow and change (more on that in upcoming posts).

  3. Your photos may have posted in the wrong order but they're all great! I felt a twinge with those photos of the Astelia as only one of my 3 plants shows any sign of possible recovery after being eaten to the ground by the blankety-blank rabbits.

    Blogger pulled that trick on me in posting my photos in a backwards order 6-8 weeks ago but I found a fix online that involved altering the code in HTML format, which worked for me. The problem hasn't reoccurred since. I hope you find an easy fix too.

    1. Gerhard found a fix when this problem started months ago, this is the first time it hasn't worked. I am about fed up with Blogger.

  4. This is an astonishing garden, and your photos remind me that I've stayed away for too long. It sounds like the tribe's ownership has been a success; it's good to know the place not only saved but thrives. How DO they manage to grow those magnificent tree ferns!?!?
    Arailia cordata seeds are so cool.

    1. But wait, there's more! More tree ferns that is. Coming up...

  5. A once-splendid garden looking splendid once again is a beautiful thing.

  6. Rhododendron probably 'sinogrande'; there's a bigger one in another part of the garden.

  7. MAGIC. Your photos and the garden. Can you believe I've never been there???

    When I look at your photos, I almost WANT to create a garden in the PNW!

    1. I can believe you've never been there... as I've only been twice. You'll get to visit during the Seattle (Puget Sound) Fling...


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