Monday, May 13, 2024

The Saadien garden by the sea

This was the first garden I visited on the last day of the 2023 Study Weekend event in Vancouver BC last June. It was such a special spot that I saved it for my last post. I believe the land you see across the water is Bowen Island and the body of water would be correctly referred to as the Strait of Georgia.

But what caught my eye first? The agave of course! I didn't get a chance to ask the owner/gardener but assumed it was planted out once the weather warmed that spring. A friend who visited the garden later that day confirmed that was the case.

To the right of the agave is this elevated, lavender-bordered walkway to the lower look-out.

"Our home and garden is on a rock bluff approximately 100 feet above sea level and situated between 2 bays. The oceanside of the garden faces southwest and it follows the contours of the land. On the south side, there are several rocky outcrops around which the pathways wind. The plants, bushes, and trees are in beds at different levels. Nothing is allowed to obstruct the ever-changing views of sea and sky that are such a source of pleasure and interest for us. This is a garden with different microclimates, and over the years we have had endless enjoyment experimenting with different plants. The north side is more shady, cooler, and is home to more native plants."

I forget exactly what pathway I took to get there but now we're exploring the garden behind the look-out and under the elevated walkway.

Looking up at the house.

Passing under...

The greenhouse! Pretty spectacular, but mostly empty.

Eryngium yuccifolium

Walkway from the reverse side.

The next three images seem out of order, but I was just wandering about in awe snapping photos, and so chose to post them as I took them.

That view again!

And out there in that dry rock bed, a volunteer Arbutus menziesii, aka madrone, that planted itself and seems quite happy. Who would have thunk it?

It wasn't just the view, there were fabulous plants too...

Interesting shape on that new frond of Pyrrosia sheareri.

Polystichum some something (I think?).


Adiantum some something (don't you love my fern ID skills?)


Another view of the back of the house.

Blechnum penna-marina/Austroblechnum penna-marina (alpine water fern)

Lonicera crassifolia

Lonicera crassifolia with an asarum. 

And because I'm still loving the view (and the Agave americana variegata) why not end with another shot of just that? Sigh...

The next PNW Study Weekend event will be held here in Portland: Nimble Gardening in an Evolving World, June 27-29, 2025. More info here.

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  1. Wow, just wow. That's one of those places where a person could just sit (or hike or read a book or whatever), and enjoy the amazing view. And the plantings, stonework, and pathways are delightful!

    1. It was hard to tear myself away, I could have spent hours just basking in the view.

  2. That's the sea view of my dreams. The elevated walkway is over the top but a great idea!

    1. Right? I cannot imagine being able to look at that view everyday.

  3. AnonymousMay 13, 2024

    Omg. Incredible.
    Jim Steinman N. Tabor

  4. AnonymousMay 14, 2024

    You had me with "elevated, lavender-bordered walkway"... photo 3. That white rock/island seems accessible. Was it?
    I love that well establish patch of Libertia: I've tried to grow it multiple times, unsuccessfully.

    1. I have no idea about the white rock, and same experience with the libertia. I got it to grow successfully enough to see flowers once, then it died.

  5. The elevated walkway is dreamy. Wow, and the view. All of it is just idyllic.


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