Landscape Inspiration at Pleasant Beach Village

I recently had the pleasure of staying at The Inn at Pleasant Beach on Bainbridge Island. Aside from a great location and a very comfortable and stylish stay, I absolutely loved the landscape around the hotel and shops! Everything was so much nicer than it needed to be, giving the sense that the buildings were truly situated within a garden. Even the parking lots were integrated into the larger scheme. Plants, water, sculpture, framed views- so many details were considered. A huge thank you to the many people who designed, installed, and continue to maintain this beautiful destination!

Far Reaches Farm

I had a wonderful trip to Far Reaches Farm in Port Townsend, Washington, yesterday. My mother, aka The Plant Collector, goes there on a regular basis, and we finally got to go together. If Port Townsend is in reach for you, go for a visit ASAP! The demonstration gardens were wonderful, particularly the greenhouse, which felt like a trip into the Rain Forest with towering lilies and enormous foliage in every direction.

If you don’t live locally, you’re still in luck, because they have a very popular mail order business. As for me, I had 2 takeaways: 1) I must track down some Melica uniflora f. albida as soon as I get home; and 2) When visiting, always plan to have lunch up the road at the Spruce Goose Cafe at the Jefferson County International Airport!

Sliding Door for Porch Screen

Photo of a front porch

Inspiration is everywhere! I alway enjoy looking around my client’s neighborhoods to see what people are doing with their gardens. This neighbor made clever use of a sliding door to create a movable wall at the end of their front porch. What a great way to create privacy without completely blocking access to the side yard. I’ll definitely keep this idea in my back pocket!

Not sure what to plant? Look around!

Photo of woodland garden
Ferns, Pulmonaria, Hellebores, Redbud, Astilbe and more grow at the driveway’s edge of this woodland garden.

Whenever I go for a site visit, I like to look around the neighborhood to see what’s growing. This gives me a sense of the area and also helps me identify plants that might thrive, especially with regard to deer. This lovely garden is at the edge of a long driveway on a very wooded lot. I was surprised to see the host looking so good, but you never know what route deer will take as they pass through. Maybe the proximity of the hellebores acts as a deterrent? I don’t know, but I enjoyed seeing it.

 

Peonies & Baptisia

Photo of Peony Bouquet
Peonies and Baptisia make a wonderful combination.

I have a goal to bring something from my garden indoors all year round. We’re at the end of the Peonies and Baptisia right now, so I got one more bouquet out of them (looks like I didn’t quite dust the mulch off some of them!). I love this combination. I used some variegated Red-Twig Dogwood leaves but they’re a bit limp to be on their own.

We’re on the verge of summer flowers now. I see the Coneflowers close to blooming, and the Black-Eyed Susans are starting. I’ve got some Dahlia tubers coming this week, too, to get started for fall. Better late than never!

Irises in All Their Glory

It seems as if there’s something new blooming every day at this time of year. Walking around the neighborhood I see iris, lilacs, late bulbs, early roses, dogwood, salvia, tree peonies, azaleas, bluebells, weigelia- an embarrassment of riches. Here at my house I have dozens and dozens of irises blooming, all thanks to a friend who transplanted some from her home almost 6 years ago. I want time to stand still now, but of course it’s their transience that makes flowers so special.

Rock Spring Park

Several times a week I jog through Rock Spring Park, one of our wonderful green spaces here in Arlington. There’s always something to stop and admire, whether it be blooms, new green growth, ducks in the water, or someone’s adorable canine pal out for a walk. In addition to Arlington Parks & Rec, a lot of volunteers make sure the park stays healthy, and I appreciate them every time I go through. And if you have part-shade in your garden, you can be sure that anything thriving here in deer territory will do well at your house, too.

2018 Arlington Home Show & Garden Expo

Photo of Arlington Garden Expo Garden

I had such a good time at the 2018 Arlington Home Show & Garden Expo yesterday. Thank you to Tony Weaver and Karen Olson Weaver for such a fun day together, to Design Distillery for the gorgeous Fermob furniture, and to everyone who stopped by to talk about their gardens. It was a great way to start the season and we look forward to working with some of the great homeowners we met. Happy Spring, everyone! (Here’s a guide to find these elements or get a similar look.)