The legend that is Heronswood had a lot to do with the evolution of the garden, each new area that was opened up, every new group of plants, it was a wonder! Having a staff of gardeners working daily at the garden yielded especially finished results. Many of the garden's plants have been removed and even though a dedicated group of volunteers has done a great deal of work, it's obvious that the garden was neglected for a few years. The volunteers are doing a great job and I don't wish, in any way, to disrespect their dedication and amount of work. You can read Alison's post about the sale and garden here.
Azara serrata's yellow puffs of bloom greet us as we enter.
Cool ghostly looking NOID plant. Liriope muscari 'Okina' perhaps? Not really clumping like that though. Do you know it?
The paths are familiar but in it's heyday, the beds would have been mulched and full of horticultural treasures.
I remember seeing these columns in crates in the driveway before they were assembled on site. Another visitor said that he missed the great pots of sculptural plants that used to sit atop each one. Alison mentioned that she saw the pots on her visit in the fall but that they were falling apart.
Cardiocrinum giganteum seems to still be happy here. I remember coming down a path through the tree ferns, petasides, gunnera, banana, and palm foliage and seeing a huge group of these blooming in front of me. It made one feel small to be among all of the huge foliage and giant blooms!
This Lysichiton americanus is huge and quite healthy!
The gorgeous texture of the mahonia cnotrasts beautifully with all of the soft big leafed plants..
More large foliage. I didn't notice a single Arisaema in this garden which used to be full of them.
Partner in horticultural raiding of nurseries, Alison is surprised by the size of the Astilboides tabularis. Pretty amazing what they'll do if their feet are a little moist! (The Astilboides, not the Alison.)
Musa basjoo and Gunnera manicata used to complete this big leaved swampy area but are no longer here. The path has been closed for some reason.
The Little and Lewis temple viewed from the side because of path closure.
Gorgeous tree ferns.
One of the few Paris plants still in the garden. These used to be everywhere.
As I compare these images to those in my mind (I didn't take any pictures before now, there seem to be a lot of missing players. The Meconopsis sisters grandis, betonicifolia, paniculata, and napaulensis must have caught a train out of the place as I didn't notice any furry foliage. These gals can be a little high maintenance though.
Impatiens omeiana showing what a tough cookie it is!
I've no idea what this is but ain't it grand? Can you I.D. it?
The sweet little bells of Enkianthus flowers are very sweet!
Podophyllum pleianthum looking rather unhappy. Another group of plants that used to have larger representation in the garden.
Again, I don't wish to cast aspersions on the fine folks who have done so much work since the tribe purchased the place and it will take a long time and a lot of man hours to reclaim what once was but this is a mess! One year the black grass/golden Lysimachia nummularia combination appeared in the foreground. Another year, an ajuga took the place of the Lysimachia.
It will be beautiful again and for that I'm truly grateful! Past the blue and yellow border the drive leads to the front of the house.
Moving to the right side of the house, this bed is looking particularly good!
The amazing pleached elm wall is still thrilling visitors.
Inside the walls.
I remember when this potager was brand new. It's just beyond the ulmus walled garden and is looking fantastic. It alone is worth a visit! Perhaps the crews are working from this side of the garden outward.
That beautiful pink Acer palmatum at the far end of the garden called my name! Very pretty!
Acer pseudoplatanus 'Esk Sunset' drew a lot of attention!
Kniphofias are so bold that they seem to have embarrassed the dainty columbines below who are turning their faces away!
Another Little and Lewis piece graces the potager.
A last look back.
Here we come around the back of the house. Do you notice the Embothrium coccineum in bloom?
This black diamond is echoed behind us on the path
by this watery one..
Coming around the back of the house to the other side. We're behind the blue and yellow border.
Lots of great plants!
Lovely Quercus robur 'Atropurpurea' on the left.
The foliage is breathtaking when backlit by the sun!
So much beauty but so much is missing. I miss the potted agaves and Ensete ventricosum among many others.
There was a time when Dan went crazy for abutilons and they were all over the garden.
Taking another path back up through the shade garden we encounter this group of Cypripedium formosanum (I think.)
Thanks to the Port Gamble S'klallam Tribe's purchase, the future of Heronswood seems secure. Hooray!
A place where future generations of gardeners can come, explore, learn, and be excited by plants is a truly special thing to preserve.
What lies down the path for this spectacular douglas fir columned cathedral of a garden? The gentle unfolding of time will make it clear but for now it's in good hands! Thank you Dan and Robert for creating this place and for helping to bring it back. Thank you S'klallam Tribe for preserving this marvelous garden. Thank you volunteers who have and will continue to put so much time and sweat into bringing back this legendary place of horticultural inspiration, education, and beauty!
It was an interesting experience to go back again after these years. It was wonderful to see that parts of the garden were in good shape, and that the bones of the place were still intact. I missed many of the plants in the shade gardens especially.
Tennyson kept running through my head: 'Though much is taken, much abides; and though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."