One must travel Up the driveway to find the residence and garden.
Susan's love of purple and gold is evident throughout the garden.
"We live on the west side of Tolt Hill, so there's some uphill walking via stairs and gravel road to reach level garden beds. Friendly horses' barn is at top of driveway."
"We retired to this 5-acre horse farm in 2004, surrounded by tall conifers and big-leaf maples, and very slowly began renovating old beds and building 15 new ones adding a couple tons of aged manure annually."
I fell in love with this solarium built on to the house. Could you imagine grabbing a cup of coffee and the morning paper (that's a thing like a computer that you can still read if the power goes out.) and enjoying this space as the dawn breaks in the summer?
Sharing lunch with friends in mellow autumn light.
Cuddled up with a canine friend and a good book (like a kindle but heavy and with a lot of tedious turning of pages) as winter rain drums rhythms on the roof. What, nothing in the spring? Of course not silly. Gardeners can't sit still in the spring.
"We learned to landscape intentionally alongside the rock walls holding up the hillside, and paying attention to our NW-facing sunlight. My initial energies went into planting purple and golden foliaged specimen trees and shrubs. I have now migrated to dwarf conifers, about 60 in three conifer beds, focusing on golds and blues, and shapes of weepers, balls, columnar, or ground covering procumbens."
"I was inspired, in part, by the South Seattle College's Arboretum's Coenosium Rock Garden, one of the finest dwarf conifer gardens in the U.S. I've shared these twin passions in Master Gardener presentations over the last decade."
Abies koreana 'Silberlocke' bears it's gorgeous cones even at an early age.
Official garden greeter and tour guide.
"I have horse-leaning garden art and full and empty pots." This garden art was very realistic looking to me, especially when Susan fed them.
At each level of the hillside there are platforms or balconies attached to outbuildings from which the lower levels of the garden can be viewed. As Loree says, "There's always an agave."
Looking down, the grass path is on one level and to the left of the elevated bed is a gravel road leading up to the horse barn at the top.
In the arid area are yucca and cacti with tags from Cistus Nursery. It's a sign. Like a drinking game where you'd watch a television show with friends and have to take a shot of something whenever a certain name or phrase was uttered, when you see a plant tag with a cool nursery's name on it, you're obligated to visit. It's much healthier and there are plants involved.
Opuntia fragilis (potato cactus) is my current crush. Fortunately I have one but it hasn't put on any new growth this year.
The idea of having the backdrop of huge trees is appealing to me as my views mostly include other houses.
"The house is painted terra cotta to serve as a lively background for my plant color preferences. Rest your feet and have a snack in our solarium. Mother Nature chooses the weather."
Looking up at the hakonechloa waterfall.
This garden is filled with great plants and interesting, well placed garden art but the best part is the welcoming and comfortable vibe of the place.
Thanks to Susan and Tony for opening their garden for us to enjoy. It was a pleasure!