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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Yakima Garden of Linda Knutson and Ron Sell

On July 22, we drove to Yakima in the central part of Washington state which is part of the low desert area of the state (Six inches of rainfall a year, summertime highs in the 90 - 100 degree range; winter lows can reach 0 (-18C) and occasionally lower) and were able to tour four gardens there.  You may recall this post about the Hillside Desert Botanical Garden  which is located in the same town.  I'll warn you in advance that there are a lot of pictures in this post.   It was a bittersweet visit as Ron told us that his wife and gardening partner, Linda, had passed away this spring.



Fused glass panel artfully incorporated into the siding of an outbuilding. 

 


Too hot and sunny for a fern table?  How about this? 





From the Northwest Perennial Alliance Open Gardens book:  " Our garden is the combined effort of two confirmed rock addicts and plant lovers.  Starting in 1995, we have transformed over four acres of former sheep pasture into a variety of garden areas, accessed by meandering gravel and stone pathways.  Trellises, arbors and hedges add structure and help to define the spaces.  Dry stacked walls of native stone terrace the hillsides, and numerous rockeries provide niches for alpines, natives, heathers, and dwarf conifers."














Here's Ron talking with Ron about his gorgeous garden. 



"Many areas are designed for multi-season interest, combining trees, shrubs, grasses, vines, ground covers, and perennials.  Two hillside gardens feature drought tolerant plants.  Throughout the garden are numerous sitting and dining areas accented with garden art and small water features."





Tender cacti and euphorbia enjoying a summer vacation outside. 













"We also have a large water feature, which includes three ponds of varying sizes, connected by a meandering stream which you can cross via Ron's stone arch bridge."




Ron's rock work is impressive as is the fact that Ron and Linda did everything in this garden themselves.



















"An automated drip irrigation system keeps the plants watered on a regular basis, a necessity on the eastside of the Cascades. (The mountain range that separates the wet winter western part of the state from the inland, dry part.)  Our garden is designed for both human enjoyment and the dining pleasure of birds, bees, and butterflies."











A real mushroom emerging between the cracks in a path. 

Just when Ron's rock work had thoroughly impressed us, the stone master topped himself with this amazing stone archway, which, had we entered the garden from the opposite side, would have been it's entrance.

Looking back.  

Thank you, Linda and Ron, for creating this amazing oasis for so many to enjoy and thank you, Ron, for your hospitality!

24 comments:

  1. What an incredible garden! I love the "succulent table" rock. I actually did something similar earlier this spring with two big rocks in my back garden, not on such a large scale, but the same idea, using succulents instead of ferns. Thanks for sharing your photos.

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    1. It's always a pleasure to share gorgeous gardens. I also loved the idea of a succulent table but haven't done one. Maybe a project for next summer if I can find space...

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  2. Sincere condolences to Ron -- what a beautiful place they made together. And I spy the Wave Hill chairs! It'd be a treat to walk through that sunny vista with lavender with grasses. And that stone archway!

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    1. Ron was so happy to share this legacy of his gardening partnership with his wife. While he said that she was more of a plant person than he, he was very knowledgeable.

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  3. Worth every picture! So many wonderful tree and conifer combinations. Loved that dead tree branch (?) with the iron hoop holding it in place. And your photo of the peony seedpods. So many memorable views. It must be hard to be there alone with all those memories of a garden created as a couple.

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    1. In a way, Ron's wife is still present in the legacy of this paradise they built together. I hope it brings him comfort to continue nurturing this marvelous space.

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  4. Wow, what a find! Going on to open the garden after losing your co-garden-maker and spouse, that takes strength. I hope Ron had a lot of appreciative visitors.

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    1. Ron has my admiration for his strength in opening the garden alone. I didn't see a lot of NPA folks on the sign-in sheet (because they're mostly from the west side) but Ron mentioned that he'd had a party in the garden the night before and I'm sure that many locals enjoy the garden fairly regularly.

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  5. Fantastic 4 acres. Linda and Ron did a wonderful job with this masterpiece of a garden. It's a living testament to what they had created together. I am surprised at the green lushness of it because in my mind Yakima is brown and dry... "An automated drip irrigation system" must be the key, plus picking tried a true drought tolerant plants. I could comment on so many pictures, but I'll stick with that of the stunning front door and the inviting porch area. Plus there is a kitty!!! A guard cat makes everything better.

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    1. It was surprising to see such lushness in that area. The Yakima River and several creeks run down into the valley so, while the hills above the town are certainly brown, the valley itself is a bit greener with lots of trees. This garden was up a bit from the valley but you're right, the drip irrigation is what keeps it all so green and lovely.

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  6. That's one incredible garden, especially considering the climate extremes. I loved the decorative touches, all of which melded beautifully with the garden. The stonework is beautiful.

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    1. It surprised me to see such lushness in that climate. Ron is a master of stonework, isn't he?

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  7. Wow! What a fantastic garden!!! It is a labor of love.

    I am sorry for Ron's loss of his dear wife Linda.

    FlowerLady

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    1. A beautiful labor of love created by an obviously wonderful couple.

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  8. This is a beautifully designed garden - I love the little details throughout. A real treat!

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  9. They have an eye for beauty and certainly have made a spectacular garden. This is one garden where those big grasses look their best. I am not a fan of those big ole grasses but here they are shown to perfection as are the conifers and evergreens. All of the stone work is just amazing. The details are so many I bet you need to see this place again and again to appreciate it all.

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    1. Yes, it would take several visits to take it all in. After we finished wandering the garden, I felt as if we'd done it backward and wanted to go through it again the other way but there were other gardens to see before closing time. Hopefully this garden will be open again next summer.

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  10. Oh my gosh, I didn't mind all the photos! The only problem is I don't know where to start. Such a peaceful and artful habitat. That glass panel is beautiful. And all the great uses for stonework, rock arrangements, and driftwood. Gorgeous!

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    1. There were so many entry points that it was hard to choose just one. It would be great to visit this garden again someday.

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  11. Amazing the Yakima Garden! You've taken a lot of pictures, I scrolled them twice. I liked sculptures, yellow and blue chairs, conifers, fountain, stony paths...
    Happy August, Peter!

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  12. Looks like you really enjoyed this garden, Peter!
    For myself I found a water idea for my my own garden. Decided that I need another water place in my garden and look for ideas.
    I am so unhappy with my own garden this year!!! :(

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  13. Oh my! That is a masterpiece and a remarkable achievement! Thanks for all the photos.

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  14. Great garden! I love the use of ground-covering sedums. The water feature looks like such a cool and inviting oasis.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.