2011 Seattle

Seattle Garden Bloggers Fling
Seattle, Washington
July 22-25, 2011

Calling all Links

Hello fellow Bloggers….

Your Seattle Fling team is beginning to recover from last month’s awesome, 4-day horticultural adventure. We’re moving so fast that we wanted stop and take a breather to ask each and every one of you to share your LINKS to blog posts here in the Comment Section below. Also, please post them to the Garden Bloggers Fling facebook page.

This will give us a permanent, ongoing record of your personal blog articles, videos and photographs about the Seattle Garden Bloggers Fling 2011.

At some point in the future, these may be compiled into a master list, but right now, this is what we’re going with.

Take good care, Garden Friends.

63 Responses to Calling all Links

  1.   fairegarden says:
    Wonderful! And thank again for a delightful fling, you all rock!
    Seattle Fling 2011-Overture
    Lost Secret In The Bloedel Reserve
    more in the works
  2.   Pam/Digging says:
    Great idea! I look forward to reading everyone’s posts. Also, I’d love to see the group picture when you have time to post it. When you do, will it be ok to repost the group photo on our own blogs? If not, no problem, I’ll just link to it. Thanks again for an absolutely wonderful Fling!

    •   Debra says:
      Hi Pam…. Honestly, I do not know who took the group photo and I’m pretty sure if there is one that I wasn’t in it! If someone has a group photo – please post here to let us all see it and also whether you grant permission for other Fling-ers to use it on their own blogs – THANK YOU!
    I plan to write another post tomorrow, but I have two up already. I’ll be glad to send you the links. Thanks for everything you did.~~Dee
    Diana says:
    Thanks again for everything. It was an amazing garden adventure. I have a few more posts dancing in my head, but here are the 4 I’ve already done.
    What a good idea!
    I have blogs posted about the first 2 days, with Days 3 and 4 to go.
    Day 1: http://www.gardenshowblog.com/beginning-gardeners/seattle-blogger%e2%80%99s-fling-%e2%80%93-day-1/
    Day 2: http://www.gardenshowblog.com/uncategorized/day-2-seattle-garden-blogger%e2%80%99s-fling/
    Janet Endsley
    Northwest Flower & Garden Show
    February – 12, 2012
    Barbara says:
    Also, you will have to photo shop some of us in the group photo because we were like 5 year olds on our first ferry ride and had no idea that we were need for a photo op.
    Could you all look any cuter? Seriously…good god! You even match!
    I think it’s going to take me awhile to work through all the images from the fun places you took us (THANK YOU!)….but what a great idea to share them all in one place!
    Sorry, but us Cats need more Direction if we are to be properly Herded, as you well know! If we have multiple posts, should we link to each Post, to a Tag (e.g. Seattle) or just to our Blog? and Thank You 1000000 Times for a most magnificent Fling! Meow meow, Caroline
    From Debra: Caroline, take a look through the many comments here to get an idea of how others have added multiple posts! I hope you can find some good examples – we are not that rigid about how the links should be shared! Our Secretary took the rest of the year off – so you’ll have to proceed without someone to herd you – it’s okay!
    Layanee says:
    It was a glorious weekend with all of you. Here is my link, first post. Warning, there will be more.
    Gail says:
    It was marvelous~The gardens, the friendships and that weather. Thank you! Gailhttp://www.clayandlimestone.com/2011/07/seattle-flingwhat-i-learned-on-my.html
    Jean says:
    Well, I’ve only got one post up so far. I may have to draw it out all summer, just so I can think of cool Seattle and survive this heat!
    commonweeder says:
    I have one post that is specifically about the Fling and one post that linked to Layanee and Frances to give some beautiful sense of the trip – because with grandsons here I have not been ‘working’ my usual schedule. There will be more.
    Wasn’t it Jim who took the group photo on the ferry?
    Simple Wonderful in Seattle. Many thanks for all of your organizing, planning, and creative touches!
    Seattle was simply wonderful! Many thanks to all of you for all of your planning, organizing, and creative touches!
    Great idea! Here is my first post about private gardens we visited in Seattle:
    commonweeder says:
    Here is my post about David Perry’s talk http://www.commonweeder.com/post8261
    More will follow. I love seeing all the posts about the Bloedel. And finished photography assignments. And everything.
    susan harris says:
    Thank you, organizers, for a job well done!
    Here’s my post about David’s wonderful workshop: http://www.boomerturnons.com/2011/08/great-photography-tips-from-david-perry/
    VP says:
    Just got back to the UK after a wonderful time at the Fling and vacation afterwards :D
    Thanks so much for a great time in Seattle!
    My posts will be much later than everyone else’s but wanted to mention that using something like Mr Linky makes compiling a master list much easier as people can enter their own blog links and the app makes paging through them much easier than the comments. You can easily add your own finds (e.g. links already left in the comments here) and edit any links afterwards if needed.
    See this example from the UK garden bloggers get together this year…
    NB there are other similar apps available I’ve seen used on other blogs. Get in touch with me if you need more info.
    Greetings from a rainy England!
    VP says:
    Hurrah – my first post’s up – I think it’ll be one of many!
    Pam/Digging says:
    The Birrell garden — love all those metal accents! http://www.penick.net/digging/?p=12995
    grwhryrpltd says:
    i think i finally got all my worthy #seattlefling pics posted to flickr: http://t.co/WlXoNwP maybe now i can write a blog post or two… working on it!
    VP says:
    I see many Flingers have posted about Seattle’s scrummy public planting :)
    If anyone would like to join me in my regular Out on the Streets (aka OOTS) this month, they’d be most welcome.
    Needless to say I have loads to say on this topic thanks to you guys – the Bloedel Reserve, the Olympic Sculpture Park and the University Shopping Village to name but 3!
    All is explained here:
    The Dunn Gardens, and Anneliese striking a warrior pose! http://www.penick.net/digging/?p=13020
    VP says:
    A quick look at downtown Seattle, a teaser photo of the Olympic Sculpture Park, plus an appeal for help from my fellow Flingers…
    Gardening with a view — my post about the Epping garden: http://www.penick.net/digging/?p=13069
    VP says:
    A quick run through most of the gardens we visited + a few other locations for good measure. I commented over at Pam’s yesterday that Hakonechloa is a contender as Seattle’s signature plant knowing full well this post was scheduled :)
    Quick question is Hakonechloa what you guys call Japanese forest grass?
    Am I the only one still posting? Here’s a good look at the mountain, which showed itself on Saturday while I was at Pike Place Market. Also I got a few nice people pics. http://www.penick.net/digging/?p=13128
    Lorene Edwards Forkner’s “urban hillbilly chic” garden: http://www.penick.net/digging/?p=13161
    VP says:
    Pam, I’m still posting too :)
    Here’s a quick snippet from my photography blog re the Olympic Sculpture Park
    Lots more posts to come – it’s going to take me weeks to get through it all…
    Finally eeked out another one about some of the cool things I saw at the different gardens: http://www.diggrowcompostblog.com/2011/08/few-of-my-favorite-fling-things.html
    VP says:
    Did I learn my lessons well? The first part of my response to David Perry’s fantastic photography workshop:
    Dragonfly Farms Nursery, happy-hour fascinators, and friends on the ferry: http://www.penick.net/digging/?p=13260
    VP says:
    Book review of My Garden, the City and Me which some Flingers will have found in their Timber Press goody bag, but others will have had the deer resistant plants book instead.
    Judging by Kylee’s review, it’s still of interest on your side of the pond. What do other Flingers think?
    PS I think you may have overlooked one of my links on August 19th – it’s still awaiting moderation…

Seattle Garden Bloggers Fling Itinerary

Sneak Peak: Day 1 in North Seattle and the University District

Wake up, bloggers, it’s time to hit the road. Our first day of garden visits begins in North Seattle in the Carkeek neighborhood, perched above Puget Sound and known for its woodsy environment.
It isn’t all a woodland paradise – our two private gardens showcase a sunny paradise, as these neighbors take full advantage of a southern exposure and our dry summers.

Shelagh Tucker’s front garden, inspired by Beth Chatto’s gravel garden, basks in the hot sun and creates even more heat of its own with the use of stone raised beds and crushed rock paths. Shelagh even mulches with crushed rock, providing both reflected light and radiated heat to her choice plants. Look closely at the stone raised beds, and you’ll see remnants of Seattle’s Music Hall fa├žade. The building was torn down in 1992, but its spirit lives on in many gardens around town. Read about its history here.

In back, Shelagh’s garden is an oasis – green grass, flowing fountains, an English flower border and one of the best crab apples in town.

Next door, neighbor Suzette Birrell and her husband Jim have made an entirely personal and wonderful garden. Against the backdrop of a bright blue shed (taking the place of the “bluest skies you’ve ever seen” in Seattle, just in case it rains) (which it won’t), edibles and ornamentals jostle for room in the bountiful landscape.

It’s time for lunch – and another garden just up the road. The E.B. Dunn Gardens began its life as the summer retreat – all the way from downtown Seattle, a whopping eight miles away. Today, the compound comprises several houses, but the landscape – designed by the Olmsted Brothers in 1916 – remains a thing of beauty. Add to that the expert design and planting skills of the curators, Charles Price and Glenn Withey, and you’ve got a garden that captivates from spring through fall.

In the afternoon, we’ll have the opportunity to browse the stacks at the Elisabeth C. Miller Library at the Center for Urban Horticulture, University of Washington Botanic Gardens. Librarian Brian Thompson gives us the history as well as the vital role the library plays in today’s gardener’s – and garden blogger’s – life. Riz Reyes, blogger himself and gardener of the Soest Herbaceous Garden will give us a tour of the educational gardens on site – if you missed our interview with Riz, read it here.

Isn’t it time for a glass of wine? Ravenna Gardens, a premier garden shop and nursery in University Village – very, very close to your hotel – will host a wine and cheese party to end our fabulous first day. Go ahead, do a little shopping while you’re there, but save room for exclusive Fling SWAG!

Sneak peek: Day 2 Garden Visits

In no particular order, as we collect photos and descriptions of the myriad Seattle area stops for Garden Bloggers, we’ll post them here. Last Friday, Lorene and Debra made the rounds to visit two amazing, plant-lovers’ private gardens, as well as the Bellevue Botanical Garden. Here is what we have in store for you:

Stop One: Michelle and Christopher Epping are past winners of the Pacific Northwest Gardens Competition (3rd place in 2007). We take this description from a 2010 garden tour that drew more than 300 participants to their hilltop haven:
If Cap Ferrat is not in your summer travel plans this year, console yourself with a leisurely visit to this gorgeous haven of luxe, calme et volupte – a Mediterranean villa in an idyllic setting with stunning views of Lake Washington, the Olympic Mountains, and the Seattle and Bellevue city skylines. This sophisticated, densely-layered garden is full of intriguing contrasts: Hardy tropicals with vivid lilies and lavender, majestic conifers with mimosa, catalpa, and hydrangea; lacy ferns and Japanese maples; velvety lawn with paths of crunchy gravel and cool flagstones; cedar sculptures (carved by the owner’s father) with statues of Kuan Yin. There are splashing fountains, a brick terrace, and inviting seats and benches. French Riviera in the Pacific Northwest-Oh, la, la!
Stop Two: Bellevue Botanic Garden. This beautiful destination comprises 53 acres of display gardens, woodlands, meadows and wetlands, including the Northwest Perennial Alliance Border, a 17,000-square-foot mixed border, designed to showcase the tried-and-true as well as emerging new plants for Northwest gardens. The NPA recently completed a two-year renovation to update and revitalize the plant collections, improve accessibility, and integrate the Border into the BBG Master Plan. Other gorgeous displays include the Alpine Rock Garden, Fuchsia Garden, Waterwise Garden, Ground Cover Garden, Yao Japanese Garden, Rhododendron Glen, Native Garden, and several verdant trails that loop through the grounds.

Stop Three – and LUNCH, where Denise Lane’s Garden will wow you and feed you, spirit and soul. Here’s her description:
I have enough space in my garden, an acre or so, to paint its many parts with a big brush and in luxuriant color. This big garden holds many sunny perennial beds, rock outcroppings, a large bog and woodlands all connected by winding paths with numerous surprises to see along the way, one of the newest being a 10-foot-high stylized Doric column carved from the trunk of a tree that had to come down. Another favorite is the ‘ruin’ that serenely drips water from columns into a pool. An outdoor kitchen with a new modern dining shelter is perfect for al fresco entertaining. The kitchen that used to sit court-side to a pickle-ball court now sits alongside a beautiful, contemporary plaza whose design focuses on a large fire table that will warm guests on chilly summer evenings.

Stop Four: Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park:
The Olympic Sculpture Park marries art and horticulture and elevates the public garden experience to new heights. Created by the Seattle Art Museum, the Olympic Sculpture Park has transformed a nine-acre industrial site into open and vibrant green space for art. This new waterfront park gives Seattle residents and visitors the opportunity to experience a variety of sculpture in an outdoor setting, while enjoying the incredible views and beauty of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. View world-class sculpture set in archetypal landscapes that reflect the Pacific Northwest: The Meadow, the Shore, the Grove and the Valley. We are trying to set up a presentation by the park’s horticultural staff, so stay tuned!

Sneak peek: Day 3 in West Seattle

Have you ever planted out a swathe of pale yellow tulips only to discover that the bulbs were mislabeled when the following spring they bloom a garish crimson?  Why is it that the errant rascals are always stop sign red – never a luscious shade of apricot or the loveliest shade of rose??  A plot to off-load an unfortunate bumper crop on the unwitting, or a cosmic horticultural goose to our comfort zone???

Seattle Fling Day 3 offers something a little bit different; think of it as a playful interlude…or maybe a slight goose.  City scale and modest by contrast to the other landscapes we’ll be visiting, these personality-infused gardens bear witness to the sassy can-do spirit and resourceful sensibility, and dare we say it – eccentricities, of their owners.  (See, I can say that because mine is one of the gardens we’ll be visiting.  As I write this I feel as exposed and vulnerable as a country cousin among “polite” society.)  We hope you’ll find the day refreshing.
Stop One: Sunday begins at a leisurely pace, as all Sundays should, with a visit to theWest Seattle Farmer’s Market where every weekend, year-round, a small parking lot is transformed into a bustling hub of fresh, organic local food and flowers and a passionate commitment to supporting the good people who raise them.  Part neighborhood social, part menu-driving provision gathering, and always delicious, I count my blessings with every visit to have such resources available 52 weeks a year.  For those of you keeping track, that’s a lot of rainy, cold miserable days in addition to the (hopefully) lovely sunny day we’ll enjoy!
Stop Two: Forced to characterize my garden style, years ago I coined the phrase “Urban Hillbilly Chic”.  The Edwards Forkner landscape is designed for comfort, flavor and year round color and texture.  Berries and fruit trees mingle with ornamental plantings while a tiny vegetable garden and plenty of spots for relaxing – including a vintage travel trailer that serves as backyard folly and cocktail cabana – offer an abundant landscape that nourishes in every way and lives much larger than its tiny footprint suggests.

Stop Three:  A colorist’s dream with a dose of rustic fantasy thrown in for good measure, Kate Farley’s garden is magical.  Tree house? Check.  Fully functional charming potting shed furnished with vintage tools and found objects? Check.  Whimsical, “handmade” water feature? Check.  An accomplished Seattle landscape designer, Kate specializes in garden structure.  Her garden is a showcase for clever repurposing, inventive use of common materials and container planting brilliance with a resourceful emphasis on environmental sustainability.  And did I mention her brilliant sense of color and mastery of perennial yumminess?  You won’t want to leave!
Stop Four:  Seattle is known as the Emerald City in part because its concrete canyons and many waterways are surrounded by mighty evergreen forests. In keeping with our lively mix of private and public gardens, our final stop of the day takes us to a wooded site overlooking downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay. South Seattle Community College Arboretum is a pocket forest within the city.  Home to a well-respected landscape horticulture program, SSCC students designed and built the arboretum as a living laboratory for plant identification, arboriculture, irrigation, and landscape maintenance and construction courses.

Our visit to the Arboretum will focus on The Coenosium Rock Garden designed by SSCC horticulture student Yukai Kuto beginning in 1999.  The garden features an extensive collection of lesser known dwarf and miniature conifers not typically seen outside specialty nurseries and was made possible by generous donations of plant material by Coenosium Gardens in nearby Eatonville. Read the history of the project and see development pictures here.

Many of you may notice changes from our originally proposed itinerary for Sunday, July 24.  What can I say – Red Tulips happen in every garden.  As gardeners we adapt and appreciate what each season offers.  Plus, nothing says passion like a brilliant bouquet of cut red tulips!

Sneak peek: Day 4

On Monday, July 25th, our last Fling Date together as a group, we will embark on a day trip to Bainbridge Island’s famous The Bloedel Reserve and finish up with a rollickin’ garden party surrounded by plants, art, food and cocktails – at Dragonfly Farms and Nursery on the Kitsap Peninsula. We’ll return to the Fling host hotel at the end of a long, inspiring day by taking a second ferry ride, from Kingston to Edmonds, north of Seattle. The views will be lovely, the weather mostly gorgeous and the gardens will be awesome Bring your cameras, your sun/rain hats and comfortable shoes! 

Last week, on a typical May day here in Seattle, Marty, Lorene and Debra set out to do the “pre-trip” to Bainbridge and Kingston. We were semi-prepared for the crazy rain that assaulted us that day. One hooded raincoat and one umbrella between three women. Together, the three of us have logged close to 100 years living here in Seattle, but our weather optimism has never faded. Garden Bloggers, be prepared for any weather! 

The 35-minute ferry ride from Seattle to the village of Winslow on Bainbridge Island provides just the right interlude to slow down one’s breathing after leaving the city behind. Our car was parked down on the lower deck; our cushioned benches were situated on the upper levels. So after enjoying a relaxed crossing taking in awesome views, we descended several flights of steps to car. Time to drive onto the island!

Our first stop: The Bloedel Reserve, a private estate that comprises approximately 150 acres on Bainbridge Island. About 84 acres here are second-growth forest. The remainder are altered landscapes, including various gardens, pools and meadows.
We will be hosted by docents and horticultural staff, who will lead 1-hour guided tours through the many gardens. Docents will also be available in specific featured areas to point out key plants and answer our questions. These tours are optional; it’s okay if you just want to wander on your own, as well! The Bloedel Reserve is typically closed to the public on Mondays. We are incredibly grateful that the management has invited garden bloggers to have exclusive access to tour, photograph, take video and write about this incredible gem!

A self-serve lunch will be provided around 12:30 p.m., at the main Visitor Center. We are invited to eat outdoors in the formal, European-style landscape that offers gorgeous water, mountain and city views to the east.

In the early afternoon, our very own David Perry will teach a mini-workshop on digital point-and-shoot photography. He recently led a similar class for students at the Denver Botanic Garden to rave reviews. While our Fling class will be briefer, due to time constraints, you can be sure that an hour spent at Bloedel practicing some of David’s tips will boost your photography confidence immensely!

By 2:30 p.m., we will board our buses and take a short, 30-minute drive across Agate Pass Bridge onto the Kitsap Peninsula. Our second stop will be the whimsical horticultural world called Dragonfly Farms and Nursery
Our hostess: Heidi Kaster, a talented plantswoman and landscape designer who operates a barely-out-of-the-way nursery worth taking a major detour to reach. Her motto: “Where abnormality is the normality.”
Wow. You will be blown away by the display gardens here — art and salvaged decor are playfully combined with uncommon and inspired plant groupings. Check out these photos from our visit last week.
Imagine the herbaceous plants at double-the-volume and you’ll pretty much capture the July scene in your mind’s eye. And take note that there’s lots of great glass art from another one of our sponsors, artist Barbara Sanderson of Glass Gardens NW.
We will have nearly three hours to explore, visit and shop with Heidi, while also being treated to a special cocktail party and hors d’oeuvres spread, courtesy of sponsor Proven Winners. More news on that event to come, but suffice it to say that Danielle Ernest of Proven Winners has some delightful treats up her sleeve! 
It will be very hard to tear ourselves away, but we must return to Seattle on the 7 p.m. ferry boat. Fittingly, our 4-day Fling will conclude with a boat trip across Puget Sound, back to the city, to our host hotel, and to good-byes between new friends.

I know what you’re thinking…

FINALLY!!! Our registration form for Seattle Fling is posted.

Total registration is limited to 70 participants.  Complete and submit the form and mail your check in today to secure your place.  Early registration deadline is June 1, 2011.

Please note: we must receive both your form AND your registration fee to complete your registration.  Complete details on our registration page, but don’t hesitate to ask if you have any further questions.

Bellevue Botanical Garden . . . of Delights

This just in . . . We’ve booked the Garden Bloggers Seattle Fling for a visit to the wonderful Bellevue Botanical Garden. The docent-led tour will follow our picnic lunch on the grounds.

Our fellow blogger, Marty Wingate, is the author of The Bellevue Botanical Garden: Celebrating the First 15 Years, so you can expect a longer and more informative post (and more photos) from her in future weeks.

But today, the NW Weekend section of our local newspaper featured a nice story about visiting BBG, as it is known here in Seattle. Check it out here. And make sure to enjoy the web gallery of photography, especially the yummy early-blooming trillium!

Fling Itinerary is HERE!!

Finally, we can share with our many eager potential participants just what our dynamic planning committee has put together filling four fabulous, garden-centric, delicious, inspiring, and educational days in the greater Seattle area.

Finding gardens and glorious landscapes to visit is the easy part; transporting our posse around this remarkably beautiful but sometimes traffic-impaired and often watery geography is a bigger challenge.  Ferry boats, bridge tolls, buses, and daylight hours all figure into the sometimes complicated equation.  We know better than to add blue skies to that mix.  Let’s just say right here and now – Fling is on, rain or shine.

We’re still working to finalize motor coach contracts, and logistical details; private gardens are in place for the most part but we’re keeping them under wraps for now.  After all, life has to have some mystery!

Sponsors, this is your moment to SHINE!!!  Contact us to learn how you can play an important role in what promises to be the garden blogging community’s gem of summer 2011.


Make plans to attend the Summer Fling in Seattle, July 22-25, 2011; as GARDEN BLOGGERS from around the country meet up to take in the sights, sounds, smells and delicious flavors of our beautiful Emerald City.

Seattle Fling Itinerary:

Friday, July 22, 2011
North End Seattle Gardens
Dinner on your own

Saturday, July 23, 2011
Eastside gardens
Dinner on your own downtown

Sunday, July 24, 2011
West Seattle (REVISED!)
Dinner on your own

Monday, July 25, 2011
Bainbridge and Penninsula
  • Visit and lunch at The Bloedel Reserve – Docent tour, photography workshop with David Perry, (10:30-3:30pm)
  • Punch Drunk in Love with the PNW at Dragonfly Farms nursery (4-6pm)   We’ll cap off Seattle Fling with a relaxing celebration amidst resplendent display gardens at their summer best and nursery shelves laden with lovingly tended and choice plants.   Refresh with a sparkling Blackberry Punch cocktail and delicious NW inspired bites courtesy of our friends at Proven Winners.
Lorene Edwards Forkner, Debra Prinzing, and Marty Wingate are your on the ground hosts for this dynamic sampling of beautiful Pacific Northwest riches.  We’ll tour glorious gardens, savor delicious farm-to-table dining, and immerse ourselves in one of the most garden-friendly climates Mother Nature has ever bestowed.

Garden preview

Riz Reyes is the head gardener at the Soest Herbaceous Display Garden, Center for Urban Horticulture, University of Washington – it’s one of our stops on the Fling this summer. Here Riz answers a few questions about the garden.

Do you consider the Soest Garden to be a teaching garden?

ABSOLUTELY! Many lessons can be drawn from the plants in the garden. From simple floral anatomy, garden design, to observing microclimates suited for marginally hardy plants,
the Soest Garden has something for anyone that’s curious about the plant world.
What have you learned from your work there?

I’ve learned quite a bit working in this garden. Some of the bigger lessons I’ve learned are: 1) You’ll never get everything done, so don’t stress about it too much. 2) Ornamental grasses do wonders to conceal problematic spots and their presence during the wintertime can be quite dramatic. 3) There are more plants suited to dry shade than most people think. The key is to make sure plants are established well the first year after planting.

The beds were originally laid out to display different soil and sun
conditions – does that still work?

The exposures are still very much applicable as our specimen trees cast quite a bit of shade during the spring, summer and early fall months in several parts of the garden. The soils, however, have undergone a metamorphosis. Each of the beds were different soil types to display the array of plants adaptable to a particular type of soil texture, but over the years, compost has annually been used to top-dress the eight beds and that organic matter has worked its way down the soil creating an ideal condition for many perennial plants. With each bed amended now, basically, we can showcase the diversity of plants that have thrived. We’ve also adjusted the irrigation regiment to highlight plants that may not require as much in in terms of supplemental watering. 
What’s your favorite time of year in the Soest Garden?

Tough question. I would have to say late spring to mid summer as visitors come more frequently and have many wonderful questions about the plants and garden.

What plants have you introduced into the garden?

I’ve introduced many plants from my personal collection I felt were very garden worthy and deserve to be noticed by a wider audience. Some plants that come to mind include Symphytum x uplandicum ‘Axminster Gold’, Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’, Geranium ‘Rozanne’, several bulbs, particularly lilies and winter blooming Hellebores donated by Northwest Garden Nursery, which represent some of the best in the world currently.

What’s the most-often heard (or overheard) comment from visitors?

Wow, that looks like a lot of work!

Picture this…

…A historic Northwest garden with sweeping expansive views of the distant Cascade range, glittering Puget Sound, and towering Douglas fir trees.  In the midst of all this beauty, Seattle Fling garden bloggers will be treated to a hands on photography workshop with David Perry on the grounds of The Bloedel Reserve.

As owner of David Perry Photography, David has more than 30 years of professional experience photographing assignments for corporate clients, but his heart and soul are rooted in the garden.
A gifted storyteller and visual poet, David’s lectures and workshops are entertaining and empowering as he teaches how to “be the boss” of digital media.  Get a glimpse of the way he sees the world at A Photographers Garden Blog and learn more about his upcoming book project, entitled A Fresh Bouquet, with co-author Debra Prinzing.

We are all set to have a wonderful, 4-day garden, plant, and friendship-filled extravaganza here in Seattle next weekend. Every moment will feature beautiful surprises, but we’ve planned something extra-special for our concluding party next Monday, July 25th.

As you know, we will spend several hours at the iconic Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island.

Then we will take a short, 30-minute ride to the Kitsap Peninsula, where Heidi Kaster of Dragonfly Farms & Nursery will be our garden hostess (her nursery motto: “Where Abnormality is the Normality” may suit your fancy!).

Heidi is graciously welcoming our event sponsor Proven Winners to set up a lavish cocktail party on her grounds. Can you say yumm?!!! Enjoy this delicious spread while touring the paths, borders and nursery at Dragonfly Farms & Nursery.

We’ve had fun planning this event with Proven Winners’ PR & Brand Development Coordinator Danielle Smith Ernest, a good friend to many garden writers and bloggers. She has created an evening of food, plants and a very special cocktail that celebrates the equally yummy annual you see here: Superbells Blackberry Punch.

Here are more details about this lovely plant, a sample of which will go home with everyone:
The Superbells® Punch Series was introduced to bring a multi-color look to the Superbells collection. This series has a punctuated dark eye to give more depth of color and a unique feel in homeowners gardens. This is the first Calibrachoa introduced with a dark eye that is almost black and a velvet purple rim.

Blackberry Punch was voted one of Sunset Magazine’s “25 Hot Plants to Grow Now.” We love how Sunset describes it: “A flower with the flared shape and rich colors of the finest haute couture gown.”

Here’s a review from Picket Fence Blog. And another one from Serenity in the Garden Blog.

Oh – and about that dee-lish menu: Along with a full spread of savory appetizers, we’ll enjoy cups of Proven Winners’ signature drink, a Blackberry Punch Cocktail, and some fruit-inspired desserts, including BLUEBERRY/HUCKLEBERRY CRUMBLE WITH WHIPPED CREAM and CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE WITH BLACKBERRY FROSTING AND BLACKBERRY ON TOP!

Hotel savings

While your faithful on-the-ground hosts secure sponsors, develop scheduling and worry the idea of transportation, ferry schedules and freeway traffic, as an Seattle Fling 2011 attendee all you need do- at this point -is make plans to get yourself to our corner of the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

The Silver Cloud Inn – University District is our hotel of record.  Our contact, Katie, is doing a outstanding job keeping up with the tremendous response.  Find detailed information on how to take advantage of our negotiated group rate by following reservation instructions here.

As a bonus, Silver Cloud has extended our discounted rate for 3 days before and 3 days beyond our official event dates of July 21 through 25.  What a great excuse to come early and stay late and explore the Emerald City on your own.

Meanwhile, rest assured that Debra, Marty and I are close to publishing our Fling itinerary.  Watch this space for intriguing highlights – ok, downright teasers – about the gardens, markets, and venues in our mix.

As January rains continue to pelt our gardens throughout days of perennial dusk, unseasonably warm temperatures have us flirting with the notion of spring, even though it’s still a good 2 months away.

My front entry walk is a bath of intoxicating fragrance; a seasonal astringent blend of witch hazel, winter box, winter honeysuckle and sweet earth. Seed catalogs bury my coffee table, desk and bedside table.  Thank GOODNESS for flowering winter shrubs!!!

Garden shopping in Seattle

Bloggers, not only will you see fabulous gardens, you will also be staying in a hotel that is a short walk away from University Village shopping center and one of the best garden shops around – Ravenna Gardens. Just you wait!

Summer Fling in Seattle

Make plans to attend the Summer Fling in Seattle, July 22-25, 2011; as GARDEN BLOGGERS from around the country meet up to take in the sights, sounds, smells and delicious flavors of our beautiful Emerald City.

Lorene Edwards Forkner, Debra Prinzing, and Marty Wingate are your on the ground hosts for this dynamic sampling of beautiful Pacific Northwest riches.  We’ll tour glorious gardens, savor delicious farm-to-table dining, and immerse ourselves in one of the most garden-friendly climates Mother Nature has ever bestowed.

4 days of activities with exciting pre- and post-Fling opportunities are in the works.  The Silver Cloud Inn, conveniently located in the University district, just North of downtown is our hotel of record.  Go here to learn more and make your reservation.

Bookmark this site, subscribe to follow, and join us on Facebook to keep up with plans as they unfold.  (Much, much) more to come…stay TUNED!