1 Here I am in the gardens of Windcliff, amazed at the size of this gunnera tinctoria, which Dan collected in southern Chile.
2 Memrie wanted her picture taken with the gunnera, too. The enormous, puckered leaves of this tropical, prehistoric plant emerge in spring, reaching six feet across or more.
3 Windcliff, a six-and-a-half-acre garden, looks out over Puget Sound and across to Seattle. The yellow is Cassia splendida 'Golden', which is native to the tropical regions of Brazil.
4 Dan and Robert built quite an impressive council circle. I love all the detailed stonework.
5 One can really enjoy the view sitting in these chairs, perched on the edge of the cliff.
6 A view up towards the house - At Windcliff, the combination of varying soil composition, mild climate, and regular rainfall allows for such an exceptional array of plants to be seamlessly grown together.
7 Purple agapanthus - Dan's long-time partner, now husband, Robert Jones, an architect, is responsible for the beautiful, low-lying, one-story house that now gently dominates the front bluff. The building was carefully cited to have breathtaking views of the sound.
8 Because the two front acres of the garden can be seen from almost any room in the house, large drifts of plants were used. Here are grasses, salvia, and agapanthus.
9 Dan loves agapanthus and is always hybridizing them.
10 Although its common name is Lily of the Nile, agapanthus originates at the other end of the African continent, in South Africa.
11 Windcliff is a remarkably tranquil place.this large steel circle is a favorite sculptural piece, recently hung in a tree
12 To Dan, Windcliff is a personal odyssey. In the foreground are pineapple lilies.
13 Before Windfall, Dan was the founder and owner of the much loved Heronswood Nursery, where he manned the helm for nearly 20 years. Cotinus, or smoke bush, softens the landscape.
14 Another of Dan's hybrid agapanthus - Unlike Heronswood, Windcliff isn't open to the public. It's a garden for Dan and Robert's personal pleasure, and a garden used for dan's hybridizing, propagating, and developmental growing of plants from all over the world
15 Dan and Robert started planting Windcliff after 2005. Bananas thrive here.
16 Dan spends an average of 16 weeks traveling the world in search of new plants and visiting plant collections. These are decorative ceramic poles from one of those journeys,designed and made by a wonderful artisan
17 This is a bog garden with colorful pitcher plants. As a young boy, Dan had an affinity for identifying the plants that grew around his Northern Michigan home.
18 This agapanthus is unusual in that it is two toned. Combining his fascination of plants with a love of travel and hiking, plant hunting was a natural evolution for Dan.
19 A breathtaking view - For Dan, plant hunting is much like a treasure hunt. He seeks plants in their native habitat and collects seeds and cuttings rather than entire plants.
20 Dan then grows those seeds and cuttings for purposes ranging from scientific to cosmetic and ornamental.
21 Dan's foray into plant hunting was more than 30 years ago when he took a sabbatical from teaching horticulture and went on his first adventure to South Korea.
22 There are so many wonderful color tones in this garden. The bronze bush on the left is barberry and on the right is a phormium New Zealand flax.
23 Standing next to a grove of beautifully swaying native Pacific madrona trees, Dan was pointing out some of his recent plantings to me. The madrona is an evergreen tree with rich orange-red bark that peels away in sheets.
24 Near the house is this agave plant with a towering flower stalk.
25 A lovely salvia with pure blue flowers
26 These cement planters are filled with so much variety. robert found the planters locally and massed them very successfully into a stepped container garden in front of the house
27 This is a view of the vegetable garden and greenhouse.
28 These are some of Dan's finds - plant cuttings rooting.
29 For a festive touch, Dan painted these gunnera leaves silver for the party. This won't harm the plant, as the leaves are at the end of their growing season and will die back.
30 He painted these seed pods blue and gold.
31 More gilded leaves
32 At the wedding/birthday celebration with Lyn Grinstein (our hostess for the weekend)and Memrie Lewis in front of those painted giant gunnera
33 We were each given a name tag. Mine indicates that Dan and I have known each other for 19 years and that I live in Katonah, NY. We know each other through publications, TV & other media, consulting, gardens & plants, food, and travel. And I came with Memrie.
34 This is the key to the name tags.
35 The party food was delicious. These are skewers of kalamata olives, roasted red pepper, salami, capers, and cocktail onions in a cornichon, parsley, and olive oil dipping sauce.
36 Skewers of watermelon, mint, and feta with cracked pepper
37 Pencoe oysters on the half-shell were served with cucumber mignonette, horseradish cocktail sauce and lemon.
38 Garden fresh chilled gazpacho
39 Grilled kabobs of chicken, bell pepper, and onion were served with green harissa and herbed tzaziki sauce
40 Seared ahi with wasabi lime aioli
41 Whole roasted beef tenderloin was served with a Dijon aioli on a baguette.
42 Fresh figs with chevre, honey, and grapes
43 Here I am with John Wott, a former horticulture teacher of Dan's.
44 Here I am with Nancy Heckler, a fabulous gardener and the General Manager of Heronswood, which is now owned by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe.
45 With Heidi Danilchik and Dennis Schrader. Heidi has built an amazing tree house on her property, which is where Dennis stayed.
46 A nice shot of me with Memrie and Ryan McCallister, my gardener
47 With Robert and Dan. dan recentlystarted a gluten free diet and has lost 30 pounds! he looks and feels very good
48 Leaving the party, we walked past this peaceful pond. I like the juxtaposition of desert cactus and marsh cattails.
49 More splendid scenery
50 A spectacular view of Mount Rainier
51 Tibetan prayer flags caught the breeze.
52 Windcliff is a truly magical place!