1 I was joined by a group of serious gardeners for a private tour of Heronswood. We were greeted by Nancy Heckler - Heronswood General Manager and Celia Pedersen - the head gardener.
2 Heronswood was established in 1987 by my friends Dan Hinkley and Robert Jones.
3 The garden was filled with thousands of plant varieties, several of which were found by Dan on his many plant hunting expeditions. This ornamental grass is silky Japanese forest grass - Hakonechloa 'All Gold'.
4 Heronswood received international acclaim for its large and diverse display garden and became a favorite destination for gardeners, researchers, students and plant lovers alike. This large leaf is Astilboides.
5 Growing tired of the business side of things, Dan and Robert sold the property in 2000 to W. Atlee Burpee, the seed and plant company, who wanted to take Heronswood national.
6 Unfortunately, it was found out the hard way that the plan simply could not work.
7 Heronswood is located in the wet zone 8 rainforest and what grew well there wasn't feasible for the other zones of the country.
8 Burpee changed the Heronswood catalog, a 250-page list of thousands of plants with descriptions and updates by Dan. The new glossy catalog was just 75-pages without any input from Dan.
9 To make a long story short, the nursery was failing and in 2006, Burpee closed it and moved the catalog operation to the Pennsylvania Burpee headquarters. The blossoms here are Japanese anemone and Turks cap lilies.
10 Then, in July of 2012, the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe purchased the 15-acre property.
11 The Tribe is very concerned about preserving land and they are quite focused on restorating these magnificent gardens to their original splendor.
12 I love giant leaves!
13 Since the purchase, the gardens have been in restoration mode - weeding and cutting back plants that became overgrown.
14 This is the formal hedge garden of Carpinus betulus 'fastigiata'.
15 You enter this garden through giant hedge arches.
16 We then went to the Potager, which is made up of several raised beds.
17 This area will eventually be returned to a semi-tropical vegetable garden. These are scarlet runner beans surrounded by unusual marigolds.
18 The boxwood hedges have been pruned back quite severely and will turn green again when they leaf out. The handsome fountain looks like a chanterelle mushroom.
19 Here I am with Celia Pedersen and Nancy Heckler studying the Heronswood list of what's planted in the garden.
21 More Potager
22 This is lobelia tupa and crocosmia paniculata.
23 The stone pathways look so ancient. The crocasmia was lovely.
24 A Walk in the Woods - A series of connected paths takes you through the forest, which is filled with rare and unusual plants and trees collected from all around the world.
25 Giant tree fern suggest a jungle rainforest.
26 A hidden grotto takes you back to ancient times. Most of this stonework is by Little & Lewis of Bainbridge Island.
27 Stepping stones lead through a bog.
28 A moss-covered urn looks quite magical.
29 More giant gunnera
30 This is a nice shot of Nancy Heckler in her splendid garden. After touring Heronswood, Nancy offered to give us a tour of her personal gardens located nearby.
31 Nancy is best known for the design and development of Oyster Point Gardens, in Poulsbo, Washington, which was featured on a cover of my magazine.
32 This is a Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Blue Wave’. Nancy is sending me a similar one - Hydrangea aspera ‘Sam McDonald’.
33 Nancy's new garden is full of unusual plants and lush vegetation.
34 Nancy volunteered as a guide at Heronswood for a number of years and when The Port Gamble S'Klallam tribe purchased it in 2012, she was one of the first volunteers to return.
35 An interesting arrangement of 'walking sticks' - They're actually driftwood that Nancy collected and propped against a stately cedar tree.
36 There are many great objects in the garden, like this log cabin birdhouse.
37 Nancy's house deck is surrounded by colorful plants, like this amazing red banana. I love all the contrasts of color.
38 The house is painted a shade of green that fits right into the landscape.
39 This is very unusual - A low-hanging branch of a cedar tree has rooted in the ground and is growing a new tree.
40 Nancy puts together really interesting pots using many varieties of plants.
41 The back of the garden is a really nice shade border.
42 The shade is produced by several stately conifers.
43 Yes, they are stately!
44 One can meander through the shade garden along a winding path.
45 Another great contrast - pink hydrangea and the striking spiral foliage of a seashell begonia,Begonia Rex 'Escargot'
46 Another view of the lush and tranquil shade garden. This large leaf is a type of podophyllum.
47 To contain her garden, Nancy chose a wood-framed hogwire fence, made from redwood posts and heavy-gauge galvanized wire.
48 Another whimsical garden ornament
49 Nancy built raised beds in the sunniest area of the garden.
50 The raised beds are planted with flowers and vegetables. This tall plant is Amicia zygomeris that sports yellow pea-like flowers in late summer. Nancy is sending me this plant too.
51 A great cement cabbage
52 And a nice shot of me, Nancy, and Memrie