Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Dunn Gardens

As I sit here waiting to see if my garden and/or my home will be annihilated by the latest weather threat, dubbed Frankenstorm by the over hyped media, I can't help but think back to those bountiful garden days of July and my trip to the Portland and Seattle areas.  Ahhhh, summertime and the livin' is easy!  If you missed the previous installments of this trip they can be found HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Believe it or not I still have plenty of material from that adventure that has yet to be chronicled.  As is usual with the our annual IU gatherings, not much down time is factored into the schedule.  So many gardens to see, so little time...

Today we visit (or revisit) The Dunn Gardens, formerly a private compound in the heart of the Seattle suburbs.  Like some notable residences and grounds of wealthy people, the property has since been placed into a preservation trust.  Tours of the garden are guided and require a reservation so this isn't one for the spontaneous garden visitor.  If you are in the area and have the time, I do recommend a look-see.

I have to admit, as much as I admire estate gardens and feel preserving them is worth the time and effort, from a garden visiting standpoint, I much prefer well planted mixed gardens chock full of creative and unusual plant combinations and personal touches by the gardener. 

Our guided group tour started on the patio of the welcome center.  Lush container plantings accented the space which overlooked a large lawn and perennial border.














Perennial border from the patio at the Dunn Gardens in Seattle

The tour of the grounds took us through lots of old growth trees and shrubs.  Members of the Dunn family still live in private residences on the property.  My favorite was this cozy cottage surrounded by exuberant but well tended gardens.




The tour ended on another patio at the welcome center.  As you might imagine, it was the patio areas that were right up my alley. 










At one point in the tour we were joined by this charming and extremely photogenic cat.  He followed the group through the gardens then entertained us with his antics on the patio.  In a way he (she?) reminded me of my own esteemed garden cat, the Twerpinator who also knows a thing or two about working a crowd.






























For all of you who are in the path of Hurricane Sandy, be safe!

Sue~


12 comments:

  1. Be still my heart! what a fabulous garden. Beautiful pics of a gorgeous garden

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  2. Again, I'm sorry to have missed this trip and this particular garden. How very odd that my 16 year old chairs appear in the first two photos! Pictures 4, 9, 13 and 15 especially appeal to me...and of course the resident cat does too.

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    1. Start planning now for IU10 Marie!

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  3. This is a lovely garden, Sue! There are so many interesting things here. I love the kitty, especially him on the big ball. What was the garland made out of that was on the tree? It's so unique, I would love to know more about it.

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    1. I believe the garland was made out of strung wooden beads then draped through the branches like a big necklace. If there were any specific details beyond that, I didn't catch them. Maybe one of my traveling companions will chime in.

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  4. I agree that the patio areas are quite interesting. I'm curious too about garland.

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  5. What are those huge leaves behind the striking ornage chairs....thank good ness there is no Romney sign!! haha

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    1. If I'm not mistaken, the leaves are Darmera. Not hardy here but very happy in the PNW.

      Thank goodness there are no political signs at all. As far as I'm concerned they're nothing but eye sores :)

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  6. Hey, Sue, thanks for an idyllic diversion amid the Sandy dread. Good luck and here's to more gardening after the storm. All best.

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    1. Same to you Lee! Although loss of power is an inconvenience, loss of your home is devastating. I don't envy people who live along the shoreline.

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    2. No envy here either, Sue. And as time goes by, I suspect many shoreline folks will start looking inland.

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  7. I took a million photos of that damned cat and not a one came out well enough to use. And that damned woodpecker too, remember him? I liked the patio areas best too. Great post, Sue.

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