Frequent GPOD contributor Cherry Ong recently got the chance to visit Heronswood, a garden in Kingston, Washington, that she says has been on her bucket list to visit for a long time.
If you aren’t familiar with Heronswood, it started in 1987 as the garden and nursery of famous plant explorer Dan Hinkley. In the 1990s, it was perhaps the premier rare plants nursery in the country. That all changed in 2000 when the nursery was purchased by a larger company. The new owner shuttered it, seemingly for good, in 2006. Gardeners mourned, but then, in 2012, the Heronswood was purchased by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe. With an army of volunteers and staff, the tribe has been restoring and revitalizing the garden after years of neglect. It is exciting to see such a fabulous nursery rise from the ashes. If you haven’t had the chance to visit, Cherry has taken some amazing photos, so you can get a virtual visit right here on the GPOD.
Today we’re taking you to the blue and yellow garden at Heronswood. Keep an eye out for posts from other parts of the garden on the GPOD in coming weeks.
This garden demonstrates the power of using two simple techniques in designing a garden: (1) limiting your color choices, and (2) repeating the same plants throughout the garden. By doing so, the garden instantly feels cohesive, planned, and harmonious.
The lilies are obviously the stars here. Tall, richly colored, and dramatic, they are show-stoppers. But there are lots of other things going on to maintain interest once the lilies have faded.
Close-up of the lily blossoms
Bringing blue to the party, Nile lily (Agapanthus, Zones 7–10) is a staple in gardens in mild winter climates along the West Coast. They don’t often perform as well in other parts of the country, but if they are happy in your garden, they are truly beautiful.
Goldenrod (Solidago species) doesn’t always get the respect it deserves. Sure, some species are weedy, but there are many species that are well-behaved and bring great gold displays to the late summer/fall garden.
A blue perennial geranium (possibly Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Zones 5–8) and yellow-variegated Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra, Zones 5–9). These are both widely adapted plants that will thrive in shade.
One last look at this magical corner of the garden.
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