Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Huntington Garden

Two Polish chicken picking around the garden.
Last Thursday, I had the luck to be invited by Marian to join a group of Washington Arboretum volunteers on a field trip to a couple of nurseries and to Darlene and Dan Huntington's private garden in Snohomish, about half an hour's car trip from Seattle. It was a shining day with full sun, which means that my photos look quite white-washed, but they still give an distant idea about how beautiful their garden is.
The little garden house, complete with two brown nesting boxes for bees under the eaves.

Juicy buds of Papaver 'Patty's plum'...
A back-lit 'Patty's plum' in full sun.
A sitting group and steel sculpture under two Robinia pseudoacacia 'Friesia', shining like gold against the shady forest.
Darlene and Dan started gardening some twenty years ago, after an inspiring trip to Norway, Wales and England, where they were following the tracks of Dan's ancestors and relatives. Over the years, they have visited hundreds of gardens, tens of which are in England, and turned their five acre land into a luxuriant garden of winding paths and richly planted borders with well-selected and -combined plants and shrubs. The amazing difference between the beginning and the results twenty years later were presented in a photo binder, but as Dan and Darlene told, the excellent, rich soil of the area gives an extra explanation to the abundancy of their garden.

Philadelphus 'Natchez'.
Browsing through the garden and talking about the plants with Darlene and Dan showed their deep love for them; many of them were cultivars with special colours or leaf forms. The paths led past several vistas with specially built benches and sitting places, giving a harmonious and relaxed feel to their surroundings. Darlene has a history of restoring Victorian houses in the Snohomish area, which could be seen in the many recycled antique objects, scattered in the garden as focal points or special features between the beautiful plants. The view to the valley beyond the garden boundaries adds also to its beauty, creating a pleasing variation between the close and the distant. The result of Darlene and Dan Huntington's work is a garden full of beauty, knowledge and personality.
A shady walk to the house, with grouped Hostas and recycled objects.
The Huntington garden is a private garden, but it is sometimes open through the Northwest Perennial Alliance Open Garden Days. Marian told me also about a Seattle Times article from 2007, written by Valerie Easton, which presents Darlene's and Dan's garden.
There is also a famous Huntington Botanical Garden in California.


Bay Area Tendrils said...

The image of those gorgeous chickens captures this idyllic setting. And each additional photo adds to the beauty and charm of this very special garden.
(I thought I had already commented, but now I'm now sure....)

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

Hello Alice,
I really got a great urge to move to the countryside while visiting the Huntingtons' garden. Unfortunately, this has to remain a dream while the girls are still at school, but some day I would love to have "all of it" - chicken, dogs, acres of land...

Karen said...

Wow, lucky you! What an amazing place. I can see your wanting to have all of that... but can you imagine taking care of acreage? I can barely handle my 5000 SF lot! Or not even, really. Wonder if they have help or do they do it all on their own? It looks so inviting, thanks for sharing it.