Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Tucker Garden, Garden Bloggers Fling, Seattle 2011….

So I’ll be honest…I wasn’t sure what to expect from “the fling.” First of all I am not a joiner. While I love to meet new people and certainly have a need for socializing, I can be a loner at heart. So here I was with 67-70 (not sure, the official number kept changing) other garden bloggers for 4 days! Had I just made a huge mistake? No, I most definitely did not. What a group! I had the good luck of spending time with Pam before-hand, which certainly helped. She and others from the tight Austin, Texas, garden blogging community were the ones behind the very first “fling” four years ago (Austin, Chicago, Buffalo, Seattle). The Austin group welcomed a newbie from Oregon with open arms. And this was just the beginning, there were so many amazing people to meet, wait…actually women, because there was only one (ONE) man who attended…the brave Jim of Compost In My Shoe. Do you hear that Scott and Ryan? You two should have been there to represent gardening men everywhere and boost the Portland contingent (it was just Ann (the Amateur Bot-ann-ist) and I along with the Timber Press people)! Anyway enough talk let’s get on with the garden tour! Our first stop was in North Seattle at two private gardens next door to each other. Isn’t that a dream? To have a tour worthy garden right next door to yours? Lucky lucky people. I first wandered into the garden of Shelagh Tucker (all photos in this post are from her garden). Our hand-out said this garden was inspired by Beth Chatto’s gravel garden…and it was gorgeous! Elegia capensis, I was told this was a hardy Restio…however after a little research I see it’s hardy only to zone 9… Rosa glauca, Ann mentioned that they looked like olives. Of course that had me seeing this rose in an entirely different way…loving it. But I just don’t think I can get over those flowers…too sweet and pink! However this pink, on the bloom of the Pineapple guava, is a knock out! This garden was to be the first of several brush-ups with this curly ribbon tree. I was in plant lust! Robinia pseudoacacia 'lace lady' is the name I found on a pot speciman in another garden, I'm not sure if this one is 'lace lady' or another variety. Isn’t it amazing? Like my garden (but on a much larger scale) the Tucker garden transitions from a sunny gravel garden in the front to a more lush green private hide-away in the back. In this picture I am looking backwards toward the front as I pass into the back garden. A bit of note worthy trivia about this garden is that it contains bits of Seattle’s Music Hall façade. I was living in Seattle during the fight to keep this magnificent bit of architecture from being demolished, and mourned along with many others when it was torn down. They sold bits of the building and a good friend gave me a decorative chunk as a holiday gift that year. I am sad to say my piece of this Seattle landmark was long ago lost (or given away) in my many moves but it was wonderful to spot pieces here and there in this garden and imagine where they may have been on the building. Can you imagine gardening with a green house and a conservatory like these? Wow…heaven! Tomorrow we'll walk next door to the Birrell Garden.

18 comments:

  1. Fabulous! I'm glad you had a great time, Loree.

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  2. I love seeing the different views of the same gardens from those of you that attended the Fling.

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  3. We'll see where next year's is going to be, I'd love to make it to one of these. Those gardens look great! Xera has Rosa glauca and I might have to get one. The flowers don't bother me (but they don't wow me either), I really like the leaf color and I hadn't seen them with the all the rose hips before.

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  4. I was so sad I didn't get it together for the Fling this year (especially since it was so close)...especially since we went to Seattle the weekend before (seriously). I did make it to the Bellevue Botanical Garden...post forthcoming (if I ever slog through all the photos). I have been seeing Rosa glauca in almost every garden I've toured this summer...and dare I say it, I'm seriously considering getting one...that foliage just hits all the right buttons...I think the flowers are ok...nothing special...but they don't detract from the foliage...for me at least! Love that gravel garden...I dream of having an acreage someday with one...ahhh...someday!

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  5. I'm glad you had a good time, Loree. I enjoyed meeting you. It's so interesting to read other bloggers' posts about the gardens and see what they focused on. I never even saw that Rosa glauca with the big hips.

    I'm not really much of a joiner either. It was hard to just wade into such a big group that has been together for 3 previous years and just start talking. I'm looking forward to your other posts.

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  6. What a great garden, and looks big enough to handles lots of visitors. Chatto's garden in East Anglia gets only 20 inches of rainfall a year, so I think she's a great inspiration, but a PNW garden can really put a regional twist on the idea of a gravel garden. Looks like the Tucker garden is doing just that. Thanks for sharing this, Loree.

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  7. It would be a hoot to meet other garden bloggers in person and tour gardens together.....I have Rosa glauca in my back garden, I love everything about the plant. Mine freely seeds like crazy, I have tons of baby glaucas all over.

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  8. I like that term gravel garden. Crunch, crunch, crunch.
    Those are beautiful pictures. I'm glad you went. Though I can't grow most of the Seattle plants, just seeing the beautiful landscape ideas is enough to inspire anyone.
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston :-)

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  9. Grace, thank you...you should have been there Grace!

    Darla, I saw you commented on a couple of other blogs...it must be interesting to cobble them all together.

    Ryan, next year is in Asheville, NC...a bit further to travel but maybe you can work it into a family vacation?

    Scott, I am excited to see what you thought of the Bellevue Botanical Garden! And of course wish you would have been in Seattle for the fling. Perhaps you need to talk to Mr Beech Street...sounds like he's got lots of extra Rosa glaucas!

    Alison, ah...you seemed right at home! So glad to have met you.

    Denise, it's the lush gravel garden...PNW style.

    Beech Street, sounds like Ryan and Scott might be willing to take a couple of those R. glauca babies off your hands. Speaking of we really should plan a Portland GB get-together...really.

    Daivd, and crunch crunch it did! Yes most of the Texans were commenting on the plants they couldn't grow. I do understand but then again I wanted to scream "but you can grow Agaves...in the ground...big!!!!"

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  10. I think I must have walked round this garden in a bit of a jaw dropping daze because I didn't recognize some of the places in your photos. I was wondering where those pieces of carved stonework came from. Glad you had the answer. It truly was a wonderful garden. My style. Now if only I could grow some of those fabulous plants.

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  11. I am really bummed I couldn't make it to the fling. But your photos and commentary are the next best thing. This particular garden excited me! Beth Chatto is probably the gardener who has most influenced me... the architectural salvage is exquisite. Thanks for this beautiful post.

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  12. Love that angle you got of the front patio! I wish I had seen it from that height. I'm in love with that Robinia too. I'm going to have to find a source for it down here and try it out somewhere.

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  13. Everything looks wonderful! I wish I had a mini gravel garden.

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  14. I loved the Tucker garden. I know exactly what you mean about not being a joiner - but somehow, gardening (or talking about gardening) manages to overcome that for me. I'm hoping to go to Asheville, NC too - so look forward to seeing you again then!
    Best wishes, Victoria

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  15. Wow. Nice garden! Next best thing to being there is having you blog about it. :)

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  16. I'm so glad you enjoyed the Fling, Loree. And BTW, you are an honorary Austin garden blogger thanks to your love of spiky plants!

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  17. Jealous!!! I was seriously torn between going to the GWA conference o Bloggers fling, but family matters came up. As you know, I've been wanting to visit the gardens of the NW for some time now too, but I suppose that reading your blog is the next best thing! Glad you had so much fun. :)

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  18. Lancashire Rose, oh but surely you can grow some of them? And I feel the same way looking at other folks blog posts (yours included!) we all visited our own version of the gardens.

    kate, it really was inspiring...I wish you could have been there!

    Floradora, in your own garden or a clients? (the Robinia) Seeing the one in a container later on got me thinking...that I could squeeze in!

    Victoria, oh gosh...I want to be there, I really do! But I doubt I'll make it...unless I when the lottery! (I should start buying tickets eh?)

    Bom, maybe you should make one? (I know easily said...).

    Hoover, thank you! There is so much more to come too!

    Pam, I really did! I'm already sad that you all will be together next year and (most likely) I will not...

    RFG, you so should have been there! But don't worry I've got a ton more to share...(or maybe that does make you worry?)

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