Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The 2011 Garden Bloggers Fling

Garden bloggers meet in Seattle in 2011

This year’s Garden Bloggers Fling spanned four fun-filled days travelling around the Seattle area being overwhelmed with beauty at every turn. There were gorgeous gardens with an array of colorful containers, surprising succulents, pleasing pathways, and splendid sheds (yes, I did get out the thesaurus for that one).

Over the course of 4 days we visited 6 private gardens, 5 public gardens (including Bloedel Reserve which will get one entire post to itself), 2 nurseries (Ravenna Gardens and Dragonfly Farms), and 1 farmer’s market. We were also fortunate enough to experience a photography class from Seattle’s own, David Perry.

The weather was amazing. We had 3 days without clouds, which might be a record for Seattle, and the warmest temperatures this year. My fellow Texans, when I say warm in Seattle, I mean it got up to 80 degrees. It did not go above 80, it was like heaven. On our last day, we were able to experience true Seattle weather-clouds and a light rain, but I am not complaining-I hadn’t seen rain for months!

The sunny weather definitely affected the photography. I didn’t get the much-needed photography tip I needed until the last day, so many of my pictures are too bright. However, the pictures of Bloedel on an overcast day are amazing. I took a little over 1000 pictures, so it has taken me awhile to sort through all of them. Be sure to check out my Facebook page for a look at some of the pictures that will not be posted on the blog.

Here’s a taste of the private gardens we toured.


Suzette and Jim Birrell’s garden had the most amazing bright blue shed and a variety of perennial and vegetable beds. Their bedroom is a wall of windows overlooking their well-tended garden.


Shelagh Tucker is a transplant from England. She has a wonderful blend of English and Northwest gardening styles in her gardens. Her front yard drought-resistant garden was inspired by Beth Chatto’s book, Drought Resistant Planting.


Michelle and Christopher Epping designed their dream home with the French Riviera in mind. Their amazing view of Seattle also means they garden on a steep slope, but that hasn’t stopped them from creating an oasis outside their doorstep.


Denise Lane’s garden is almost an acre. Her property is filled with winding paths that open onto breathtaking garden vignettes.


Lorene Edwards Forkner is one of our lovely hosts. Her garden is filled with great garden art, most of which is featured in her cool new book, Handmade Garden Projects.


Kate Farley has created a wonderful garden hideaway at her house. In fact, you can’t even see her house. Her yard is filled with winding paths that make the almost 1/4 acre lot feel much bigger.

Thanks for looking at a sample of what I saw in Seattle.

While us Zone 8 gardeners in Houston do have some plants in common with the Zone 7 gardeners of Seattle, I’ve decided not to focus on the plants. Instead, I noticed several themes emerge as I visited each garden. My upcoming posts will be focused on those gardening themes (there was a hint in the first paragraph, did you catch it?), with a bonus final post about Bloedel Reserve.


  1. I think I got the hint! I'm thinking of painting my garden shed purple :) Loved your concise wrap-up; looking forward to your Bloedel post.

  2. great summary melissa! i like your photo montages from each garden. looking forward to your upcoming posts.