We awoke on day 2 to glorious clear, sunny skies and cool air. No sooner off the bus than those cameras were out and clicking and we weren't even in the garden.
THE EPPING GARDEN (Newcastle, Washington)
Everyone was looking at the spectacular view from the driveway of Christopher and Michelle Epping's house.
It seems that everyone in Seattle gardens on a slope. The Eppings met the challenge by creating a paradise of pathways which lead you through the multiple levels of their garden.
The gardeners have a wonderful eye for combining art with plants. Around every corner we were greeted by little vignettes which invited you to linger and take in the scene.
You just couldn't see it all in one pass. I went back several times, first in one direction and then in the other.
They had created some of the most beautiful pots I had ever seen. Succulents seem to be at home in this climate as much as they would in the Mediterranean climate. We were to learn a couple of days later that the climate is far from that.
We were invited to linger a while, have a welcome cool drink and read about the making of their garden which had been featured in the local newspaper magazine.
My thoughts were full of ideas as we re-boarded the bus to travel to our next garden.
THE LANE GARDEN (Medina, Washington)
Denise Lane gardens under towering Western Red cedars and Douglas Firs, but has created open paved areas for entertaining and grassy areas edged with colorful perennial borders. For me the favorite place was the 'ruin'
Where was my notebook when someone identified this delightful little vine draping itself over the ruin.
BELLEVUE BOTANIC GARDEN
Just look how big those bee balm are. As tall as Diana Kirby of Sharing Nature's Garden.
Pink palette of achillea and sage.
We were all starting to flag a little under the hot bright sun and simply had to find a shaded place to sit. We still had one more visit, that to the Olympic Sculpture Park. Some of our group had not had the chance to visit the Pike's Place Market and so chose to visit the market instead. We ended up having dinner on the water front at the Pink Door Restaurant. A wonderful dinner to end a day that couldn't have been more perfect.