Baja Seattle

I look forward every year to the Hardy Plant Study Weekend, a total orgy of seminars, garden tours, and plant conversations.  This year it was held in Bellevue, WA with trips into Seattle and Whidbey Island, and I think I visited every garden, taking over 800 photos (oops!).  As I curate my images, I’ll give you all a brief tour of the gardens I visited.

Baja Warmth

The Old-Town Bellevue garden of Susie Marglin is jam-packed with things to see.  The influence of many trips to Baja, Mexico, is apparent with the warm stucco details, and exotic planting.  Despite the exotics like date-palms, and bananas, plants are well chosen to survive in our climate.  We were greeted with this wonderful stucco wall, draped with grape and clematis.

purple-tinged grape leaves against buff stucco wall
Vitis vinifera ‘Purpurea’

As always, we were greeted with details of lizards and geckos,

Narrow leaved 4- and 6-petaled clematis with white stamens
Clematis Niobe (?) with Lizard

Inside the wall, lushly painted, the courtyard had hot corners for the exotics, and cool flagstone path. It was just as much fun photographing photographers, nearly all of them using camera-phones and iPads.

Date Palm and Banana with Hakonechloa
Date Palm and Banana with Hakonechloa
two ladies taking photos of plants
Garden Visitors

Tropical Details

Everywhere, the stucco structures, seating areas and attention to detail evoke a sense of tropical Mexico warmth.  Notice the painted pillows that match the real ones.

Fountain with stucco seating
Fountain with stucco seating
Mexican tiles inset into stair risers with sedum
Tile Detail
Sedums trail from stone pillars
Sedums trail from stone pillars
Tillisandia spilling from a pocket in the post
Tillisandia spilling from a pocket in the post
spiky plants and bamboo posts in a jar with a stone lizard
Exotics spilling from the lizard jar

Cool Corners

Every hot garden needs some place to rest the eye.  I loved the cooling blues, both inside and out.

Blue Tile Fountain
Blue Tile Fountain
Stucco wall painted in shades of teal, purple and chartreuse, next to weathered wooden fence
Shadows on a painted wall
Dierama, possibly D. argyreum
Dierama, possibly D. argyreum
Dierama, possibly D. argyreum
Dierama, possibly D. argyreum
blue grass with purple lavender
Elymus magellanicus with Lavender


  • Alison

    June 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm Reply

    I adored Susie’s garden!

  • Shirley

    June 26, 2014 at 7:09 pm Reply

    Very pretty garden, I enjoyed seeing all the details. Grapes and clematis work well together.

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