Greetings from Seattle

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Heronswood, Part 1

Heronswood was a nursery company started by Dan Hinkley and Robert Jones on 15 acres on the Kitsap Peninsula in 1987. It featured plants collected from all over the world that were tested and propagated for the nursery trade in North America. A large display garden featured these rare and beautiful plants that were also sold by mail order. 

In 2000 Hinkley and Jones moved to a new location  and sold the business and property to the Burpee Company. The Burpee Company soon lost interest in the rare plant business, sold off much of the stock and closed it down in 2006. This beautiful garden lay abandoned. 

Then in 2012 the S'Klallam Tribe bought the property. With the help of botanical experts, they are restoring the display garden.

We had not visited Heronswood since before it was sold the first time, when it was an amazing garden and thriving nursery.  Last Saturday they held one of their quarterly open garden and plant sales.  We had the day free and off we went, across the sound on a ferry, to visit this amazing garden. 

 Huge clumps of May Apple (podophyllum) at the edge of the garden.

 A Dove Tree, also called a Handkerchief Tree. 
 Red Trillium and hosta

 There are many varieties of trillium here. 
 And many varieties of May Apple too, this one tucked under the leaves of a giant Himalayan lily, cardiocrinum giganteum, which seed freely all over the woodland garden. 
 The flower on that exotic May Apple. 
 An old fern hummock. 

 This is the original driveway to the house on the property. The woodland garden extends on both sides of the driveway. 
 One of many Epimediums.
 Vanilla leaf, a native plant here. 
 Star flower, another native. 

 An orchid, not a native. 

 Pacific Coast iris. 

Out of the woodland garden,, we toured the gardens around the house. This is the yellow and blue border. 

 The long borders, with plants just popping up and room for more restoration. 
 The patio area behind the house. 

 The parterres, once the kitchen garden. 

There is so much to see, and show, that I will be doing a Part 2.


  1. wow, so lush and green, could feel the coolness...

  2. You find more interesting gardens to visit! I love hearing the history behind these gorgeous gardens.

  3. Amazing, and your knowledge of it all is even more amazing.

  4. Are we sure that the original Garden of Eden was not located in the Pacific Northwest?

  5. Another very interesting place you share here. Thank you. :-)

  6. I like the green hedges which are planted in various shapes. It takes someone with a dedicated and personal interest in a project to keep it going. Companies focus too much on the bottom line.

  7. It's always a joy to see this spectacular gem! I decided not to attend the sale/open garden this time as last Saturday was the first free day I'd had in a couple of months and I really wanted to play in my own garden. Thanks for posting these images as the plants have really grown a lot since March!

  8. How fortunate that the garden was taken over and cared for again. What a shame if all those lovely plants had been allowed to be overrun.

  9. Sorry you got stung, with a joyful reality post.

    My favorite part of this garden tour is the 21st photo - those shaped conifers (?) that border a low planted area. I still love your garden the most - raccoons, wasps, and all.


I would love to read your comments. Since I link most posts to Facebook, you may comment there if you do not have an account. I have eliminated Anonymous comments due to spammers.