The Miller Botanical Backyard Half I

The Miller Botanical Garden Part I
 The Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden simply north of Seattle is a five-acre botanical backyard overlooking Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula. The backyard’s location in a personal neighborhood limits the quantity of holiday makers; in different phrases, appointments are vital. Fortunate me, my good friend and fellow blogger Gina of Fernhaven tracked down three tickets for her, myself and our good friend Anna of the weblog Flutter and Hum to pay this huge Pacific Northwest wonderland a go to final week. We have been fortunate, the climate cooperated. The four-hour drive went shortly. We had a blast on our go to, one I might be processing for months to return. Richie Steffen, the chief director, warmly welcomed us and several other different guests this big day. After all, I overindulged the variety of images, so this might be in two elements. The solar was vibrant on this primarily woodland setting, so shadows have been difficult however nonetheless, I invite you to sit down again and absorb Half 1 of a go to to this enchanting backyard.

First somewhat backyard historical past, taken from the web site:

The backyard is the previous residence of Pendleton and Elisabeth Carey Miller. The Millers bought 5 acres of land in 1948 with expansive views over Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula. 

Elisabeth Carey Miller was born in Spokane, Washington, though she spent most of her life within the Seattle space the place she attended the College of Washington. A world famend horticulturist, she was a member of over 25 horticultural organizations, obtained quite a few nationwide and worldwide awards, and was considered one of many most interesting plantswomen of the world. Her personal backyard accommodates some 4,000 species, a lot of that are distinctive within the western hemisphere.


Mrs. Miller was not solely recognized for her gardening abilities, but additionally for her group involvement, having served as a driving drive for the creation of the Heart for City Horticulture and the Elisabeth C. Miller Library on the College of Washington Botanical Gardens in addition to the Seattle Chinese language Backyard. The Elisabeth C. Miller Library represents probably the greatest horticultural e-book collections obtainable to the gardening public. She was a founding father of the Northwest Horticultural Society and an lively member of the Backyard Membership of America and served on quite a few boards and as a facilitator of a number of civic initiatives. She was properly revered for her beneficiant contributions of time and monetary help to public horticulture and the group at giant. Her legacy continues not solely by means of the Miller Backyard but additionally by means of the Pendleton and Elisabeth Carey Miller Charitable Basis

After driving by means of a labyrinth of windy woodland streets perched on a hill, we lastly discovered the doorway to the backyard and parked, warmly greeted by Richie. All three of us – Anna, Gina and I are former Pleasure Creek Nursery folks and so we all know Richie, a good friend of the nursery and good good friend of Maurice, former proprietor of the nursery. To our proper as we parked, a stone amphitheater of crops welcomed us.

Narcissus, agave, sedum, lewisia – oh my – it should be a Pacific Northwest backyard as we’re so lucky to have the ability to develop a variety of crops. Though our local weather is similar to Seattle’s, the marine affect is felt right here extra prominently as you’ll be able to simply make out Puget Sound within the background. All the backyard on a hill cascades all the way down to ultimately meet the water, in order that they have a little bit of a protected climate pocket.

The one and solely Richie Steffen, a plant lover if ever there was one.

Anybody who’s acquainted with Richie is aware of he has horticultural exuberance! He loves crops and he willingly shares his huge information of the plant kingdom. Richie joined the Miller Backyard in 2000, bringing with him quite a lot of horticultural experience. After shifting from Maryland to Seattle in 1989, he labored at Sky Nursery in Shoreline, the Rhododendron Species Botanical Backyard in Federal Means, and as a part-time teacher for the horticulture program at Edmonds Group Faculty earlier than starting work on the Miller Backyard. In Might 2017 Richie grew to become director of the Miller Backyard and he oversees all facets of the Backyard, together with the plant collections, academic packages, and workers.

He additionally at the moment serves as a board member of the Northwest Horticultural Society in addition to board member and president of the Hardy Fern Foundation.
Richie is all the time on the hunt for what’s new in horticulture all through the nation by travelling, plant gathering, visiting gardens and networking with different horticulture professionals. He frequently lectures and writes and is all the time able to share his love for crops. Richie additionally enjoys images and his images could be seen in lots of regional publications in addition to the web sites for the Miller Backyard and Great Plant Picks.

Taken from the web site, a map of the gardens. The home within the heart (in brown), as soon as the house of the Miller household, now homes places of work and administration. We’ll begin the tour closest to the home.

Native architect Daniel E. Lamont designed their dwelling with an exterior of pure supplies, together with rustic and rugged thick hand break up clear crimson cedar (Thuja plicata) siding complemented by tender fawn, buff and peach toned sandstone partitions. The gracious ranch fashion design gives a refined backdrop to surrounding backyard. 

Particulars round the home

A sequence of alpine planters close to the home

Spiky particulars of pinecones from Pinus sabiana, I consider.

A path round the home within the south deciduous space with Adiantum venustum filling within the floor cowl degree. That is very typical of this backyard basically, i.e., densely spreading groundcovers mixing seamlessly. It offers a really lush really feel.

Erythronium or trout lilies spreading by means of the ferns.

Anemonella thalictroides in a tender pink double type in one of many trough gardens.

 Cordyline indivisa in a container steals the present on the patio space exterior the home the place the alpine, carnivorous and trough containers stay.

Attention-grabbing bark of Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’

Leucothoe, doubtless Leucothoe fontanesiana ‘Rollissonii’ somewhat additional away from the home because the tour made our method up across the northern a part of the home to the gully backyard space.

Many mature timber with a secondary cover of smaller however mature deciduous timber create a layered impact, one which mimics the forests of the Pacific Northwest properly. I discovered many native woodland crops on this backyard, one thing Elisabeth Miller was notably keen on in addition to uncommon crops and crops from Japan and China.

One can really feel fairly small in a backyard similar to this. Magnificent mature timber are in every single place.

A local woodland plant, Smilacina racemosa coated a number of territory. 

I like this use of an outdated fishing float pinned into the bottom – it strikes with the hoses – a hose guard. A really intelligent answer. Now I’ll be in search of these in vintage markets.

Richie identified many lovely rhododendron and azaleas on the property. As he previously labored for the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Means, he has been ready so as to add some wonderful (and sometimes aromatic) crops to the Miller.

One other Pacific Northwest native, Synthris missurica within the backyard. 

A really finely petaled rhododendron species.

Into the woodland, a tender purple rhododendron glows.

The view of the entrance of the home with beautiful mature Japanese maples, many ferns (Richie is president of the Hardy Fern Foundation, in spite of everything!), mahonia species and extra.

New fronds of Parablechnum novae-zelandiae. I’ve seen images of this when it is in full leaf and it’s spectacular. That is mixed with a variegated type of lily of the valley. This fern was photographed by Hazard Backyard final yr, try her weblog submit here. It is the final photograph.

Extra woodland magic with Ophiopogon p. ‘Nigrescens’, trilliums and others.

A candy tiarella (probably T. trifoliata var. unifoliata) nestled within the rocks amongst maidenhair ferns.

A really uncommon double Trillium ovatum. I used to be informed they do not come true from seed, moderately it’s a must to divide. It is a small patch however a powerful and uncommon one.

It has been a moderately moist and chilly spring to this point so most ferns have been on this stage, which I like. The white anemones within the background carpeted many areas of the woodland ground. Anemone nemorosa (probably ‘Flore Pleno’ or ‘Vestal’ – there are various cultivars listed on their plant checklist) is a spring ephemeral, going dormant when the temperatures rise in summer season.

There are such a lot of species of trilliums on this five-acre backyard, it is unbelievable.

An entire flat of Asplenium trichomanes, maidenhair spleenwort ready to exit into the backyard. A backyard like this I think about a flat of one thing disappears moderately shortly.

Path particulars

Epimedium catching the afternoon mild

A good looking threadleaf Japanese maple.

A moderately superbly scented rhododendron whose title I’ve forgotten. It perfumed the out of doors room connected to the home.

The view of Puget Sound past. That is from the enclosed out of doors room. What a spot!

My fellow backyard bloggers, mates, former Pleasure Creekers and throughout superior people: Gina and Anna. We had such an ideal day! Thanks, Richie, Del and crew for welcoming us all and for such wonderful info. We’re all overwhelmed and excited in regards to the Miller. We’ll be again, for positive.

Keep tuned for Half 2 subsequent time on the weblog, for there’s a lot extra of this backyard but to discover.

That is a wrap for this week at Chickadee Gardens. As all the time thanks a lot for studying, we love connecting with you all! Glad gardening.

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