Heronswood, The Sequel

 I was given a catalog when I checked in at the Garden Conservancy table at Heronswood on Sunday afternoon. An attractive catalog, with nice photos, 8-1/2 by 11, 55 pages. Actually had some cool stuff in it too. But can I ever put the 'real' Heronswood  catalogs behind me ? Not likely. They reside on my bookcase with Margery Fish, Jamaica Kincaid and Nancy Ondra , sturdy paperbacks, heavy on text, with cover art from local PNW artists. And what text !

  Map in hand, I went up the path. No tags.Spotty maintenance.Overgrown. And plant after fabulous plant---trees, shrubs, conifers,oddball perenials -you name it. Things I've never seen. I could only guess what they were--no tags. Damn.

 I felt sad. Ok, so Burpee/Ball owns this place. They have to know what this is-don't they ? They made the investment far afield from their home base and have dubbed it a research facility. Parts of the garden are maintained, and it's not weedy-thank goodness for that .But...

Pots atop these iconic Little and Lewis columns are crumbling, colors are faded , plants are unrefreshed.(forgive the blur-deep shade)

Closer to the residence, this bed had a great color-vibe, but poorly pruned  shrubs..note dead stuff on the conifers. Am I too picky ? But this is Heronswood for chrissakes !

Thanks goodness this clever hornbeam (?) hedge has been kept up.

  And there were moments when I knew I was at Heronswood. Even more moments when I wished I was Warren Buffet , could buy the whole damn place, set up foundation, hire crew and save it forever.


  1. Gorgeous garden and pictures!

    ciao from Newport Beach

  2. No garden is perfect...I think everything here is beautiful and the imperfections add character.

  3. Shameful, but only gardeners know it is shameful. Where are you, Bill Gates?

    That last photo is heavenly. What a water feature. Want!

  4. The garden has really held up considering the small (tiny) amount of resources they put into it. Used to be a hive of activity.

  5. You made it! Well, at least it's open to the public. Dreaming of deep pockets -- imagine if there was a George Soros counterpart for horticulture!

  6. Thanks Fabiana !

    Hoover, Little and Lewis hardscape in that water feature, surrounded by a pond, and in the deep woods of the garden--very effective.

    Dustin I feared the worst when I entered but things got better the closer you got to the residence. Still...

    Only a few hours from Portland Denise..only open by appointment which might be preferable to seeing it with the GC hordes. Next time you need to bail out of a PNW family function...?

  7. That it has held up as well as it has shows it was well and wisely planted, no?


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