We hope you get inspired to plant a new bed or garden. Below are many of the gardens that have inspired us to want to create more plant displays that might encourage more creativity and beauty in the world.
Above is the wonderful 3 acre garden of the late Jim Thompson of Manchester, California. When I visited his garden he took me around showing me each and every plant. I was so taken by the layering he accomplished. This garden has color year round, whether it is from heath or heather, conifers or Japanese Maples, the view are spectacular and stunning. He definitely inspired me to want to plant a heather garden.
I was fortunate to recently explore the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island, Washington State. What an inspirational garden! This garden takes at least one whole day to see. There are many different theme areas like the moss garden, Japanese Garden, and Rhododendron dell. The Bloedel Reserve is a 150-acre forest garden on Bainbridge Island, Washington, United States, made by the vice-chairman of a lumber company, under the influence of the conservation movement and Asian philosophy.
The garden above is just one small snapshot of Frank's garden. Being Japanese himself, Frank has the gift of knowing what plants work well together in a design. Rhododendrons, Dwarf Conifers, Japanese Maples, and a whole array of other types of plants he has collected over his life. Frank inspired me to hybridize rhododendrons, and that has been an incredible journey.
Above is the garden of Daryl and Tina Freeland in Trinidad, California. This image is just one area showing their creativity. Planting many heathers that blend their foliage colors like a watercolor painting on the slope is mastery! The callunas Firefly, Pat's Gold, Easter Bonfire, and Celebration really work. They used the dark green white flowering C.v. 'Kinlochruel' as a border circling around the bed.
The Anderson Garden, in Washington State is truly a fairyland garden that inspires one when seen in the springtime. Rhododendrons, Azaleas plus flowering Magnolia trees are in full bloom in April and May. A spectacular sight to see.
I was so fortunate to know Warren Berg. He was such a master plant grower, spending most of his life working with rhododendron species as well as hybridizing many high quality plants that are still in the trade today. His garden was at the very tip of a peninsula in the Puget Sound and featured many exciting plantings of rhododendrons and dwarf conifers. In this photo is the shiny leaved rhododendron 'Noyo Chief' with its red flowers.
Many years ago I traveled to New Zealand to tour gardens for 2 weeks. My favorite was Maple Glen on the southern tip of the south island in Invercargill. The owners Muriel and Bob Davidson have created a heaven on earth. The have an aviary with colorful birds that are let loose in the daytime, but go back into their cages at night. Open to the public and well worth visiting.
If you love conifers, you probably grow Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Elwood's Pillar'. Here in a private garden in Oregon a specimen of this plant stands guard at the entrance. We love the plant because it stays so dark green all year and grows slowly into a narrow column.
This inspiring garden created by Verne and Paula Trinoskey in Eureka, California is the result of traveling in Asia for many years, looking and photographing many awesome examples of Japanese or Asian design. The garden is chock full of dwarf and miniature conifers along with many rhododendrons, ornamental grass, and bamboo. Not open to the public, but the photos will inspire anyway.
Below are some inspiring photos taken in Japan by Verne Trinoskey. These shots will make you want to plant some of those plants that are found in Japanese Gardens, just to see if you can create that unique 'feel'.