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Gardens of Vashon Island 2012 Part 1

Flashback: Vashon Island Garden Tour 2012 – Part 2

It was a soggy day in paradise — the clouds determined to empty all their vapor contents onto our heads. The moisture came down sometimes as large droplets beating on our umbrellas and occasionally as mist. Despite the rain, I was on a mission enjoy the tour. I slipped on my rain poncho and carried a large umbrella, tripod, and camera, and a juggling act ensued with all the items. I tried in vain to keep my camera and me dry as I walked and photographed my way through garden after fabulous garden. A few images ended up with watery blobs marring the scenes, however. I could have used some “Photoshop magic” to take them out but decided the rain was an essential part of the ambiance for the day and left them in.

Sylvan Sanctuary

What struck me the most about this garden is the relaxed energy in the landscape surrounding a yellow cottage. Sylvia Soholt created a space supporting wildlife and beneficial insects with relaxed lawns and wild spaces filled with native trees.

Goose head table

A goose head table is tucked into the edge of the lawn.


Friends Jeanne Keyes and Philip Bloomquist walk a labyrinth mowed into the lawn.

Arbor swing

What a beautiful way to bring a swing into the landscape put it on an arbor. Chicken wire is wrapping the bottom of the posts where some new vines are beginning to climb. The swing is going to look fantastic when the poles are covered in green.

Todd and Mary Margaret Pearson Garden

This short video I photographed at Todd and Mary Margaret Pearson’s garden. Gushing rain made me leave my camera in the car. Instead, I videotaped a few segments with my cell phone. The waterfall rain didn’t stop everyone, and a few of us ventured out into the gardens and surrounding meadow.


Whit and Mary Carhart Garden

On the last garden on tour, I ran out of time. I hope to go back someday and visit the lower section of the property. Remaining in the upper portion, I didn’t mind  that section was worth the price of the entire tour. I took many more photos in this garden; the rain had stopped. 

The garden is a favorite for touring. Whit and Mary Carhart grant many tours of this significant place. I didn’t have time to do it justice, so do a web search, and you will see many fantastic stories about this garden.


One of many outstanding features in the garden is this moon gate made of steel.

Back to the Garden meme

I loved the moon gate scene so much, that I created a meme for it.

Silene "Clifford Moor'

I know this is the genus Silene, and believe it may be the cultivar S. ‘Clifford Moor’.

Vancouveria hexandra

Going up the rock stairs grows a healthy stand of Vancouveria hexandra, one of my favorite native plants.

Island in pond

The pond reminds me of saltwater inland lagoons in Hawaii with its turquoise water. The island is a fantastic focal point in a large pond.


Near the top of the steep, hillside garden is a gazebo. We needed a resting spot after climbing up all the stairs.

Carhart Garden Bench

Also, at the top of the garden sits an artistic bench with a heron. Is that a Cryptomeria japonica ‘Sekkan Sugi’ I spy creeping out from behind?

Philip Bloomquist

Philip Bloomquist demonstrates a way to add drama to the garden.

Primula japonica

My guess for this primrose is Primula japonica.

Carhart Garden Art

Bird mosaic by Clare Dohna.

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