Friday, July 29, 2011

The Birrell and Tucker Gardens of Seattle

Our first stop on the Garden Blogger's Seattle Fling, these two gardens were a joy to explore. Side by side neighbors, I entered the Birrell garden first and enjoyed the textural front plantings.


front steps

front door

front path

But the backyard vegetable and cutting garden felt like the true heart and soul of the place. Shimmering with happy bees and butterflies and bursting with vibrant color, undaunted by the vivid blue shed, but rather playing happily off the color, the plantings in this space felt joyous indeed.

silver eryngiumeryngium bee fav

borage and grasses

pink lilies blue shed

How could any vegetables picked in this garden not taste good?

veggies and herbspath

orange lilyrosa sericea ptericantha

But not only did the Birrells have a great working garden they also had a wonderful space for play. Outside the blue garden room was the perfect lawn for croquet or just lounging around.

apple tree and croquet

I loved the details in the garden too - like the airstream birdhouse and the beautiful metal gates.

bird airstreamside path


I walked next door to check out the Tucker Garden. The dry(ish) gravel garden had me feeling like I was back home. It's funny how I can be so jealous of Seattle folks with so much rain, yet there seems to be some folks that prefer the dry Mediterranean climate. Well, this was a beautiful gravel garden. The plantings softened the stone nicely and cheerfully added color here and there to the soft palate.

gravel garden

stepsdrumstick allium

front plantings

sideritisgravel beds

stone front yard


verbascum and gravel path

The grays and tans gave way to a more cottage-y feel in the backyard.

garden archpond with lily pads

plantings and patio


lilies, astrantia, phygelius



greenhouse doorcourtyard fountain


Thank you so much to the Birrell and Tucker families for letting us visit your beautiful gardens. I'm envious of the extended time you get to spend in them!


  1. Great shots...I enjoyed seeing how many of the same shots we aimed for (yours were better of course...did I mention how much I love your photography?). I'm glad you made it to the fling!

  2. I'm amazed that given how many of you attended, I haven't seen duplicate shots yet. Same subject, yes, but different angles, different take. Thanks for sharing your version.

  3. Wow. I've visited several blog posts of these gardens and I could see several more. You've captures some amazing shots.

  4. How amazing to have two such distinctive high concept gardens side by side. What a treat! Andrea from Grow Where You're Planted sent me to your blog, and I'm so happy she did :) ~Lynn

  5. Wonderful photos, well framed and nicely described by you. It was interesting to see 2 gardens side by side so different in the same climate. I think I might have to try living in Seattle.. think that airstream is occupied?

  6. Gorgeous gardens and wonderful photography!

  7. Wonderful to see gardens made with a strong love of plants and an eye kept firmly on design. I'm always surprised too to see PNW gardens that seemingly resist their amazing plant-friendly climate. Judging by the photos, gravel seems to also be a good choice for higher rainfall -- permeability, encourages reseeding, dry underfoot, and the plants look like they're enjoying themselves. Love your tour of the fling, Kelly.

  8. Stunning photos! Thank you so much for sharing these two very different gardens especially for those of us that did not make it to the fling. I am really enjoying taking a virtual tour through your photos. I can't decide which one I like best (they are both so amazing) but the lilies combined with other perennials really jump out at me in both gardens.

  9. Thanks everyone. I really did enjoy getting to tour these two gardens!

  10. Such a beautiful garden! Great photo tour through it

  11. Beautiful gardens and amazing photos!

  12. I am truly amazed with the beauty of the garden.

    Cassy from Classical Guitar Lessons


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