U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Deborah and Ralph's Garden on Bainbridge Island

Deborah and Ralph Cheadle's garden in the NPA Open Gardens Tour's brochure 
attracted my attention right away. 
Described as being 38 years old and located on Bainbridge Island, famous for its great gardens, it shouldn't be missed.
Mature gardens, in my eyes,  have the ability to give their visitors a chance to experience a visual trip to the future of their own gardens, 
to see how grown trees change the landscape and how established borders and flower beds fill the space.

Shrubbery, trees and perennials in front of the house tell in advance that we will see a great variety of plants.

This summer took a big toll on many lawns as July was the hottest ever July in the world .
But, fall comes, and grass will be back!

Dog days of summer...

From  the NPA brochure:
"The intimacy of this bungalow garden doubles the surprise when one arrives at the long vista and park-like setting of lawn,
mixed borders and towering firs at the back of the property".

 I believe that contrast contributes a lot to a garden's beauty.
Seeing this vast open space after a walk through tightly planted gardens around the house was unexpected and exciting.

Fir trees create grand natural walls, providing a great backdrop and a feeling of seclusion.

Alliums with their huge seedheads look exciting even after they dried up.

Vegetable garden is guarded from deer and bunnies.

It was a very hot and bright day, not good for photography, but good for appreciation of shade and comfort that a mature garden can provide.

I do love a combination of formal yew hedges and clipped boxwoods with casual, easygoing borders.
 Densely planted wide borders are full with perennials, bulbous plants and grasses.

Arches, low walls and hedges divide the garden into the garden rooms.

One of the features that impressed me the most in this garden is a location of sculptures.
Like my own taste, they are artfully placed under the trees and among the shrubs and grasses, not shouting for attention,
but being discovered while a visitor follows paths laid  out by stepping stones and brick.
The fact that most of them are of the same style makes the collection of sculptures even more attractive.
Stone birdbaths, benches and planters contribute to the harmony of the garden.

The pond installed by Little and Lewis looks so natural under a beautiful weeping Katsura.

The bright red color and white trim of the house and other structures pleasantly contrasts with lush greenery.

Japanese maples should look marvelous in spring. But look at that stately fuchsia between them!

After visiting several gardens in England, I feel like this garden could easily fit into the English countryside.

I like how dwarf and not-so-dwarf conifers punctuate the garden.
Together with other plants repeating through the garden, they help to evoke a feeling of unity and rhythm.

My pictures fail to show all the beauty of Deborah and Ralph's garden.
I found pictures of their garden taken in more favorable conditions two years ago. You can enjoy them  Here.

Thank you Deborah and Ralph for opening your tasteful, lush, interesting garden and showing what a wonderful place a labor of love can create over the years.

***Copyright 2015 TatyanaS


  1. What a wonderful garden! So serene and lovely. Thank you for sharing. The pictures made me want to get out into my own gardens, but I'm under the weather right now, so will just enjoy these and others online.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  2. This garden is such a delight with it's mixture of formal and relaxed elements. The placement of the sculpture and spheres was impeccably done!

  3. I love the mossy bench and other garden accessories. Very tasteful!

  4. Betty from OregonSeptember 08, 2015

    Thank you for the wonderful tour!

  5. I would call these borders generous and sculptures - charming!

  6. In such a wonderful garden you could walk and walk and look for interesting sculptures. Regards.

  7. Thank you for letting me walk with you through this lovely garden!

  8. You are too modest, your pictures are just lovely! I agree about the placement of the sculptures. They are very well placed. What a nice garden!

  9. A garden I would feel very comfortable in Tatyana. You always give us a visual delight and finally we have a computer with the memory that can cope.

  10. I love the idea of a visual trip to the future in a mature garden, Tatyana. This one is very special. P. x

  11. This garden is just a little older than mine. It is superb. It must have been very well planned from the outset to have achieved this maturity. I love the way it's divided into different 'rooms' with a different feel to each. Like Alastair, I would also use the word 'comfortable' to describe it.

  12. I love how the open spaces complement the borders and how the hedges divide the garden into rooms. There is so much to appreciate here. The moss covered bench, the gorgeous plantings and the red cottage are lovely!


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