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

Monday, July 30, 2018

'Bainbridge in Bloom' Garden Tour: European Woodland Garden

The next garden from the 2018 'Bainbridge in Bloom' Garden Tour belongs to Ginny and Tom Brewer. 
This was my second time visiting it. The first visit, as a part of the NPA Open Gardens, was in August 2015. That August was not a very kind to garden owners month - it was hot and dry. June 2018 was pleasant, and the guests had a chance to see this garden in its full beauty, colorful and fresh.

This mature, diverse garden is located on a 1 3/4 acre woodland lot surrounded by Douglas firs. 
In these pictures, the trees as well as blooming perennials are reflected in two circular ponds.
Red poppies steal your attention right away, but look at those Tetrapanax and Abyssinian banana! 

Little and Lewis art pieces can be seen on the right. We'll look at them later.

I like how this simple, almost primitive  table goes with the massive chairs.
Put a massive table here, and all composition will be heavy and take attention away from the plants behind.

Kitchen garden with raised beds and a greenhouse is surrounded by the beautiful fence.
Love its color and finials on the poles!

If you think that you don't have space for another plant, think again - there is always a spot for containers!

Boxwoods in the beds' corners bring to mind English country gardens.
They, together with the fence, give the kitchen garden a touch of elegance. 
When I see this garden, I want to call it Potager. And, like in an original potager, it contains vegetables, herbs, shrubs and flowers.

Peony bouquet on the table makes the potager even lovelier!
The blue pots are beautiful!

I didn't make it inside the greenhouse, but here are the pictures from the 2015 tour:

" To plant a garden is to believe in the future"- love that sign!

Back to 2018:

The arch by Little and Lewis is leading to the lower woodland part of the garden 
(the post about their own garden can be found here: " Happy Visit to the Inspiring Garden of Little and Lewis" ). And, don't you think the fence's and arch's colors go well together?

Both sides of the brick path are planted with white-flowering plants. This time of the year, only tall foxgloves and several others were still in bloom.

Love this circular patio!

 In the wide, luscious perennial border many cottage garden's favorites were blooming in pink, blues and purples .
There is certainly a reason why the tour organizers named this garden European Woodland Garden!

Meadow Rue (Thalictrum)

I do love such type of plantings where perennials show their colors among greenery of shrubs and little trees. It makes me feel overwhelmed to see a bed filled with just perennials, especially if the blooms are of many different colors.
Jinny's perennial border was just perfect!
Notice two  (others didn't fit into the picture) Pittosporum tenuifolum 'Tasman Ruffles' tall shrubs. Love their cute leaves with ruffled edges! 
I have one of these evergreens from New Zealand. It grows on the very back of our property under  huge firs. I moved it there after reading somewhere on the internet about it turning to a huge monster that is difficult to control. After seeing Ginny's well-behaving shrubs I might move it to a more prominent spot.

Those huge Hosta leaves look great with the background of small-textured fern, maple and rhododendron foliage.

Elderberry 'Black Lace'.
 Containers, planted and empty, are a natural part of Ginny's garden.

White wisteria, purple allium, roses, meadow rue... what not to love here?

Here is one of the Pittosporums again.

Back to where we started the tour. You can tell, I made more than one circle around the garden.

There were so many views that held my attention for several minutes.
Previous pic is one of them. Look at the background! Layers and layers of different greens! 
The big fir tree on the left and the palm (Trachycarpus  fortunei) on the right - north and south have met! 
And then, splashes of color on perennials randomly sprayed here and there...

This is another vignette which attracted my eye. 
Barely noticed in the picture, turquoise lichen on the fir's bark harmonizes with the bluish color of the shrub on its left. Nice!

Variety of plants in the Brewer's garden is very impressive, just look at the picture above!

The Fern Walk  was a new addition to the garden.

Contrast is a secret to beauty. 

Looking at the dense mass plantings and use of groundcovers, I thought about visiting Sissinghurst and reading about Vita Sackville-West's approach to gardening. 
After coming home, I found her words: "My liking for gardens to be lavish is an inherent part of my garden philosophy. I like generosity wherever I find it, whether in gardens or elsewhere. I hate to see things scrimp and scrubby. Even the smallest garden can be prodigal within its own limitations... Always exaggerate rather than stint. Masses are more effective than mingies. " 
/ Vita Sackville-West's Sissinghurst: The Creation of a Garden by Vita Sackville-West & Sarah Raven/

I don't think there is space for weeds here...

Back again to this beautiful natural curtain:

Little and Lewis art piece

Beautiful corner of the garden!

I couldn't leave without looking at the border again:

Combining plants of different height creates a rhythm, don't you think so?
What about the Allium's and Heuchera's colors?

Color harmony...

Leaves of the Magnolia macrophylla are huge!

I hope you enjoyed this garden as much as I did. 
I hope they will open their charming garden for us again!
Thank you Ginny and Tom! I love your tasteful, diverse, elegantly casual paradise! 

***Copyright 2018 TatyanaS


  1. Thanks for sharing your photos and impressions of this lovely garden. I'd love to see it, hopefully in the future they'll open it again for the NPA.

  2. I have visited family on Bainbridge Island and have always wanted to see Bainbridge in Bloom. Thanks for your time and effort in sharing it. Just beautiful!

  3. What a beautiful garden, and it makes me long for the freshness of June.

  4. I remember running into you at this garden on that August tour, an event as delightful as the garden itself. It is even more beautiful in June!

  5. I can see why you would want to go back to this garden. There is no way to absorb all the beauty in one tour. I am with you about the lichen on the tree matching the shrub near it. Just everything is gorgeous.

  6. That is gorgeous! It really invites you in to explore and sit for tea and discussion. :)

  7. Wow, what a beautiful, lush and peaceful garden. Thank you for sharing.


  8. This garden is my dream!
    See you on instagram, Tanya!

  9. AWESOME pictures! I wish I could give dad a garden like this... I help him as much as a can, but this is crazy


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