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

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Garden of Mary and Whit Carhart - Pacific Northwest Style

Vashon Island NPA Tour. July 2019.

I love this garden. It has everything to be excited about - amazing variety of plants, including those not widely used, calmness of a shade garden, lushness of a sunny garden, harmonic coexistence of natural and man-made beauty, garden art, harmony of the house and surroundings, combination of serene spots and vibrant, cheerful areas, and  the most important - the garden owners' love for plants and nature which is shining through the tapestry of foliage and flowers.
I've visited this garden several times and still have its pictures from 6 years ago. There are so many changes and additions. Everything has grown so much!

Garden  is cultivated on 2 1/2 acres and is surrounded by Stewardship forest.

Fencing is a must to keep deer away.

 The tour starts at the top of the property.

As realtors say, location, location, location!

Following a winding path down a pretty steep hill.
Strolling through the woodland garden with Japanese maples,  hydrangea, species  rhododendrons, stewartias, oxydendrons, Jacquemontii birches, locust, dogwood, ferns, shade-tolerant perennials, groundcovers (cyclamens, trilliums, violets, hepaticas, etc).... the variety is amazing.

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I like when there is a splash of color amid the texture of greens of all possible shapes and sizes.

Paths of the upper garden are outlined with logs and rocks. 

Everything looks so natural, as if it was here forever.

Cautleya spicata Robusta


Gazebo that is perfect for observation, relaxation and meditation :)

 Rodgersia and ferns enveloping an old stump

 Seeing water through the trees tells you that there is something special expecting you down there.

If you've already been to this garden, you know that the pond is actually a saltwater swimming pool (installed in 2008).

 The opening view is stunning.
The pond/pool, boulders, plants ... the scene looks naturalistic and takes your breath away!
That Darmera at the shed is absolutely incredible!

 The little island in the pool

This is how the pool was created:

 Foxglove (digitalis) is such a widespread, common plant in the Pacific Northwest, but what an impact it brings to a garden!

Lovely antique Indonesian garden shed with a gorgeous door

After a long descent, we are in the lower garden now.

Garden decor is tasteful and diverse. It includes sculptures of Washington state and international artists. This particular one is made by an artist Dominic Benhura from Zimbabwe.

I do love alliums, and they were abundant here.

Plants surround the house, and what healthy plants they are!

I love how the little elegant lily flowers contrast with the massive allium heads.

The rose and clematis covered arch invites visitors into a cozy sitting area

View of Quartermaster Harbor

 Looking at the arch from another side

Healthy plants, I say again!

Salvias, delphiniums, peony, lilies, poppies... The borders are lush and cheerful.

 Stone wall almost totally covered by ferns, grasses, perennials, mosses...

 This bright, colorful part of the garden is close to the house, and visitors can get lost among tall dense plants.

As you can guess, I've made several circles around the garden.

Going back where we came from:

Lysichiton americanus  Cheek-by-Jowl (Skunk Cabbage)

Lillium Apricot Fudge

Thank you Mary and Whit for opening your garden for NPA members during all these years!
It's a pleasure to watch your garden growing and evolving. Your love of plants and gardening is inspiring and uplifting. We appreciate your generosity in sharing the beauty of your garden with us.

It was a little poster in the garden with the words of Julie Moir Messervy that I guess reflect the Carhart's vision:

" ... people garden... to find sanctuary, to heal..." - you can't say better about gardening nowadays.


***Copyright 2020 TatyanaS


  1. Jeanne C.May 26, 2020

    Yes.. this is a beautiful place. Amazing what they did. Worth visiting!

    1. Thank you, Jeanne! It's always a pleasure to visit it, isn't it!


  3. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I'm happy you enjoyed the garden!

  4. I wouldn't want to leave this garden. You would have to go around the garden many times to try to see it all. This truly looks like the garden of Eden. So many places with inspiration, quietude, uproarious exuberance. A very uplifting place. Thank you for taking us there. What a joy and inspiration to have seen this space develop through the years. Seeing this makes me want to get out there and start digging.

    1. Lisa, thank you! I am agree with you - that garden grabs your attention and doesn't let you go! :) Very inspiring!

  5. Oh my goodness, this is one of the BEST gardens you have shared. I absolutely loved it, beauty, whimsy, peace, vistas, places to rest, be inspired, meditate. Just wonderful!!! Thanks for sharing ~ FlowerLady

    1. Lorraine, thank you so much! The owners have done an outstanding job, and I'm so glad they share the beauty of the garden with us!

  6. Interesting place! Hoping some day I can visit there

  7. Special garden in a unique setting! Your wonderful pictures really bring out the beauty of the garden for all to see. Look forward to visiting some day.

  8. I am speechless; in a good way. Every single slide is breathtaking. Such a variety of plantings and they all look like they have been in their spots forever!

    1. Thank you, Barbara! I'm so glad you like it! And, I'm grateful to the owners for sharing their incredibly beautiful garden with us!


Thank you for stopping by and for your comment! I appreciate your time! See you soon on your blog!

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