A Nurseryman's Garden

Photo by Nancy Wilcox

Photo by Nancy Wilcox

This is the story of a plant collector who works at a nursery who can select any plants he wants for his garden.

Featured in our 2009 tour, the garden then was primarily a shade garden. Three weeks after the tour, the first rain of summer brought down two large big leaf maples resulting in additional sunlight and a rethinking of what the garden might be.  More impetus for change came two years later with a new job for Bill at the West Seattle Nursery and a discovered interest in Japanese maples and dwarf and miniature conifers.

Bill and Cathy’s garden now resembles an arboretum, with more than 700 varieties of plants, running water, areas of sun and shade along with the challenges of a steep hillside.

Of the more than 200 conifers and over 100 maples, dozens appear in the street-side garden, along with herbaceous perennials and blueberries. A flagstone path and steps takes you to a small terrace with over 30 conifers and maples.  The terrace garden leads to the back yard and hillside gardens featuring more conifers, maples, hostas, ferns (over 80 varieties), a lovely waterfall, NW native plants, and unique collectors’ plants.

The development of the slope in the southeast portion of the back yard has given Bill and Cathy the joy and challenge of finding a location for each new plant, providing a pleasing aesthetic while showcasing the plant itself. Acquiring plants and finding the best location means the garden is in a constant state of growth and change.

As active members in the Maple and American Conifer Societies, Bill and Cathy continue to build their collection, obtaining plants from other collectors all over the US.

Not wheelchair accessible.