Northwest Terraced Hillside

(This is a 2017 garden description. Gardens for this year’s tour can be found here.)

Photo by Nancy Wilcox

Forests that have lined the beaches of Puget Sound for centuries have been swiftly disappearing in favor of development. For 37 years, the gardeners at this hillside home have been fulfilling their labor of love: bringing the forest back to the beach.

The south stairs pass a series of descending meadows that lead directly to the water. The top meadow features a tall enkianthus tree surrounded by a green leaf Japanese maple and five mountain hemlocks. Alternating pieris and ’Spring Bouquet’ viburnum edge the first house as well as rhododendrons near the walkway.

In the middle of the second garden stands the large rounded canopy of a Japanese snowbell. Maples edge this meadow—a Japanese moonglow for spring color and a Japanese coral bark for winter interest. Vine maples, hellebores, Hinoki cypress, and a crabapple complement the traditional styling of the elegant craftsman home.

As the path descends to the lowest meadow garden, the Sound view, framed by a stately maple and Hinoki cypress, expands in all its breathtaking beauty. Escallonia shrubs and tall pines to the north contrast in color and texture with the bright green grass and the blue ceanothus blooming along the beachfront, showy with Hesperaloe parviflora (Texas Red Yucca), arbutus and New Zealand sedge—a perfectbackdrop for roasting marshmallows in the beachside fire pit.

Not wheelchair accessible.