Off the Grid, the Wave of the Future
(This is a 2016 garden description. Gardens for this year’s tour can be found here.)
(This is a 2016 garden description. Gardens for the 2017 tour will be announced this spring.)
The West Seattle Garden Tour is proud to present this unique and inspirational energy efficient home. With serious drought conditions throughout the West, and the recent contamination of water supply in Flint, Michigan, public awareness for the necessity of conservation of life-sustaining water is finally at the forefront.
At this home, rainwater is collected from the roof, stored in tanks, and pumped through a filtration and UV light system. During the rainy season, this system serves all household water needs: gardening, drinking, bathing, laundering, and flushing. (Because of storage limitations the system is supplemented with city water during dry seasons.). The solar system provides energy for all electrical needs, with the City of Seattle buying back the surplus.
Native, sustainable and wildlife-friendly plants thrive throughout the gardens. Hebes and lavender surround the front planter, repeating in other beds at front of the house. Azaras grow in front of the windows and weeping cherries, rhododendrons, hinokis, azaleas, hellebores, pieris, and cutleaf Japanese maples provide a low, lush landscape.
The spectacular view from the back garden is beautifully framed with pine, Arbutus ‘Marina’, white poppies, Japanese maple, and pink dogwood. A magnolia and a large pink camellia provide privacy and shade for the upper patio and hot tub. The tall trunk of a native madrone, cut back after a strong windstorm, stands in the center of the yard awaiting a sculptor’s inspiration. The Japanese maple and contorted filbert provide shelter for flowering perennials and annuals.
The ecological success of this home and garden brings hope that the seemingly impossible is, indeed, possible. Developing sustainable systems for water catchment and solar energy is not really the wave of the future, but rather a wave whose time has come.
Wheelchair/stroller accessible in front only.