A Pacific Horticulture Society tour
July 19-25, 2015
Escorted by Greg Graves,
Tour Manager Cheryl Nichols

Join us for a visit to the city of Seattle to visit top public and private
gardens of the Emerald  City and surrounding towns and islands.

This tour is fully booked and the waiting list is closed.

Sunday, July 19: Seattle  Make your way to the Mayflower Park
Hotel for a six night stay. The Mayflower is an historic, European
style boutique hotel, centrally located in the heart of downtown
Seattle within walking distance to Pike Place Market, the Waterfront, museums, shops and numerous
restaurants. The hotel was built in 1927 and has been lovingly restored. Meet the other guests tonight
for a welcome drink and dinner with wine.

Monday, July 20: Seattle  After a leisurely breakfast, we join Greg on our private motor coach for a
visit to Daniel Sparler’s garden, a Northwest treasure filled with unusual plants.  Next we travel to
Kubota Garden where we’ll have a private tour by the head gardener. The garden is twenty acres of
hills and valleys, featuring streams, waterfalls, ponds, rock outcroppings and an exceptionally rich and
mature collection of plant material. This unique urban refuge took over sixty years of vision, effort and
commitment by the Kubota family. Fujitaro Kubota was an emigrant from the Japanese Island of
Shikoku. He established the Kubota Gardening Company in 1923. Self-taught as a gardener, he
wanted to display the beauty of the Northwest in a Japanese manner. He designed and installed
gardens throughout the Seattle area. The Japanese Garden at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge
Island is an example of his work.  Later Wendy Welch, a PHS board member, will show us around the
Seattle Children's PlayGarden, a space where children of all abilities can play outdoors and stretch
their imaginations and independence.  Our final stop is Miller Botanical Garden where we will sip a
glass of wine on the terrace as we enjoy the intensive horticultural displays. The garden continues in
the excellent traditions of gardening that Mrs. Miller insisted upon with planting providing interest that
delights the eye all year long. As the seasons change, the highlights of one lead seamlessly into the
next. The complex plantings and select plant materials are intended to encourage others to look
beyond the ordinary and to challenge their skills as gardeners.
Breakfast, Lunch   

Tuesday, July 21: Vashon Island   Our day begins at the magical, modern woodland garden of Pat
and Walt Riehl. The couple loves ferns and traditional stumperies made popular by Prince Charles at
Highgrove. The Riehl garden has a tunnel entry and grottos full of tree stumps with the wild
romanticism and dense, mossy nature of a rain forest. This is a quintessentially Northwest woodland
garden with quite the dramatic twist. Woodland plants like epimedium, hosta and a variety of specialty
ferns grow between roots and along the edges of the paths. Tree ferns are the garden's pampered
glory, growing up to form a lacy understory beneath the taller trees. In the winter months, Pat wraps
them snugly to protect them from winter cold. We have been invited to visit the garden of Whit and
Mary Carhart. Whit spent many hours learning about plants—taking classes, going to conferences,
and volunteering at Miller Garden. His knowledge, combined with the assistance of experts and artists
contributed to the creation of a fine Japanese garden. Beds around the house contain hostas,
mountain laurels, may apples, saxifrages, ligularias, and bold textures. A “Woodland Gazebo” has a
stone gathering space circled by “posts” of towering Douglas firs.  Plants are in tiers: Japanese
maples and snowflake viburnums stretch over ground cover collections of candlelabra, primroses, and
unusual ferns, alliums, astrantias, and lewisias, accented with golden Japanese forest grass. Whit
says, “We like eye stimulation,” such as the coral colors of the gazebo chairs. Mary places the artwork
around the garden. She found the statues of running kids from an artist from Zimbabwe. The drier
Upper Garden on the hillside is planted with moor grasses, sedums, and four varieties of manzanita. A
pond, stream, and waterfall are visible through a MoonGate.  Froggsong Garden is 3 acres and 15
years old, tended and created by owners Steve and Cindy Stockett.  The garden is done in the
Northwest Formal style. This consists of the relaxed style of an English perennial garden with the
more formal structure of boxwood elements. The garden hosts a long rose pergola, ponds, knot
garden, cascading water features, parterre, a stone ruin and a newly installed Earth Works garden.
Froggsong has been featured in many publications and calendars. We will enjoy lunch in the garden.
Our day continues with a private garden by landscape designer David Pfeiffer with a series of outdoor
rooms.  Inspired by Edwin Lutyens and the European school of design, Pfeiffer's aesthetic fits well into
the Northwest landscape. His use of natural materials, especially stone, creates strongly elemental
gardens. Symmetry and the long axis play a huge role in his neotraditional landscapes. David has 10
rules for designing a garden. Among them “choose plant material for structure, texture, THEN color.”
Our last stop is at Dig Nursery. Known for their plant savvy and architectural vignettes, Ross Johnson
and Sylvia Matlock have created a bridge connecting their beautifully designed home and haut-chic
nursery. Their extensive knowledge and unconventional design insight attracts visitors from across
the USA and has been celebrated in national magazines.  
Breakfast, Lunch

Wednesday, July 22:  Bainbridge Island  Today we’ll have a very
special visit to Dan Hinkley’s Garden, Windcliff. The garden was
planted by Dan and his partner Robert Jones mostly after 2005. It is
amazing to see how it has matured. There was no special plan for the
garden, but rather it evolved through an intuitive process of planting
what felt right for the place. Of course, with Dan being no ordinary
gardener, the results are  stunning. The site has breathtaking view
towards Mount Rainier and the Seattle city skyline. The garden
lingers towards the sea through organic mounds of plantings and
small intimate paths where you can touch the plants and they seem
to answer your greetings.  Sherri Wilson’s garden encompasses 2
acres, and was started 23 years ago.  It was on the Bainbridge in
Bloom garden tour in 2001.  The borders are a mixture of perennials,
shrubs and trees, along with a vegetable garden (complete with a
grain auger fountain), berry area, chicken coop and greenhouse
made of vintage windows. This afternoon we will enjoy a private tour
of the famed Bloedel Reserve in Bainbridge Island. Bloedel is an
internationally renowned public garden and forest preserve. The founder’s vision was “to provide
refreshment and tranquility in the presence of natural beauty,” and the Reserve’s mission is to “enrich
people’s lives through a premier public garden of natural and designed Pacific Northwest
landscapes.” The Reserve’s 150 acres are a unique blend of natural woodlands and beautifully
landscaped gardens, including a Japanese Garden, a Moss Garden, a Reflection Pool and the
Bloedels’ former estate home.  
Breakfast, Lunch

Thursday, July 23:   Eastside   After breakfast at the hotel we depart for the Eastside to visit Joanne
White’s garden. Joanne, a former apartment dweller, has made a place to pursue her passion. She
began by planting rhododendrons and azaleas, leaving in some pasture for views of fences and
grazing horses. Timbered pergolas tie the house to the garden. There is a weeping sequoia, massive
copper beech and spreading Cedrus Atlanticas which provides scale, shelter and structure for the
house and garden. Little creeks appeared all over the property, and rain came down the hillside
directly toward the house. Curbing the length of the driveway solved the runoff problem, directing the
water away from the house. She hired someone to dig a series of three large ponds. Lined with the
natural blue clay, they've never leaked, and remain filled with water even in summer. The biggest
pond is 15 feet deep, which warms up enough by midsummer so the grandkids can swim in it. A deck
overlooks the pond, and the feathery foliage of a redwood filters the glare of the setting sun. The
shapes of the three ponds, their inter-connectivity and the plantings at their edges define the garden.
Joanne looks out her kitchen window at the ducks lazily drifting on the water.
There are muskrats, ducks, and frogs. Iris, willow and the thickly ribbed, splayed leaves of Gunnera
manicata adorn the edges. Three waterfalls rush over stones in a cool glen. Alongside the rocks are
luxurious plantings of astilbes, hosta and Japanese maples, moss and primulas for springtime bloom.
Joanne is on the board of the Bellevue Botanic Garden, our next stop. Bellevue Botanical Garden is
an urban refuge, encompassing 53-acres of cultivated gardens, restored woodlands, and natural
wetlands. The living collections showcase plants that thrive in the Pacific Northwest.  The Interactive
Garden lets visitors easily find information about plants and gardening using personal mobile devices
or computers. Bellevue’s demonstration of good garden design and horticulture techniques inspires
visitors to create their own beautiful, healthy gardens.
Denise Lane is also on the Bellevue Botanic Garden Board.
"Over 25 years of intense planting and furnishing "garden rooms"
with unique hardscape and art has created a one of a kind large
garden. A wide variety of growing conditions (wet boggy clay and
dry gravel, shade and brilliant sun) allows unusual plants to coexist
with bird friendly natives. Beautiful vistas and picture perfect
combinations of texture and color echoes surround a custom
entertainment terrace with fire trough."  We hope to visit Kathy and
Ed Fries garden if it is not under construction. This large property
encompasses Woodlands leading down to a private beach on Lake
Washington. The property includes a miniature castle garden room,
charming chicken house, pirate playhouse, and grotto made from
salvaged pieces from a Seattle theater. Cobbled paths lead to
statues, groupings of huge stones, bridges and a vegetable garden.
Breakfast, Lunch
Note:  This evening there is an option to join the Hardy Plant
Society’s “Nerd Night.” The fun event includes unusual plants, food, and entertainment.

Friday, July 24:  South End  Today we will be treated to a private tour with Richard Hartlage the
designer of the Chihuly Garden. The centerpiece of Chihuly Garden and Glass is the Glasshouse. A
40-foot tall, glass and steel structure covering 4,500 square feet of light-filled space, the Glasshouse
is the result of Chihuly’s lifelong appreciation for conservatories. The design of the Glasshouse draws
inspiration from two of his favorite buildings: Sainte-Chapelle in Paris and the Crystal Palace in
London. The Glasshouse has an expansive 100-foot long sculpture in a color palette of reds,
oranges, yellows and amber. Made of many individual elements, it is one of Chihuly’s largest
suspended sculptures. The perception of the artwork varies greatly with natural light. Our next stop is
to the Owing Brown Studio. Sharman Owings is a painter and Ross Brown is a sculptor. Ross has a
unique style. He says he makes future, primitive, ritual, artifacts. Together they have created a lovely
garden with art strategically placed. Sharman is also a great cook. We will enjoy luncheon in her
pavilion.  For a change of pace we will tour a tropical garden belonging to Julia and Ernie Graham.
The site is plagued by poor soil so Julia turned to tropical plants for their ability to thrive in the solar
heat reflected from the swimming pool's aggregate deck. To overcome the soil problem, she put the
plants in containers ― mostly glazed pots whose blue-green color echoes the water and the pool's tile
trim. The cool tones also set off the plants' hot-colored foliage. Each pot is fringed by cascading
plants like Calibrachoa and two kinds of sweet potato vine ― one with blackish purple leaves, and
'Marguerite', with lime green leaves. To give the plantings height, Julia included cannas and hardy
bananas. All the plants grow in soil amended with controlled-release fertilizer. Julia waters them
through the growing season and feeds them with liquid fertilizer every other week. A catalpa tree
which tolerates poor soil, is one of only a few plants actually rooted in the ground; its big, golden
green leaves set the scale for the container plantings.  Chase Garden sits on a bluff overlooking the
Puyallup River Valley featuring spectacular views of Mount Rainier. It is one of the Garden
Conservancy preservation projects noted for its exceptional beauty and originality. The garden was
the lifework of Emmott and Ione Chase, who devoted more than
forty years to building and refining the landscape to create one
of the finest examples of mid-twentieth century Pacific Northwest
design. They created Japanese-inspired ponds and bridges
surrounding the house and a colorful meadow filled with drifts of
rock garden plants inspired by wildflower fields on Mount Rainier.
They planted native shrubs and carpets of trillium, erythronium,
and vanilla leaf in naturalistic woodlands of second-growth
Douglas fir trees. Their artful, modernist landscape truly
captures the unique spirit of the place and has been called one
of the ten most beautiful gardens in America. The garden
features expanses of groundcovers and perennials accented by
Japanese maples, colorful rhododendrons, and conifers with
meandering pea gravel pathways along a gentle slope between the house and garden.  Greg and his
partner Gary are hosting us at Old Goat Farm for dinner and a tour. Quite by accident, they
discovered this beautiful little place while plant shopping with a good friend. It is located just outside
Orting, WA, tucked below Mt. Rainier. They fell in love with the place, and a few months later they
became the owners. Their goal is to offer well-grown garden plants that are showcased in their
garden. They are plant enthusiasts so there is usually something that will appeal to everyone.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Saturday, July 25:  Independent departures.   Breakfast

TRAVEL INSURANCE:  As your deposit and final payment are both non-refundable, we wish to make
you aware that individual travel insurance is available to protect you against cancellation penalties as
well as provide coverage should an incident occur during the trip.  We will send an email with your
deposit confirmation with information about how to get a free quote and/or secure your coverage
online or by phone.    Note that pre-existing conditions may be covered if the insurance is purchased
within a short time after trip deposit.  Group travel insurance will not be offered with this tour.

TRAVELING TO SEATTLE --- Frequent daily flights from just about everywhere to Seattle/Tacoma Intl
Airport, about 40 minutes from the hotel.   Taxis are available as well as the very convenient Sound
Transit light rail service from the airport to Westlake Station, very near the hotel.    If you need help
booking flights, we suggest contacting Leslie Garber of Cadence Travel for assistance. Leslie
charges a fee for her service, but our guests find her service to be of value.  Contact email for Leslie

LAND COST PER GUEST:  Based on a minimum of 15 paying guests, $2145.00 per person for
members of Pacific Horticulture Society, $2245 for non-members.  (Membership in PacHort starts at
just $28, join now at www.pachort. org). Single supplement:  $ 729.00.  A nonrefundable deposit of
$250 per person is required to secure a reservation, with balance due 60 days before departure.

•        6 nights hotel accommodations
•        $150 tax-deductible donation to Pacific Horticulture Society
•        Porterage of one piece of luggage at hotel
•        Services of Tour Manager Cheryl Nichols, and Tour Escort Greg Graves
•        Transportation by private motorcoach, driver gratuity included.
•        6 breakfasts (B), 5 lunches (L), 2 dinners (D)
•        Admission fees for all visits as stated in itinerary  

•        Airfare
•        Meals and drinks not specifically mentioned
•        Entrance fees not specifically mentioned
•        Room Service
•        Excess Baggage Charges & Porterage of more than 1 piece of luggage.
•        Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, etc.
•        Trip insurance – strongly suggested.

Terms & Conditions
Print Itinerary
For more Information, Contact:

Sterling Tours, Ltd            
2907 Shelter Island Drive Suite #105-262   
San Diego, CA 92106      Tel: 619 299-3010     800-976-9497
sterling tours, ltd