Art And Artful In Seattle-Birrell And Tucker Gardens

I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like. Our interpretation of what is art is quite broadly drawn, just so you know.

Seattle is full of the sorts of things that bring out the ooohhs and the aaahhs. Many images were captured while we enjoyed the fourth annual Garden Bloggers Fling in that lovely city. The sharing of the best shots begins with the first gardens we saw on day one, the side by side neighbors whose gardens had us clicking and cooing, Suzette and Jim Birrell and Shelagh Tucker.

There was traipsing back and forth between these heavenly havens and the exact location of some of the photos can only be guessed at, but the sunny gravel space is surely the work of Shelagh. The combinations of color, texure and height were brilliant, in the brilliant sunshine of a Seattle summer.

There were plantings that reminded one of the work of our hero, Piet Oudolf. Both the Helenium and Veronicastrum were added to the Fairegarden after reading about them in Designing With Plants. It was gratifying to see them so well grown. They don’t look like that at home, a muttering heard often as the gardens were visited, by many of us.

This may or may not be Rosa ‘Mrs. Oakley Fisher’, a rose we grew at our Texas home. It is one of my favorites, with the single row of petals in my favorite color.

The Birrells have made a peaceful getaway with lush lawn and welcoming seating.

How wonderful it must be to have a fellow gardener so close. Conversations could be had over the blue picket fence at the back of the properties. Hey there, fellow gardener, blogger and roomie Kathy of Cold Climate Gardening!

Vegetables can be beautiful and artful. Think of the still life paintings by masters of the brush through the ages. These cabbages would make a delightful masterpiece, in the kitchen or on the wall.

Lilies, daylilies and rusty metal go together like bacon, eggs and toast.

Eryngium giganteum was attracting pollinators just like the E. alpinums back home. The flying insects adore those prickly spikes!

Is this an expertly done hypertufa or a piece of carved stone? Either way, it was snapped as inspiration for future cement projects back home. The plantings within are sublime.

Speaking of sublime, the stunning Victoria agreed to help dress up the stone mosaic *welcome mat* in the front of the Tucker home. Thank you, my dear friend, it was a pleasure to see you (and everyone!) and hear your lilting voice once again.


More Seattle Fling posts:

Seattle Fling 2011-Overture

Lost Secret In The Bloedel Reserve

Semi Does Seattle

Art And Artful In Seattle- The Dunn Garden

Glass Art Of Seattle

Art Of Seattle 2011 Fling-Day 2

Seattle Fling 2011 Day 3-Onward

Seattle Fling 2011-Grand Finale


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27 Responses to Art And Artful In Seattle-Birrell And Tucker Gardens

  1. Beautiful images of beautiful gardens.


  2. Victoria says:

    Aw, thank you, Frances! That’s such a lovely picture. It was fantastic to see you too. xxooxx

    Many thanks to you, dear Victoria, for braving the hazards of travel to come so far!

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  6. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    You captured some beautiful settings. Those cabbages look good enough to eat. Along with the bacon and eggs of course. Gosh you made me hungry. My poor parched garden looks unsightly compared to these lush gardens.

    Thanks Lisa. This is one time my own gardens seemed sadly lacking after returning home from a fling, due to the difference in rainfall and temperature. I got hungry writing that, too!

  7. Gail says:

    So many lovely images and so many wonderful memories~I agree totally with your interpretation of ‘what is art’. The cabbages were simply perfect (the prettiest vegetable bed I’ve seen in ages); as were many of the artistic plantings. Love the photo of Victoria. xxoogail

    Thanks Gail. The Birrells had done an incredible job making a beautiful potager. Victoria is a great beauty, inside and out.

  8. Nutty Gnome says:

    What beautiful gardens and colour combinations – quite inspirational! I can see me doing some serious design planning over winter now 🙂

    Hi Liz, thanks. Seattle was full of inspiration, that is for certain. If only we could start over here, AND have the rainfall of the Pacific Northwest. And the temps.

  9. Layanee says:

    The art was so much fun wasn’t it? Love the pictures, Frances.

    Thanks Layanee. The gardens all featured lots of cool pieces.

  10. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Seeing pictures of our sojourn in Seattle makes me want to go back there NOW. Sigh.

    Think of the weather there, Cindy! Ahhhh…

  11. joey says:

    Truly delightful, Frances. Thank you for sharing.

    Thanks Joey. It was really lovely there.

  12. Christina says:

    Frances, these are two truly stunningly beautiful gardens. And you captured them so well with your photos, great photos I might say. Thanks for letting me “see” those gardens, too, this way!

    Thanks Christina. I really like how every attendee at the fling showed many of these same flowers, but from a different angle or framing.

  13. I didn’t get a shot of those cabbages, shame on me. You know how I love them, thanks for posting yours.

    Yes, your cabbage shots are famous, MMD. They veggies were so beautiful in the Birrell garden, pure art.

  14. What beautiful gardens you had the pleasure of exploring, your pics are the next best thing to being there. I am off to read all your other Fling posts and am excited to go on the adventure =)

    Thanks Julia. I wish you could have seen them in person. Next time, maybe?

  15. Pam/Digging says:

    “Lilies, daylilies and rusty metal go together like bacon, eggs and toast.” I love your breakfasty statement, Frances. And I totally agree. Beautiful gardens, both of them.

    Thanks Pam, I must have been hungry when writing that! HA Those gardens were spectacular.

  16. Great photos, love that gate! I am still rereading Piet Oudolf’s books over and over, definitely like his style and he has a connection with Chicago in that he designed the Lurie Gardens downtown. It is difficult to achieve his look on a small lot, but I am trying.


    Thanks Eileen. There were so many wonderful things for us to see in Seattle. As for the Piet book, it is still my go to for inspiration. We saw the Lurie at the Chicago fling in 2009. I will never forget it.

  17. Jo Ann Volenec says:

    I am new to your garden site. You have snaged me hook, line and sinker. I gardened in Warrenton, Oregon for seven years but am now back in the Midwest shaping up the property that came with our newly purchased home. Love your insight and pictures. I am signed up and receive your blog in my inbox. I really look forward to reading it and all the comments

    Hi Jo Ann, thanks and welcome! Good luck with you new home and garden. I appreciate your kind words. There are nearly 700 posts on this site, you might check out some of the old ones, or the pages for specific information.

  18. commonweeder says:

    Both of those gardens were artful indeed. I thought the veggies in the Birrell garden were amazing.

    I agree, Pat. Both gardens were gorgeous and both were so different.

  19. Nancy Shelly says:

    What is the name of the beautiful helenium in this most recent Seattle post? I grow Moerheim Beauty in my humid (and this year scorched) PA garden. I’d love to add that bit of what appears to be a glowing red-orange.

    Hi Nancy, I am sorry but do not know the name of the Helenium. These were private gardens and there were no labels. It is a most beautiful color. Maybe you can find one similar with help from dear Mr. Google.

  20. Just beautiful, FFF. I wish I went too. Thanks for sharing. H.

    Thanks Helen. I do wished you had been there. You were missed.

  21. Lola says:

    Beautiful pics. I know that you had a wonderful experience. My DH saw some of the State {from the plane & by car}. I’m glad he had that experience. Yes, pics helps us remember some projects for later enjoyment. I meant to ask, what is the vine growing on the upright wire in pic #7. Idea for me with combo cattle fencing piece that I have.

    Thanks Lola. It was so very beautiful there, I would go back in a heartbeat. The vine on the old bedframe, yes, that’s what that is, looks like beans of some sort. That was their wonderful veggie garden. If you mean the white flowers on the left are on a shrub that I am not familiar with.

  22. Adnan says:

    Wonderful Stuff!

    I wish I knew art as much as you do.Beautifull seating area as well.

    Thanks, Adnan, you are too kind. There was beauty everywhere in Seattle.

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  24. Sunita says:

    What a delicious post! I can feel how much you enjoyed your Seattle fling, Frances. Makes me wish I had come too.

    Thanks Sunita. Every one of the garden bloggers meetups have included private and public gardens that are beyond fantastic. Do try and come to the next one, in Asheville, North Carolina.

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