Art And Artful In Seattle-The Dunn Gardens

Continuing on about the gardens seen in Seattle during the Garden Bloggers Fling of 2011, the afternoon of day one found the intrepid travelers marching from the buses into a private community that was home to the Dunn Estate for lunch, door prizes and garden gazing. Click here to find out more information about the history of the Dunn Estate.

Marsha’s Balls, set along the side gardens beside a paved patio, caught my eye. Both the large concrete orbs and the colorful tree necklace were delightful. I am curious about the necklace, does anyone know what those balls are made from?

Out in the landscaped spaces, this Japanese iris called us over for a closer look. It is not possible to grow these beauties on my dry slope, so seeing them was a treat.

Speaking with the docent as we were walking back to the main building, she told how the Rhododendrons at Dunn were being attacked by a disease, but this one with the glaucous covering seemed to be immune, so far. She thought it was the veil of white that was offering the protection. That makes sense.

Nearly every garden we visited had some glass sculpture displayed artfully. Sometimes it was even hard to tell what was the living plant and what was glass. It was wondered if these glass pieces were in danger from falling limbs during a storm, that would be a worry to me with such delicate and expensive art. But I might have made a purchase anyway…more to come about that later.


Other Seattle Fling posts:

Seattle Fling 2011-Overture

Lost Secret In The Bloedel Reserve

Semi Does Seattle

Art And Artful In Seattle-Birrell And Tucker Gardens

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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22 Responses to Art And Artful In Seattle-The Dunn Gardens

  1. Envy envy envy. How I wish I could drop everything (of which there is too much anyway) and go garden-visiting!!!

    Thanks Jack. We hardly dropped everything to go to Seattle! It was many months in the saving up and planning, but worth every penny and minute!

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  6. Carol says:

    Thank you for sharing these pictures. It seems that each of us saw something different in every garden we visited. I missed seeing some of this art.

    Thank Carol. I agree, we all saw different things, even Semi did, and she was with me most of the time. I would not have remembered many of them without the photos. We saw so much!

  7. Gail says:

    Dear Frances, I totally missed that woodpecker! it is so cool. But, I saw the spheres and hanging ‘balls’ and knew immediately that I wanted them in my garden! The glass was and remains terrible attractive, but, like you I am concerned about breakage…I really don’t want to worry every time we have a thunderstorm! I think I remember rain! xxoogail

    Thanks Gail. Rain, yes, I believe it is wet stuff that falls from the sky, but not sure. There was so much to see in Seattle, much was missed. Thank goodness for all the posts by others to help with that.

  8. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    A “tree necklace” sounds so romantic. When I first looked at the picture I thought they were dried gourds strung together. Obviously I was wrong if you don’t know what they were. Love seeing pictures of the sculptures. I am with you regarding worrying about the limbs coming down during storms breaking glass sculptures. I worry about a glass globe being broken. I often bring it in during winter just because there seems to be more storms during winter and the glass is even more fragile when frozen. Love that carving of the kingfisher though. Wouldnt that be fun to have in the garden. The cat picture is sweet. I just like all your photos. Have a great weekend.

    Thanks, Lisa. They might be gourds, or wooden balls, I wasn’t sure and too quickly buzzed by, clicked the shutter and moved on to the next wonderful sight. They were cool, whatever they were made from. I did buy a glass piece and am a little worried about it out in the garden. Bringing it is during winter might be wise, but the whole point is seeing it out there. A storm forecast will see it come inside, though. Have your self a great weekend, too.

  9. Just lovely, such beautiful sculptures. These gardens show how much some art in the garden can add to the beauty,


    Thanks Eileen. The art is every garden in Seattle was superbly done.

  10. Raji says:

    Frances…tree necklace….very innovative..are they made from wood? Also I liked the blue glass sculpture in the last picture..they looked so real ..and goes well with the leaves itself ..what a great idea…

    ..thanks for sharing

    Thanks Raji. The tree necklace might be made from wood, or gourds, or something else completely. I should have taken the time to find out, but there was so much to see. The glass sculptures were breathtaking, the way that the sunlight filtered through them was mesmerizing.

  11. You found some neat details that I overlooked, and the shot of the cat is wonderful.

    Thanks MMD. It was difficult to see everything at every garden. In some of the gardens I didn’t even see all of the beds. The cat came out from under a shrub and jumped up to get a drink just as I was lining up the shot. Lucky.

  12. When I saw the glass art, I kept thinking about the hail I receive. I don’t know. It’s like the greenhouse. Hail is a spring and fall worry here.

    Your photo of the cat lapping at the water is priceless. Beautiful job.~~Dee

    Thanks Dee. I adore the glass art, and did break down and order a piece. How to protect it from storms, falling limbs, hail or whatever will be a challenge.

  13. Great capture on the cat, Frances. That glass yucca was so hard to photograph, I think you’ve done a great job. But nothing beats being there. We’ve had a lot to process from the Fling! Did you like my picture of you and Semi?

    Thanks Helen. Many things were difficult to photograph in that brilliant sunshine, for a point and shoot on auto gal like me, anyway. I LOVED the picture you sent and used it in this post, with a link to you, of course. Our heartfelt thanks for the image, it will be framed.

  14. ricki says:

    Dale Chihuly is located in Washington, so the whole state is glass-mad and the frenzy has even trickled down into Oregon. Nothing can match it for ephemeral beauty, but the “ephemeral” part includes the occasional breakage…not for the likes of clumsy me.

    Thanks for reminding me, Ricki. I am a huge admirer of Chihuly, too. That does help explain so much glass art in the gardens there. Breakage would be heartbreaking!

  15. nellie says:

    You did get to see some lovely art. Were the balls felt? Surely you touched one. I couldn’t have resisted. What were they like?

    Thanks Nellie. I did not touch the tree necklace, sorry to say. I don’t think they were felt, though. Most likely either wood or gourds is my best guess, but really do not know. Way cool whatever they were.

  16. Christina says:

    Frances, what a delightful post about art and gardens! Your incredible photos make it so clear that art can enhance a garden in a great way and that the garden on the other hand can provide the right backdrop for the art to really stand out. I love the last picture with the blue glass “leaves”. My own garden does not contain any art so far, but I would love to change that. Just looking for the right piece in the price range that I can afford. Thanks for this inspirational post!

    Thanks Christina. The art in the gardens we visited during the Seattle fling was all very well placed, all fit perfectly with the surroundings. Getting art right can be tricky, but I would suggest going with what you love and can afford.

  17. Love all the art and sculptures that you saw on your trip, sounds as if you all had a wonderful time. I think that art in a garden can enhance the planting, but it has to be carefully done and not detract from the plants around it. What you have shown us is beautiful, put together by a talented person, thanks for sharing.

    Thanks Pauline, we did indeed have a wonderful time. The art was perfectly placed in all of the gardens we saw and was an inspiration.

  18. Alistair says:

    The Dunn gardens, looks like just the sort of place where I would like to spend a day, your pictures are exquisite. Seattle! now isn’t that the rain city, I would be right at home there.

    Thanks Alistair. Seattle seemed much like the parts of England we visited last year, nice and moist. If you ever get the chance to go, I highly recommend it.

  19. Rose says:

    Frances, I’ve been gone for a little while, and have finally had some time this morning to catch up on your previous posts. It was so much fun seeing all the sights of Seattle through your eyes–your photos are just as much works of art as the objects you’ve captured here. I did have to stop and read more carefully the post on weeding volunteers–now, that is something I need to learn more about! I’ve pulled out poppies before I knew what they were and have allowed some nasty weeds to grow, thinking they were some wanted plant:)

    Welcome back, Rose, and thanks for those kind words. Seattle was amazing, the photos will perused for a very long time, sweet memories and lots of inspiration. If only we had that climate and rainfall! Education ourselves about the volunteer good guys is the key to free plants. I have pulled many of them by not paying attention to the details.

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