Seasons Garden Design




Whereever I travel I'm always on the lookout for good gardens.
I am so fortunate to have seen so many, but I still have many
on my bucket list. Maybe some of these are on yours?


East of Rome lies the little hill town of Tivoli, where the Renaissance garden, Villa d’Este lies. Famous for its myriads of fountains-all except two are driven through natural hydraulics-I tried to envision Renaissance-era clergy and famed cognoscenti of the day strolling and chatting their way through the garden. The best garden view is from a balcony that overlooks the entire garden. We visited with friends (one of whom is a garden writer) coincidentally in Rome at the same time as our visit, making this visit even more special.

  • amazing waterfall
  • best water feature
  • ripe oranges
  • large urn
  • a mosaic circle
  • mosaic closeup
  • long stair
  • an old branch
  • sculptural elements
  • symbolism
  • terra cotta pots
  • exquisite iris
  • long walk
  • looking closer
  • seeing faces
The first big waterfall feature - spectacular!
THE most spectacular water feature of the entire garden!
Oranges hanging over the large pool. Yum!
A large urn accents the garden perfectly.
A large circular mosaic is a surprise encounter while on this long path.
Incredible mosaic workmanship.

Who needs a StairMaster?

A curved branch beautifully frames this view.
Renaissance architecture is full of detail and sculpture elements.
I thought this was pretty sexy for a bishop's garden, but it is of the Renaissance - full of symbolism.
Terra cotta pots everywhere!
Exquisite iris.
A long walk with surprising fountains.
Along the walk we look more closely.
Then we see a myriad of different animal faces as all of the spouts in this long fountain walk. Delightful!


Near the entry to Sonoma (coming from San Francisco) lies an experimental collection of conceptual gardens not to be missed! I have been here several times and while some gardens were still there other installations have disappeared. It’s sort of the American version of Chaumont in France (on my bucket list). Famous designers design wildly-creative gardens that say something about what they believe about the nature of gardens. These are not expensive gardens, either, so much of what you see is something that could be adapted to anyone’s garden. You just have to be bold & brave enough.

  • blue tree
  • big blue chair
  • crystal 'clouds'
  • elegant simplicity
  • orbs in grasses
  • whirlygigs!
  • barcode art
  • meditative
  • challenges
  • memorial to courage
  • clever walls
  • water lessons
  • whimsical crossing
  • eyecatching red
  • wind art
This tunnel entry prepares you to undergo the process of changing your spirit from lead to gold. Claude Cormier & Associates
A giant blue Adirondack chair greets visitors coming in from parking.
White Cloud by Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot
Designers James van Sweden and Sheila Brady combine Mexican feather grass and Agaves in the simplest combination of plants. Elegant!
John Greenlee's Mediterranean Meadow celebrated with the addition of round orbs.

Recognizing just how much wind comes through this valley when the fog rolls in on summer afternoons.

Topher Delaney's barcode garden is a hit! Everyone likes pushing the big rope-covered balls around.
A simple hidden sitting place in the upper left corner allows you to meditate on the linearity of this clever design. Serenity Garden by Yoji Sasaki

Attention getting red wall with sharp terra cotta paviing displays the difficulty of migrant workers . Immigrant Tribute by Mario Schjetnan

The other side of the wall has a display of those courageous people who left Mexico to labor in US agricultural fields.
These are vertical composting bins. Yes! Very clever way to stash your pruned branches and leaves, created by Walter Hood.
Water flows downhill, so when you get to the bottom of the slope, there is this bench where you can peer into the water trough. Andrea Cochran-designer.
Keeping your eye on the sculpture, helps prevent looking off another direction and taking a misstep into the water. Created by shoe designer, Taryn Rose 
A simple sort-of grid using red-painted round stakes is eye-catching.
Shadow play intensifies when the wind blows.


The first time I visited The Huntington in San Marino, CA, we had had one hour to explore it. This garden is too large to see in an hour and I was literally running through it to see as much as I could. But I walked through the Desert Garden. It is such a sculptural plant paradise. What a contrast to the also stunning, verdant Japanese Garden and the newer, exquisitely-detailed Chinese Garden. A subsequent visit gave me a leisurely afternoon.

  • reflective majesty
  • Crinum
  • Japanese Garden
  • Chinese Garden bridge
  • intricate paving
  • Agaves & Aeoniums
  • texture & color
  • organ-pipe cactus
  • barrel cacti blooms
  • cacti fantasy
  • rosey ring
  • red-blooming cacti
  • Agave parryi
  • structural paradise
Magestic leaves - including Tillandsia - are reflected into the pond.
Crinum x powellii 'Pams Pink'
Bridge over the Japanese water garden.
A moon bridge over the Chinese Garden's water feature.
As is typical of many Chinese gardens, here is this garden's intricate and precise paving.
Majestic Agaves and richly-colored Aeoniums.
Textural and colorful mix with an Aloe, front and center.
This reminds me of organ pipes.
Lovely cacti blooms.
Many fantastical shapes of cacti.

A rosey ring around this cactus.

A plethora of red blossoms.
Elegant Agave parryi stands out among the barrel cacti.
Is there a shape missing here? Perhaps just rectilinear.


Begun by a famous opera singer, Ganna Walska, this former estate turned eclectic & exotic botanic garden has limits: you need an advance reservation. My daughter knew someone who knew someone, and soon we were driving to Lotusland for a special unlimited tour of this amazing quirky garden filled with plant collections to die for. Agaves on steroids, intriguing water features, and fascinating details around every turn made me very glad that we had an extended period to explore this garden.

  • warm day respite
  • Lotusland lotus
  • blown away
  • fountain detail
  • faucet detail
  • Agave!
  • Agave framing
  • topiary
  • ceramic detail
  • Poseidon rules?
  • Zodiac garden
  • clamshell pool
  • Pteradactyl-oh my!
  • amazing cacti
A respite from the warm day.
It's not named Lotusland for nothing.
Begin the tour with being blown away by Agave.
Charming wall fountain.
Dragon faucet made me smile.
An abundance of Agave.
Agave-framed view of backlit cacti.
Lotusland topiary
Fanciful topiary.
ceramic in the hedge
Exquisite ceramic floats in the hedge.
ruler of the garden?
The ruler of the garden oversees all.

Zodiac garden
I'm a Leo, so naturally I took a shot of the Zodiac garden's Leo symbol.

myriad of clamshells around the pool
Clamshell 'beach'.
presitoric-looking Lotusland
An artful Pteradactyl flits across a prehistoric- looking part of the garden.
an amazing array of cacti in Lotusland
An example of great massing - amazing cacti collection.


I'm lucky that my daughter happens to live in Rancho Mirage-next to Palm Springs, CA-because it took us just 10 minutes to get to Sunnylands. We did not do the house tour, which I hear is fabulous, but we did investigate every inch of the garden. It’s not a huge garden, so a couple of hours is sufficient. No surprise: it’s a desert garden and it’s simple and elegant with a minimalist water feature to accent a fabulous display of selected succulents and cacti. This is not a botanic garden, but rather beautifully arranged and massed plants.

  • yellow aloes
  • path by pool
  • water feature detail
  • into the garden
  • Agave parryi
  • succulent flowers
  • stringy cactus
  • desert cacti
  • backlit cacti
  • barrel cacti
  • weird cactus
  • closeup bloom
  • floral bouquet
Loved these yellow aloes!
I thought I took a lot of photos of the water feature, but they mysteriously 'disappeared'. You can see it down on the left of the path.
A corner of the long reflecting pool.
The path into the garden. My daughter's shadow leads the way.
I always love a hit of Agave parryi in a desert garden.
The most obvious flowers in the garden.
This cactus looked like string beans.
A view at just one of the paths. Every path is breathtaking.
Backlighting by the sun doesn't hurt this view!
A barrel-ful of emphasis!

Cactus weirdness.

Cactus bloom closeup.
One bouquet you may not want to touch.


In the mountains of southern Spain, lying next to the city of Granada, lies the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as The Alhambra. Since early Roman tomes this site has gone through many iterations as palaces for Christian and Islamic leaders. Today much of this city turned garden is stylistically Islamic with mosaicked courtyards, viewing towers, and fountains and rills everywhere as a result of a sophisticated hydraulic system sourced in the hills above Granada. This is and endlessly fascinating garden this is hard to see in just one day. But that’s what we did.

  • surrounding views
  • over the roofs
  • courtyard view
  • pebble mosaic path
  • court fountain
  • low fountain
  • shady courtyard
  • looking up
  • Moorish chairs
  • paving detail
  • wall fountain
  • famous courtyard
A tower with surrounding views.
Roofs and ruins.
overhead view into a stunning courtyard
Elegantly simple black and white pebble mosaic path.
A more predominant courtyard fountain and parterre.
Low fountain and pebble mosaic paving.
A very simple fountain and shaded courtyard.
One of the views looking UP.
Spanish/Moorish chairs on this beautifully tiled recess into a building.
An elegant paving detail to resolve two angles.

A beautiful wall fountain at the turn in a path.

THE most amazing courtyard!


An hour’s train ride from Rome to Cisterna di Latina and then a short taxi ride out to the garden to meet your guide for your one hour tour that you arranged at least a month in advance will get you into Ninfa. It is a medieval town that a woman within family that owned the town decided should become a garden in the early 1900s. The garden’s art is the crumbling walls of the old city. You’;; see them draped by vines and accented by gorgeous shrubs and trees, as you hurriedly meander through the garden with many glimpses of ponds, streams, and waterfalls. We had a marvelous Spanish guide who, bless her heart, was more than patient with my camera escapades and even let us peek outside the wall through a gate where we saw a stream completely packed with calla lilies run amuck.

  • first views
  • Ninfa art
  • Ninfa's mood
  • surrounding woods
  • lyrical waterfall
  • Italian cypress
  • medieval demise
  • green water
  • sentinels
  • blue blossoms
  • ruins & cypress
  • romantic bridge
  • reflected cypress
  • Ninfa rose
  • farewell to Ninfa
While waiting for our tour guide, this was my view. Not bad!
Interesting wheel here, but I couldn't quite figure out what it had been fore. An art piece.
Getting into the Ninfa mood: Italian cypress and a ruined building.
Woods surrounding the entire garden.
Lyrical waterfall.
Italian cypress are predominant.
So interesting to see the layers of demise in this old medieval building.
Green water, cool bridge, and Gunnera.
Typical Italian pine trees are this old structure's sentinels.
a few blossoms here and there

Ruins, Italian cypress, and water. Perfect.

A romantic old bridge over the stream.
Italian cypress reflected into the stream.
A symbolic rose of the romance of Ninfa.
Farewell to the ruins and garden of Ninfa. It was splendid.


Since I was on my way to Memphis to speak, I decided to stop in Chicago to see an old high school friend and the Lurie Garden. We visited together. It’s not a terribly large garden and the emphasis is on the mix of perennials and grasses, artfully designed by Piet Oudolf. I was impressed by the perennials that Oudolf chose and the sequence of their bloom and the art of their demise. So beautiful seed heads of spent flowers were mixed in with plants in bloom and plants not even in bud yet. That is artful perennial combining!

  • entry gate
  • Salvia blooms
  • rivers of repetition
  • trees & shrubs
  • backdrop hedge
  • purple river
  • plant signs
  • city views
  • details
  • elegant detail
I woven metal entry gate lets you know you are in the right place.
An abundance of purple salvia blossoms the day we visited.
Repeating rivers of the same plant pulls the garden together into one cohesive design.
One area where there were a few small trees and shrubs.

The dark green hedge at the back made an excellent backdrop.
The purple Salvia river flowed all around us.
Helpful signs let us know what plants were of particular interest& resolved our curiosity.
A view of the city is all around beyond the garden.
Nice intersection of various materials - with a bright chartreuse hedge.
One of several elegantly resolved details.


A large entry gate leads a visitor into the welcome center that has a terrific little café and garden shop to spend some time in after you spend plenty of time out in the garden. Not far from the entry into the garden is a wonderful sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy. The plants are amazing and there are interesting combinations everywhere you look. The rock garden is amazing and there are areas separated by the origin of the plants.  Particularly intriguing to me was the large demonstration edibles garden. I had a chance to talk to the gardener in charge of it as he was busy in the garden. I confess it was easy to stay and talk to him. He had a great Scottish brogue.

  • garden entry
  • 'Stone Wall'-outside
  • 'Stone Wall'-inside
  • Colchicums
  • rock garden
  • crevice garden
  • water feature
  • petrified log
  • path to treasures
  • treasures
  • kitchen garden
  • unusual plants
  • butterfly?
  • memorial bench
  • East Gate Entry
When you leave their fabulous visitor's center (with good restaurant), you see this as you begin your journey around the garden.
Constructed by Andy Goldsworthy, this appeared to be a well - until you look inside.

CInside Andy Goldsworthy's 'Stone Wall'

It was late September, so this was one spectacular bed of Colchicums.
I think this rock garden must have occupied close to a quarter of an acre. Many, many interesting specimen plants.
Notice how the crevice garden stones are laid - more like nature and helpful to holding soil in place.
I followed this very naturalistic water feature. So many interesting plants around it.
petrified wood log
path to the alpine houses
inside the alpine houses - treasures!

An elegant kitchen garden and botanic cottage - just an overview.

This quirky plant caught my eye.
Is it a butterfly? No - it's the new alpine house!
Bute Memorial Bench; Commissioned by Lady Bute as a memorial to her husband John, Sixth Marquess of Bute.
Hammered steel East Gate entry sculpture; From the workshop of blacksmith Alan Dawson. 


This garden oozed charm. It was so comfortable that it felt like a cozy bathrobe. The organization of the garden is incredible and very well-signed so that you can learn about poisonous plants, perfumery plants, etc. Paths are fairly narrow, which I assume may be due to being close to four hundred years old, constrained by walls, city streets of London, and the River Thames. 

  • an entry point
  • garden map
  • perfume garden
  • perfumery sign
  • Linneaus sculpture
  • bodacious border
  • Chelsea greenhouse
  • surprising Agave
  • rock garden pond
  • round arbor
  • sculptural vase
  • Chelsea welcome cat
entry point
entry to point to a smaller garden area
garden map
Here you have a map showing a well-organized garden with some interesting features.

the perfume garden
Entering into the perfume garden. Mmmmmmmmmm.

parfumery sign
A typical sign that well-describes the garden within which you stand.
Linneaus sculpture
Carl Linneaus would have been sorting out plants just about the time the Chelsea Physic Garden was 50 years old. It began in 1673.
a bodacious border
One of Chelsea's more bodacious borders.
one of the Chelsea greenhouses
Crucial to the success of the range of plants within this garden are its greenhouses.
surprising Agave
I was surprised to see some more exotic plants out in the garden.
rock garden pond
One of my favorite gardens was this raised rock garden that surrounded a pond. What a terrific idea to disguise the sides of a raised pond.
round arbor
One of the more interesting ways to sequester an area from the rest of the garden was this round arbor.
a sculptural vase
The garden doesn't contain a lot of sculpture, but what is there is fascinating. This for example.


The private contemporary garden, Jardin de l'alchimiste in the town of Eygalières, Provence, is classified by the French Ministry of Culture as one of the Notable Gardens of France. This garden is full of the symbolism of alchemy.  A visitor goes through the process of turning lead in the black garden through silver in the white garden, and culminates with gold in the red garden. I found the symbolism enchanting and moving.  

  • tunnel entry
  • a rill leads
  • black Aeonium
  • row of Aeoniums
  • row of mondo grass
  • white roses
  • white to red
  • red roses
  • You are golden!
A tunnel of trees leads the way into the garden for you and your spirit.
a rill leads the way
Follow the rill.

black Aloe
The beginning of the black garden starts with black Aeoniums.

row of black Aeoniums
Why have one Aeonium when you can have MORE?
row of black mondo grass
The last row of black plants: black mondo grasses.
white roses
White roses in the white garden are mingled with white and green variegated Miscanthus.
white to red garden
From the white garden you get a peek at the red roses in the red garden.
red roses
Red roses remind you that you have reached the gold stage.
the red star
You have reached the end of the garden and can leave with your golden spirit.



Hidden away in a NW Scottish Highlands cove near Poolewe is a National Trust of Scotland garden with a vast array of unexpected plants. All around this area it gets much colder but, with a wind break created from a collection of trees, this botanical garden exists in a magical microclimate that allows plants from USDA zone 9 to survive and thrive to everyone's amazement. As you explore Inverewe, there are views out across the bay to incredible highland mountains. Linger in one of the well-placed seats. You won't be sorry.

  • sculpture-closeup
  • stunning plants
  • Loch Ewe gates
  • terrarium guidepost
  • amazing pond
  • curled stone landing
  • slate sculpture
  • view across bay
  • labeled areas
The first art I saw at Inverewe was this remarkable slate sculpture.
Plants that should not grow at this latitude - DO!
Gates by artist Bernard Blanc emphasize views out onto the bay.
Clipped evergreen columns in a sea of Miscanthus is spectacular!
What I enjoyed most about the pond was the use of Darmera - one of our own PNW natives!.

stone landing adjacent to the pond

Incredible flat layered slate art by James Parker.
I found this to be a wonderfully imaginative use of plants in this parterre. Exceptional!
Very whimsical topiary!


After a short train ride from London, I met my Welsh Chelsea-gold
landscape designer friend to tour Wisley together.
How better to see this garden, right? We made sure to see all
of the usual traditional (but fabulous) suspects - the giant lawn and pool
near the main building, the parterre garden, the topiary,
the glass house, etc., but what thrilled me the most were the
new meadows by Tom Stuart-Smith and the South African
meadow garden created by Professor
James Hitchmough.
The latter was very newly planted with an impressive array of plants,
but the Stuart-Smith designed garden had matured and
was putting on a stunning display. This may not need to be said,
but the entire garden was chock-full of terrific plant combinations.

I stole a bunch of ideas!

  • entry lawn and pool
  • long border
  • South African meadow
  • Tom Stuart-Smith column meadow
  • Tom Stuart-Smith meadow
  • Kniphofia
  • Persicaria
  • Parterre
  • Topiary
entry lawn and pool
The main building is in the background
The long border
Mixed grasses and perennials are a massive and gorgeous display.
South African meadow
This is a sizable area of brand-new plants, but some that are easily recognizable: Kniphofia and Berkheya are two.
Tom Stuar-Smith column meadow
Clipped evergreen columns in a sea of Miscanthus is spectacular!
Tom Stuart-Smith meadow
The meadows here, designed by Tom Stuart-Smith, are an amazing display of grasses, perennials, and some shrubs.

Who doesn't like the fireworks display of Kniphofia in a garden?

Persicaria with grasses and shrubs catch your eye in the long border.
I found this to be a wonderfully imaginative use of plants in this parterre. Exceptional!
Very whimsical topiary!


One of my favorite gardens during my visit to Provence
is the personification of design consistency. A myriad of
Italian cypress and pyramids of yew visually holds the
garden together. Beautiful seating invited us to sit down
and enjoy the view or we could wander to see the
results of the annual birdhouse competition.

  • cypress allee
  • charming patio
  • yew pyramids
  • scarlet bench
  • birdhouse competition
cypress allee
charming patio
yew pyramids
scarlet bench
birdhouse competition


The Ruth Bancroft Garden, Walnut Creek, CA is one of
the most fabulous succulent gardens I've ever seen.
Intrepid spikes of yucca and agave and teddy-bear looking,
multicolored-cacti contrast with grass-like succulents
and brilliant flashes of flowering aloe in early spring.

  • textural contrast
  • colorful teddy bear
  • curly yucca filaments
  • agave color
  • grass-like succulents
textural contrast
colorful teddy bear
yucca texture
agave color
grass-like succulents


Filoli is on the Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area.
It is a magical, traditional garden. I happened to see it in
early spring and I can hardly wait to go back and
see it again. The images speak for themselves.

  • places to rest
  • places to wander
  • potted daffodils
  • massed narcissus
  • visual feast
  • tulipmania
places to rest
places to wander
potted daffodils
massed narcissus
visual feast


Chanticleer Garden is just outside Philadelphia, PA. It is a
plant lover's and a designer's paradise. Although I visited in
June when they had removed all things spring and just planted
for summer, it was still a remarkable garden. I'm so glad I visited it!

  • entry courtyard water feature
  • the pool and its French pool house
  • the play house
  • growing barley
  • alliums & sedges
  • bridge and astilbes
  • council of chairs
  • drinking fountain art
  • Marcia Donahue face
  • Granite Water feature
  • deluxe cold frames

Chanticleer entry courtyard water feature

the famous entry courtyard and its water feature

Chanticleer pool and pool house

the pool house matches the house architecture, while the rooster in the foreground emphasizes the French style

Chanticleer play house

While strolling away from the house you encounter the back side of a play house. When you peek into the house, this is the fantasy you see.

Chanticleer: growing barley

Huge swathes of barley grown adjacent to the lawn are dramatic and disquise what is beyond.

Chanticleer's alliums among grasses

Alliums pop up here and there among unmown sedges.

Chanticleer: bridge in front of astilbes

A bridge is all the more visible due to the mass of white astilbe blooms beyond.

Chanticleer: Council of chairs

A discovery on the other side of the large pond: a council of chairs

Chanticleer drinking fountain art

Even drinking fountains can be artful.

Chanticleer: Donahue face

A Marcia Donahue carved stone face provides a gentle focal point among the grasses.

Chanticleer: granite water feature

A remarkable black granite stone water feature out in the middle of the ruin. Fascinating destination!

Chanticleer: deluxe cold frames

I found myself envying these amazingly well-built cold frames.


Portland's Japanese Garden is probably the best Japanese
garden outside of Japan. It is a large strolling garden
with many aspects, some of which are shown below.
A garden that is beautiful in any season, it is
an inspiration for an inward journey, too

  • entry stone detail
  • entry plants and moss
  • variation in stone
  • view towards wisteria arbor
  • pond view with lantern
  • bench detail at
    koi pond
  • Japanese maple and bamboo fence
  • wall detail
  • zen garden
  • raked garden
Entry stone detail
A fallen maple leaf accents this stone detail along the entry path.
entry plants and moss
Plants intermingling with mossy rocks greet visitors along the entry path to the garden.
variation in stone
Along the path, a study in combining stones with a wonderful result!
view towards wisteria arbor
Seeing the wisteria upon the arbor reminds me I must return in the spring to see it in its full glory.
pond view with lantern
A snow lantern on a rock peninsula extends into the koi pond.
bench detail at pond
A simply designed bench perfectly complements the simplicity of the koi pond
Japanese maple and bamboo fence
Full of many Japanese maples, this is one of the most photographed and surrounded by beautifullly created bamboo fencing
wall detail
A wonderful detail atop the wall surrounding the zen garden
zen garden
Raked gravel and symbolic islands of stone within a severe rectangle...all designed for contemplation
raked garden
beautifully raked gravel around moss islands surrounded by luscious plantings


Perhaps my favorite garden in Portland because it reminds
me of my trips to China. A feast for the senses year round,
take a stroll through this small (one city block) Suzhou style garden.

  • entry fu-lion
  • persimmon ornaments
  • windows to the outside world
  • window and roofline
  • pond and pavilion bridge
  • pebble mosaic at tea house
  • sliver view
  • garden pavilions
  • moss and pebble mosaic detail
  • pond and pavilion
Fu-Lion Sculpture
At the exterior courtyard, fu-lions greet visitors.
Looking towards a pavilion
In late fall, persimmons are colorful ornaments on a single glorious tree as you enter the garden.
windows to the outside world
Occasional views to the outside world are viewed through these beautifully carved windows.

In summer, water lilies and lotus ornament the pond. adding another dimension to the view.
A bridge to more pavilions extends across this part of the pond. Note the fall color of the weeping willow beyond.
paving at tea house
Outside the tea house are exquisite pebble mosaic paving and autumn chrysanthemums.
view through one pavilion to another
Architecture is at least (or more) important in a Chinese garden as the plants.
an exquisite garden path
Banana trees were still around before the big freeze in December. The garden's walls create a micro-climate.
moss and pebble mosaic detail
Long winter shadows creep across the moss and pebble mosaic paving.
pond and pavilion
See from the entry terrace through the main pavilion are the reflective pond and other pavilions.


On my way to the Detroit APLD conference, I decided to
stop for a day in Denver to see the Denver Botanic Garden.
Much to my delight, Panayoti Kelaides, their Outreach Director,
became my garden guide. The garden is very large with many
different components. My photos are a teensy slice of what I
saw there. I was most taken with the rock gardens and
the wide expanses of perennials and grasses.

  • waer feature and greenhouse
  • granite and rock garden plants
  • vertically oriented rock
  • vertical rock close-up
  • drought-tolerant plants
  • large grassy meadow
  • grasses and sculpture
  • their Japanese Garden
  • pond sculpture
  • eryngium and granite
  • wall and cacti
  • conifers and perennials
  • shade garden pebble mosaic
pond and greenhouse beyond
A large pond and water feature catch visitors eyes as soon as they leave the large building in the background.
Stone and plants at the DBG
The stone everywhere in the garden is beautifully used and expertly placed.
Vertical Rock
A fabulous exampleof a rock garden where the stones are laid up and down to minimize erosion.
vertical rock close-up
closer view of the rock garden
more rock garden at the DBG
Exhuberant drought-tolerant plantings are everywhere!
large grassy meadow
A large grassy meadow provides an excellent example of prairie grasses in the Rocky Mountains.
grasses and sculpture
A wonderfully primitive sculpture sits among tall grasses.
DBG's Japanese Garden
Existing in the Rocky Mountains is a well-adapted Japanese Garden.
pond sculpture
A playful columnar sculpture sets mid-pond where two benches have the perfect view.
eryngium and granite
Eryngium dance among the stones with a wonderful textural contrast.
wall and cacti
Wonderful textural contrast between cacti, wood shingles, and the smooth wall.
conifers and perennials
A large variety of conifers offers evergreen substance for the winter when the perennials are dormant.
shade garden pebble mosaic
Installed by the DBG's staff, this is a fabulous pebble mosaic in a shady garden.


The new Chihuly Glass Garden sits at the base of
Seattle's Space Needle. It is an explosion of colorful glass
in an amazing garden setting designed by
Richard Hartlage. A must-see when visiting Seattle.


  • the SUN!
  • contemporary furnishings
  • red glass
    focal point
  • vibrant aqua glass spires
  • bronzy glass
  • old log with spires and orbs
  • paving detail and bench
  • sizzling red-orange flames
  • complementary colors
Sun symbol is a spectacular first view near the entry into the garden.
entry furnishings
Contemporary furnishings work well with this garden on the large patio for visitors.
red glass focal point
Focal points along the path pull visitors through the garden.
vibrant blue glass
Themed area of blue and aqua glass works well with the plants especially selected to coordinate.
bronzy glass
Bronzy glass is easier to see amongst white blossoms.
blue spires along old log
An old log features blue and lavender spires and these intriguing dark bronze fungi.
paving detail
A wonderful paving detail in front of a bench calls attention to an opportunity to sit and feast your eyes.

Set off by pale pink groundcover roses, these red orange flames sizzle. Note the amazing yellow glass spire in the background.
complementary colors
Orange glass on one side and blue on the other side of the path are a perfect complement to one another.


Created in the heart of busy New York City and
esting about 20 feet above ground, this garden
winds its way through many streets and blocks,
north to south, close to the Hudson River.
It is a garden intended for strolling and seeing
Nature in all of its beauty – even in its fall decay.
There are many places for sitting and gathering so
you can watch the plants OR the people. I visited the
garden in October 2015, so while there were still
leaves on the trees and a few perennials in bloom,
the blooming grasses were the major stars accompanied
by the seed heads of spent perennials.
Visit the north end after dark to see how the garden
is lit at night. It is afabulous garden and
is well-loved by the people of NYC.

  • areas for child play
  • gathering
  • hardscape theme
  • typical seating
  • high-back seating
  • lawn
  • bridge railing
  • graffiti art
  • forest begins
  • into the forest
  • stage 3 transition
  • former railroad ties
  • asters, amsonia, and panicum
  • calamagrostis and coreopsis
  • grasses and steel
  • masses of grasses
  • seed heads
  • seeds and leaves

areas for child play
Several areas were especially for children, who took full advantage of the opportunity.



Grouped seating with overhead shade allows for multiple gatherings.
hardscape theme
Intriguing LED stick lighting among grasses and perennials ornament this special style of hardscape.
typical seating
At dusk, lights come on beneath the typical seating found abundantly along the way. Here grasses and buildings create the backdrop.
high back seating
Along the way, seating shifts in a few places to have higher backs.
'Do Not Sit on the Grass' signs kept people from lounging on the lawn long enough for it to grow back.
bridge railing
Through the cable guard rails at the bridge, we saw beautifully lit grasses.
graffitti art
One of many sculptural displays of 3D graffiti art.
forest begins
To break up the length of massed grasses and perennials, a small forest begins.
into the forest
Following the old rails, there is now a forest on all sides.
stage 3 transition
Transitioning to the new stage 3 of the High Line is this curved area of seating.
former railroad ties
Old railroad ties are just lit as dusk settles over the third phase of the High Line.
asters, amsonia, and grasses
Lasting late into the fall are these purple asters with amsonia intermingled and red Panicum in the background.
calamagrostis and coreopsis
The feathery plumes of Korean feather reed grass mixed with the everblooming yellow Coreopsis 'Moonlight'.
grasses and steel
Soft plumes of Korean feather reed grass plays beautifully off of the sleek steel siding on the background building.
masses of grasses
A large block of Calamagrostis brachytricha breaks up the mix of perennials on either side and creates a simple pause for the eyes.
seed heads
Little pom poms of Echinacea seed heads dance against the backdrop of buildings.
Seeds and Leaves
Even though there are many seed heads, there are still considerable leaves for contrast before a killing frost.

Which gardens inspire you?

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