Fluttering Flowers
July 1, 2019 – 12:08 am | Comments Off on Fluttering Flowers

Regular readers of this blog know that your Road Trips Gardener considers butterflies as fluttering flowers (of course, they’re privileged visitors to gardens as well).
There are all sorts of places to see butterflies. Some botanical …

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Elandan Gardens

Submitted by on December 6, 2010 – 9:09 pmNo Comment
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By Ellen Park
The Road Trips Gardener

Sometimes, Road Trips Gardeners, you visit a commercial nursery that turns out to be much more than just a garden vendor. Elandan Gardens, 3050 West State Highway 16, Bremerton, Washington, is just such a place.

It’s been several years since my visit to the Kitsap Peninsula west of Seattle, but Elandan Gardens remain on my mind. Dan Robinson (pictured, at left) took an abandoned industrial site and turned it into a natural wonderland. The six-acre site was a bramble-covered landfill dating back to the 1930s that was never developed past its refuse origins. What began as a landfill on the shores of Puget Sound in 1994, has evolved into a dramatic landscape of alpine micro-environments that include ancient gnarled trees, silvery dead wood, waterfalls, a pond and monuments of stone encrusted with moss and lichen — all the more amazing because everything was created by Dan, Diane, Shanna and Will Robinson (if their transformation of the site doesn’t inspire you to better gardening in your own backyard, nothing will).

The garden has grown into so much more than a garden shop. Yes, you can buy plants and the equipment you need for gardening as well as arrange for landscaping. There’s also an extensive gift shop that starts with nature and rambles on through apparel, art and interior design. You won’t want to miss Will Robinson’s massive sculpture, mostly in stone (such as the piece at right), but also using cast glass, bronze and stainless steel.

And, then, there are the bonsai. I’ve been a bonsai fan since I lived in Los Angeles (about a half-mile from a street filled with the nurseries of first-, second- and third-generation Japanese-American entrepreneurs), but Dan’s collection is nothing short of astonishing. Pictured is an Alaska Yellow Cedar (Camaecyparis nootkatensis) that Dan pegs to 1650. It’s just one of the marvels in his Bonsai Museum, which includes trees much older than that one. Most were collected from wild places (where they were naturally “bonsai’d”), and then further trained by Dan.

If ever you’re in the region, do drop by!

(Photo, top left, by Ellen Park; photos at right, courtesy of Elandan Gardens)

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