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The Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle

The Sunny Bank I was very excited to get the opportunity to visit this garden because I've heard so much about it. It did not disappoint. The garden was created by Elisabeth Carey Miller and her husband Pendleton who purchased the house in 1948. Mrs. Miller was a self-taught gardener who used her artistic skills (she majored in Art History) to create the stunning garden which features a dense canopy of native conifers. She became a plant collector and tracked down unusual specimens and was known as a well-respected plantswoman in the horticultural community. The front entrance Visiting this garden is not exactly easy. It is situated in a restricted community and there is a limit to the number of visitors per year. You must make an appointment on the website at designated times or you can find a tour group like I did. The address isn't listed either although even if you had it, you would have to get past the security guard at the gate to the neighborhood. I think if I lived in

More roses

"Veilchenblau" on archway, "Mutabablis" below. "Mutabalis" is a bit puny from the winter die-back but it is rebounding.

Roses on top of the pergola - "Russell's Cottage Rose" on the left and "Rambling Rector" on the right.

Rose along the pergola border - "Double Knock-Out" on the left. On the right you can see "Gourmet Popcorn" (white miniature), "Gartendirektor Otto Linne", "Russell's Cottage Rose" and "Rambling Rector".

The hybrid musk rose "Moonlight" always put on a good show.

"Daydream" is a modern shrub rose that I purchased on a whim at Home Depot a few years ago. It is beautiful when it first blooms but usually tends to get blackspot later in the summer.

"La Marne" - all around fantastic rose.

"Peggy Martin" aka The Hurricane Katrina Rose, is growing up the trunk of a declining cyptomeria.

Near the back driveway entrance and alongside the street is a hedge of "Gartendirektor Otto Linne".

Behind the fence is "Tausendschön", also known as "Thousand Beauties".

Along the front border "Marjorie Fair" blooms on the right. The center row of roses are "Alba Meidiland" which are just beginning to open. Also in the border but harder to see are the roses "Marchella Boccella", "Frederic Mistral" and "Marie Daly".

"Marjorie Fair", aka "Red Ballerina" on the right. The light pink rose on the left is sold by the Antique Rose Emporium as "Lavender Pink Parfait". The tall pink rose in the back is "Frederic Mistral".

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Phillip...they are out if this world beautiful! !!

  2. Breathtaking. I can only imagine how fragrant and delightful it is to walk along the paths in your garden.

  3. I drool over your garden! It is the most gorgeous thing. When I read your blog, I pretend I'm sitting in
    your beautiful space. Thanks for creating such a work of art
    jane in tx

    1. Just added vielchenblau myself. I hope it has that kind of display someday

  4. Oh I did enjoy that tour ! Some lovely roses blooming there ! Love Veilchenblau - mine is nearly out, but not quite ... can't wait !!
    What sort of care do you give them - organic/ non organic ?

  5. Wow is about all I can say. Happy GBBD.

  6. Jane, I have experimented with various things over the years but I have not fed them with anything for the past 3 or 4 years. I find that the best thing is to keep the soil healthy and rich and I add leaves and compost in the fall and sometimes again in the spring.

  7. wow - your garden is a riot of roses!!

  8. hmmm...was thinking to add Veilchenblau on my fence, but maybe it needs more room. Yours is stunning! <3 Is that only one plant?


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