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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

Foliage Follow-up

Spirea 'Ogon' with New Zealand Flax (Phormium 'Rainbow Queen') in the background.

Foliage Follow-up is hosted by Pam at Digging and is a follow-up to Bloom Day. Everything is greening up nicely here despite the fact that we are notably behind on rainfall.


Physocarpus opulifolius 'Amber Jubilee' (Ninebark)

We have two Ninebarks in the garden. The other is 'Coppertina' and it is covered with a white powdery substance that I figure is powdery mildew. I plan to get out and do something for it later this week.


Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' (Smoke Tree) and 

Salix integra 'Hakuro Nishiki' (Dappled willow)


Deschampsia flexuosa 'Aurea' (Tatra Gold Hair Grass)

Yes, there are flowers but I think the leaves are the highlight of 
Cornus kousa 'Celestial Shadow' (Dogwood)

Picea pungens (Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa'
Picea pungens (Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa'

Picea orientalis 'Skylands'


Abies pinsapo ‘Glauca’ (Blue Spanish Fir)

Juniper 'Daub's Frosted'

Pinus contorta 'Taylor's Sunburst'

White Pine (Pinus strobus 'Fastigiata')

Japanese Maple 'Sango Kaku'

Santolina ericoides
Rhammus 'Fine Line' (Buckthorn)

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. You have some amazing trees and shrubs. I love the conifers.

  2. You have great variety in your garden, Phillip, and you know how to set everything off. I'm not surprised considering how beautiful your old garden was.

  3. Just beautiful Phillip. Oh, to visit someday!~~Dee

  4. Phillip, your conifers are just as beautiful as any bloom!

  5. You have a gorgeous selection of conifers. The Buckthorn 'Fine Line' has been on my wish list for a while. I just love how airy it is and it has nice bark too.


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