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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

Yellow Roses

'Golden Celebration'
In the movie "Sweet Dreams", Patsy Cline (Jessica Lange) longs for stardom and the desire to own a house with a picket fence and yellow roses. At one point her mother (Ann Wedgeworth) moans "I'm sick of hearing about that house with the yellow roses!"

Of course Patsy Cline did gain stardom and I hope she got her house with the yellow roses before her life was cut short in a plane crash. 

I like yellow roses too. I would not say that yellow is my favorite color of roses but they are really stunning on an overcast day like the one we had yesterday. We were working most of the day spreading bark mulch and I happened to glance up and notice 'Golden Celebration' blooming along with Spanish Lavender and it took my breath away.

I have 'Golden Celebration' by means of a mail order error - it was sent in place of another rose I had ordered. Apparently it had been mislabeled.

I have moved this rose three times and I'm hoping it is now finally in a good spot. This is a rose that can be grown as a shrub or a climber. I would love for it to climb up the gate arch next to it. Right now it stands about 4 feet tall.

Here are some more yellow roses blooming right now - 


'Chinatown' is one of my favorite roses. It is a shrub rose with an upright, narrow habit. It stands about five feet tall. The color of the blooms is a deep yellow that is sometimes tinged with a slight flush of red or pink. The fragrance is strong. 


'Baby Love'

'Baby Love' is a small shrub rose that reminds me of a miniature. Less than one foot high, it has single blooms with gold stamens. 


'Gold Medal'

And finally, 'Gold Medal' which is a robust grandiflora rose. This grows next to the south wall of our house. It is blooming profusely at the moment. No matter how much I prune it, it quickly retains a 7 feet height. The large blooms begins with a deep golden hue that fade to light yellow. The seemingly endless succession of flowers means you have both old and newer ones at the same time. Keeping the older blooms cut off tidies the appearance. Mildew is sometimes a problem, perhaps due to the fact that is underneath the roof eave and it gets dry. A good watering and a dose of Neem oil usually takes care of the problem.  

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Yellow roses are my favorites. I think it is because when I was in the hospital a long time ago my brother brought me a bouquet of yellow roses. I had never paid much attention to roses prior to that.
    I like all of these. I don't remember seeing that China rose before. Interesting how the outer petals are so pale. Mmmmm fragrant too. Nice.

  2. I have 'Golden Celebration' but mine's not nearly as flowerful as yours even though I've moved it once in an effort to make it happy. Another move is probably necessary but I've yet to identify a good spot for it.

  3. Yellow is my least favorite color, but there are so many absolutely wonderful plants with yellow flowers---how can I not grow them? Glorious shot of GC there. 'Chinatown' has a beautiful yellow color--so purely yellow and nothing else.

  4. Oh I am very partial to yellow roses.. I have 5 though 3 of them are the same (Molineaux) and a decision will have to be made about those soon since the space they live in has become more and more shaded over the years , much to shady for roses now.


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