Hostas, hellebores, hebes – oh my!

Saturday is a rare chance to visit three beautiful and amazing Bainbridge Island gardens, plus the Heronswood Gardens at Kingston, through The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program (read my previous post here).

The national program, begun in 1995, offers the public a glimpse at hundreds of private gardens around the country and encourages the preservation of exceptional American gardens.
The Bainbridge gardens, each of which will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., are:

• Little and Lewis Garden Gallery, with exotic plants, colorful concrete sculpture and water features, 1940 Wing Point Way N.E.

• McFarlane Gardens, which includes a meditative Zen garden with a ceiling of evergreens
above a burbling water feature; a reflecting pool with bronzed goddess; tropical plants; and themed areas reflecting Northwest, Asian, English, Italian and Mediterranean influences, 9340 N.E. South Beach.

• The Skyler Garden, with hostas, hellebores, hebes, spirea, perennials and more than 85 varieties of ferns, and a shade garden with a pond and feeders that attract many birds, 9734 Manitou Place.

• Heronswood Gardens in Kingston, now operated as a research garden by W. Atlee Burpee & Co., will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features rare plants in a variety of microclimates, from a shady woodland to a sunny rock garden, 7530 N.E. 288th St. Plants will not be for sale on site, but many are available online or through the Heronswood catalog.

Each garden will ask a $5 admission fee to help the work of The Garden Conservancy. For more information, call 888-842-2442 or see www.gardenconservancy.org/opendays.

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