After you get past the fabulous greeting toad at BBG, and before you head to the exciting Ravine Experience exhibit, make sure you stop by the long double border. Even this early in the season, the color artistry of designers Withey and Price are on full display.
It was cold and windy when I visited this week, but the sun came out in teasing April fashion. It's that moment (which if it stays this chilly will last at least another week, probably longer) when the hellebores and daffodils and are still hanging on, and the herbaceous plants are coming into their own.
I'm writing a story for Pacific Northwest magazine about the BBG's exciting new Olson Kundig designed Visitor's Center, about to break ground. You can check out renderings and plans in the Short Visitor's Center (don't worry, none of the beloved garden areas will be sacrificed to new buildings...).
But the real action is out in the long, double border, where trees are leafing out in a chartreuse haze, peonies are in fine new bronze foliage, and narcissus cheer up the scene as only they can do, pale petals contrasting with the rich darkness of the newly laid mulch.
Deer are a big problem at the border, solved by cages around the newer trees, softened with swathes of ruby-toned hellebore planted at their base.
If you've been pondering how best to integrate skunk cabbage into your garden - here's your lesson...yellow skunk cabbage is the focal point amidst golden daffodils, blue primroses and anemones...
The bold spikes of Yucca filamentosa 'Garland's Gold' are even more dramatic planted next to black mondo grass
And of course I strolled through the Waterwise Garden, and was rewarded by the surprise of a few Crown Imperial fritillaria poking up through the shrubbery in this best established of the gardens at BBG. Treat yourself to a spring border visit, and watch for my story in the Seattle Times about what's to come...