Monday, July 2, 2012

Around the Miller Garden, Part 2

Mrs. Miller planted so many trees on her 7-acre estate overlooking Puget Sound that what could potentially be a panoramic view of the water framed by a few trees is more like a view of a lot of trees framed by a couple narrow views of the water.

One of the culprits is this live oak, Quercus chrysolepis, which happens to be a state champion.

Quercus chrysolepis (Canyon live oak)
It is practically begging to have a tree house build in it.

Quercus chrysolepis (Canyon live oak)
A giant Schefflera delavayi looking happy. Yes, it is evergreen and reliably hardy in the greater Seattle area (to around 5F/-15C).  It seemed a little out of place here because the tropical look is decidedly not a theme in the Miller Garden, but I'm glad to see them growing it anyway.  I also noticed a couple Schefflera taiwanianas growing in pots.

Schefflera delavayi
There is one big drawback to the Miller Garden: name tags are few and far between.  None of the groundcovers, perennials, or small shrubs had name tags and very few of the trees did.  So while I know this plant below is in the rhubarb family, I don't know much more about it.

Mystery Rhubarb
I think this is a Mahonia fortunei.

Mahonia fortunei?
Along with Rhododendrons & Japanese maples, their collection of ferns is very extensive.  This is a fern called Pyrrosia sheareri.  Most of the old fronds from last year still look great.

Pyrrosia sheareri
Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair fern)
I have no idea what this is:

Mystery fern
They also have one of the most incredible nurseries filled with thousands of rare plants, but nothing is for sale.  I find that a bit odd because they could raise a lot of money from people like me trying to spend their life savings on rare plants.

Tables filled with plants you've never seen before
Inside one of the greenhouses
I don't know what this is, but I want it!!
Extensive hepatica collection
Even though you can't buy a single plant, they are nice enough to give away a free one at the end of the tour.  I left with an Ercilla volubilis, which is an evergreen vine that Far Reaches Farm happens to be selling on their website.

Ercilla volubilis
Continue on to Part 3.


  1. You'd think some enterprising individual would have come up with a way they could raise plants but still sell them too. Even if it was only at some off site once a year sale like at Bloedel (because I'm thinking all it would take is you, me and a few people I know, to visit in back to back weekends and their onsite nursery would be wiped out). Cool about the free plant though...

  2. Mystery rhubarb is a typical ornamental rhubarb: Rheum tanguticum

    Mystery fern is one of my most favorites, E V E R! Polystichum setiferum 'Plumoso-Multilobum' or the Plumose Soft Shield Fern.

    Your Mahonia fortunei is possibly a hybrid, according to Ritchie, but it closesly resembles M. confusa, which botanist want to lump with M. eurybracteata. You confused yet??

    Glad you had a chance to visit. Was this your first time??

  3. What a great place! I'm thinking that if you still have savings, you aren't buying enough plants:)