Inspired by… Windcliff

We made our first trip to Windcliff, Dan Hinkley’s esteemed garden in Indianola, on a hot Saturday afternoon in early June. It was a Northwest Perennial Alliance Garden Open Day. If you missed it, do not worry. There are plenty of opportunities to visit Windcliff this summer.

The road that one travels to reach this destination does not publicize the treasured garden that lies ahead. It’s shaded and nondescript, full of curves and really patient drivers who must pull off to the side so that you can get by. In a moment of uncertainty, we turned around to make a call for clearer directions. We were actually on the right track. Who says that gardening doesn’t offer the thrill of adventure?

We saw a plant with a stem that resembled a snake and one that looked like a cloud of feather plumes. The garden art on display–pods w/ etchings of a dragon’s face hanging like lanterns, frogs made of concrete wading in a bird bath–added a delightful sense of the unexpected. Visit, and you will see: a perfect view of Mt Rainier, swaths of Agapanthus, palm trees that feel native somehow, and hummingbirds fluttering and darting as they wait their turn for the feeder.

It’s a garden that transports you to another world. Dan Hinkley’s world.

Windcliff garden

This gravel road is lined with different types of bamboo, mahonia and many other interesting plants that you’ve likely never seen before.

Windcliff garden

This plant was begging to be touched!

Windcliff garden

This is one of many pods that hang at the entrance door. The detail is exquisite.

Windcliff garden

This smiling face is perfectly placed in a shallow pond.

Dan Hinkley garden

Striking contrast

Windcliff garden

Cactus will grow outdoors here in the Pacific NW in the right microclimate.

Windcliff garden

More contrast

Windcliff garden

Water or moss–which would you choose?

Windcliff garden

Rare and unusual and reptilian

The Agapanthus were not yet in bloom at the time of our visit. To witness them in their full glory is a perfect reason for us to return to Windcliff. If you’ve been to Windcliff, log in to Facebook and let us know in the comments section below what you love most about this garden.

Thanks for reading our blog.  Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here.

5 Tips to Attract Hummingbirds

Lately, we’ve been thinking a lot about which plants will thrive in a drought resistant garden here in the Pacific Northwest and also attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. There’s nothing quite like the pleasure felt while watching bees happily buzz from bloom to bloom. It’s the very reason some of us garden!

Anna's Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird, a species we see here in the Puget Sound. Photo credit Janine Donoho

Last weekend while planting in my mother’s garden I was presented with a moment of pure joy. Within minutes after digging holes for three Penstemon barbatus ‘Red Riding Hood,’ a hummingbird came whizzing by and perched itself on a nearby birch tree, eyeing the plant’s red, tubular flowers. Then it buzzed towards them and feasted on each plant while I looked on with total satisfaction.

Do you want to attract hummingbirds to your garden? If so, then read on. The hum of their wings and the sight of them zipping and weaving is such a joy to experience.

5 tips to attract hummingbirds:

1. Buy more than one feeder. Hummingbirds can be territorial about their food sources. Having multiple small feeders placed far apart from one another may attract more birds to your garden than one large one.

2. Provide nutritional balance. Place your feeders in the vicinity of nectar-producing shrubs, vines and perennials with red, orange or red-orange tubular-shaped blossoms, with bloom times that vary throughout the year. A favorite of ours that’s not red or orange is Salvia guarantica ‘Black and Blue.’ It features striking cobalt-blue flowers, and hummingbirds, bees and butterflies love it.

3. Give them a place to bathe. Place a shallow birdbath or water feature that creates a spray or mist of water near their food source. Rocks or glass stones can be added to a birdbath so that the water isn’t too deep.

4. Consistently clean your feeders. Bacteria and molds that form in feeders can be deadly, so be sure to clean and change the solution at least once a week. When temperatures rise with summer heat, it’s a good idea to clean them every four to five days.

5. Plant native nectar plants nearby. Native plants and hummingbird populations have evolved together over time, and native plants are best adapted to our climate, seasons and soil. Ribes sanguineum (Red Flowering Currant) is a gorgeous, drought-resistant native shrub, and a magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies.

It may take a month or two before hummingbirds make an appearance, but eventually, they’ll come. Log in to Facebook and let us know what you’ve planted in your garden to attract hummingbirds!

Thanks for reading our blog.  Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here.