Patio of the Week: A Cozy Backyard Escape Warms Seattle Gardeners

This Seattle couple has more passion for gardening than they do for sports, and so that they substituted a complete tennis court on their property with a vegetable garden, greenhouse and tool shed with a living roof. Located close to Discovery Park in Seattle, the backyard’s greenhouse provides a respite from cold and rain in winter. Gold, orange, yellow, purple and red blossoms, leaves and furnishings offer a riot of bright color that enlivens the whole lawn, even under Seattle’s frequently gray heavens, although raised vegetable beds offer plenty of fresh produce for your table.

Berger Partnership

“It’s a great space to pot up plants in winter once you really wish to work in the garden, but do not wish to have completely drenched,” says landscape architect Jason Henry of Berger Partnership.

The greenhouse, full with citrus and other tender plants that emerge from the flagstone paving, has a big counter and sink. It backs up to a new shed, which has a green roof planted with sedums and a water harvesting system for your greenhouse. “The shed was a big part of the program for the design; there was a strong desire to arrange and visually comprise all of the stuff such as pots, tools and toys for the grandkids,” Henry says.

Berger Partnership

Continuous bluestone flagstone paving and gorgeous custom glass doors make a smooth connection between the greenhouse and the remainder of the garden.

“There has been a lot of cut bluestone used for the paving around the home, so we needed to tie into that, but did not want replicate it,” Henry explains. “Together with the bluestone as flagstone allowed us to be softer on the edges and weave the plantings and paving together.”

Pavilion doors: Architectural Glass/Greg Carman

Berger Partnership

Raised beds arranged in meticulous lines give the garden a pleasing and coordinated modern arrangement. The beds are irrigated by drip tubing.

While the beds are aesthetically pleasing, work has been the best priority. “Raised vegetable beds were the principal focus, and we all spent a lot of time contemplating the advantages and disadvantages of the prospective substances in the early stages of the job,” Henry says. “We settled on concrete because of its durability over hardwood and its ability to serve as a heat sink” In addition, he added chairs to the two long sides to make it even more comfortable to work at the beds.

The fiery orange blossoms on the left are dahlias, developed for cut flowers.

Berger Partnership

An orange trellis covers the main crushed basalt path; the other end (supporting us) provides a view out to Puget Sound. “The trellis is exactly the identical color as the Pyracantha that are espaliered on the primary house,” Henry says. “There are several vines clambering over the trellis, but my favorite is a dark foliaged grape.”

Berger Partnership

This quote from Mary Oliver’s poem The Leaf and the Cloud retains a particular spot in the homeowners’ hubs: “Eternity isn’t afterwards, or at any unfindable place. Roses, roses, roses, roses”

Berger Partnership

Golden Adirondack chairs perform the backyard’s color palette. They also supply a comfortable place to gather after a long day of gardening, enjoying the warmth from the fire pit and also seeing the grandkids play bocce.

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