Birrell garden at the Garden Blogger’s Spring Fling

In late July, I was lucky enough to meet up with 70 wonderful and somewhat crazed garden bloggers at the fourth annual Garden Blogger’s Fling, held this year in Seattle. Hosted by Lorene Edwards Forkner of Planted at Home, Marty Wingate of In the Garden with Marty Wingate, Outdoor Living Expert Debra Prinzing, and Mary Ann Newcomer of Gardens of the Wild Wild West, the Garden Blogger’s Fling was a four-day garden-touring, people-meeting, drink-swilling extravaganza. Good times.

We saw so many fantastic gardens during the Fling, but one my favourites was actually the very first. Belonging to Suzette Birrell and her husband Jim, this North Seattle garden stood out for me for a few reasons: it was personal (and infused with personality!). It was full of charming vignettes and subtle garden art without veering into kitsch or having the details overpower the garden as a whole. And it had the most fabulous vegetable garden.

The focal point of the backyard is a bright blue shed (although the word shed hardly describes it!).

Walking up to the shed you notice this croquet set leaning against a tree trunk – one example of the little vignettes I mentioned.

We were all thrilled by the use of these overturned galvanized pails as light fixtures for inside the shed. Cute, right?

I also loved the large screens Suzette had set out for drying herbs, and of course, garlic.

In the vegetable garden, this nasturtium-filled pot was a great contrast to the golden marjoram – and echo to the Lacinato kale.

A bat house stands sentinel to the back of the shed where beans climb up a metal frame.

Embrace your inner voyeur – check out some of my other garden tours.

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