I spent part of the day with Mary Robson in her Pt. Townsend garden overlooking Discovery Bay, along with a group of King County master gardeners. Her home and garden, although surrounded by large trees, has an opening to let in the warm sunshine. We welcomed the warming rays of the late winter sun, and as we traipsed through Mary’s garden, she shared inspiring stories about her garden obsession.
Her garden features tough, drought tolerant plants and spring bulbs, with lots and lots of daffodils—one of Mary’s passions. After all, a late winter/early spring garden doesn’t herald the wakening season without the long strappy leaves leaping out of the soil, topped with sunny-hued blossoms.
The garden is nestled into the hillside, sculpted with terraces of basalt rock, stone stairs and flagstone paths. A view of Discovery Bay opens up to the west and trees border her just-over-an-acre property. Her gardens surround the home and she explains how she holds herself back when she thinks about expanding the garden further into the trees. This is a good choice; she can enjoy her garden, and not be a slave to it, allowing Mother Nature to tend the wilder parameters surrounding her home.
Living in the wilds of the Olympic Peninsula has shown her what pests deer can be. She is learning strategies to cope and minimize their destructive habits. Her last home on Capitol Hill in Seattle didn’t have deer pillaging city gardens. Over the years, she empathized with gardeners’ woeful tales of marauding deer, but she couldn’t relate to it. Now she knows firsthand what a nuisance these four-legged creatures are.
Visual Highlights of Mary’s Garden
Mary Robson is a retired horticulture agent from Washington State University/King County Cooperative Extension. Robson wrote a column for the Seattle Times “Dig” until the newspaper retired the section. She continues to garden, write and give lectures.