Pathway to Garden Heaven in Bremerton



Albers Vista Gardens – © P.S. I Love Peas Blog

While visiting a friend in Gig Harbor, I decided to make a day trip of it. After our visit, I headed out to find a local botanical garden and came upon Albers Vista Gardens in Bremerton, WA and even got to meet John Albers, the owner and designer of this beautiful home garden turned public and author of several books including Gardening for Sustainabilityand his most recently published book in 2017, The Northwest Garden Manifesto: Create, Restore and Maintain a Sustainable Yard. It was such a pleasure to stroll the gardens and see all the gorgeous views and vignettes that he had created throughout this stunning sanctuary.


Geum x “Totally Tangerine” – © P.S. I Love Peas Blog

This salmon-colored Geum was a favorite variety that I saw in the garden. The color stopped me in my tracks as it was just so vibrant. Thinking it could possibly be the variety “Sangria” or “Totally Tangerine“, whatever its name I would love to find it and add it to my garden. The color is absolutely gorgeous.


The Enhance of Biodiversity & Sustainability – © P.S. I Love Peas Blog

John is just an absolute master designer in my opinion. He has selected different colors, textures, heights, hardscape to enhance the natural beauty of this land. When speaking with him, I asked what genera he was most drawn to and he replied evergreens specifically Spruce. There are hundreds of different Acer cultivars as well. John highlighted that focusing on biodiversity and sustainability within the garden are topics that he is very passionate about and hence why he has written two books on the subject matter.


The “Vista” in Albers Vista Gardens – © P.S. I Love Peas Blog

The view of the water and mountains from the garden was just spectacular. I loved how he placed the American flag right in this location. It was almost as if he was designing the garden with a camera in hand to see what would be captured in the frame of the lens.


Pathway to Heaven – © P.S. I Love Peas Blog

A pathway to pure heaven! Well, that is how I envision it in my mind anyway filled with God’s creation and beauty upon beauty. I just love all the different colors in this image and textures. Really a masterpiece of garden artistry!

The stone pathways are throughout the garden, which made it a bit difficult to navigate with a stroller, but I’m that type if you give me a challenge I will do my darnest to conquer it. If you do visit with small child, consider wearing them instead.


Pinus strobus ‘Contorta’ – © P.S. I Love Peas Blog

What is it about pine cones and contorted branches that I am SO drawn too?!? This is a Pinus strobus ‘Contorta’ (Contorted White Pine) which makes a great focal point in the garden. Whenever anyone asks me about what plants to put in their garden,  I almost always recommend Corylus avellena ‘Red Dragon’ or ‘Red Majestic’, not only does it add color to the landscape, but it also is absolutely amazing in the wintertime when the branches are in their full glory and covered with snow. Really a four-season plant! Now I have another new recommendation to give out!


Antique vintage clock at Albers Vista Gardens – © P.S. I Love Peas Blog


Albers Vista Garden – © P.S. I Love Peas


Driftwood Bench Reading Nook – © P.S. I Love Peas

I can imagine myself sitting in this very spot for hours on end reading an gripping novel . I love the wood stump to the left that was kept to bring a vertical element to the garden. Many would take a tree down to the ground, but leaving a stump can add such natural beauty to a garden. It also becomes a home for baby plants and wildlife.


Driftwood Garden Artwork – © P.S. I Love Peas Blog

Driftwood has always been a favorite design element in the landscape for me. How they are tumbled and shaped by the waves of water; making them so unique and creative. I love how John has surrounded it with these large flat rocks and accented it with Coreopsis ‘Zagreb’, Nepeta ‘Cat’s Pajamas’ and Agastache ‘Tango’ among others.


Pollinator Pathway at Albers Vista Gardens – © P.S. I Love Peas Blog

This entire planting was very inspiring to me as I am going to be removing more of my grass (yeah!) and adding another garden to the front of my house. I could see this same plant selection residing in that area. Don’t you love the sign as well – Pollinator Pathway?!? Found a cute option at Gardener Supply’s website!


Tradescantia andersoniana ‘Concord Grappe’ – © P.S. I Love Peas Blog

Another favorite when walking through the garden – Tradescantia andersoniana! The flower buds almost look like berries and give it this very interesting look and feel. They were such a deep purple color as well that I fell immediately in love. I believe this may be the variety ‘Concord Grappe’.


Abutilon megapotamicum – © P.S. I Love Peas Blog

This Abutilon megapotamicum (Brazilian Bellflower) is hardy to 7b and looks like it is striving and overwintering in this sun/part sun location. I’d love to add it to my garden, but I feel I would lose it to winter in the Snohomish countryside. The flowers are so very unique and just pop out of the landscape.


Madrona Woods – © P.S. I Love Peas Blog

To top it all off, there is a Madrona Woods on this property that features the largest Madrona (Arbutus menziesii) in Western Washington. I’m obsessed with this tree because it doesn’t grow in Michigan where I attended horticulture school at Michigan State University. Really anything with exfoliating bark pretty much wins me over! However, the deep dark red color of the bark is just gorgeous, having me constantly wishing that I had room for several of these trees in my garden, but such is life – you can’t always get what you wish for!


Closeup of Exfoliating Bark – © P.S. I Love Peas


If you want to buy John’s newest book, Northwest Garden Manifesto, it is available on Amazon here and includes many amazing images from David Perry of the gardens.

Happy Gardening All! 



About P.S. I ♥ Peas

Ever since I was a child, I remember falling in love with flowers. My first flower memory was being intrigued by the blooms of Bleeding Heart (Dicentra). Love of nature and art led me into pursuing a degree in horticulture & landscape design. For 15+ years, I worked for different wholesale companies including Proven Winners, Spring Meadow Nursery (Proven Winners ColorChoice Flowering Shrubs) and Zelenka Nursery. Then in 2013, I started my own business Flora & Fauna Media, which specializes in public relations outreach from social media to media publications. Now, I am focusing on being a Stay-At-Home mom and my writing career. I garden on less than an acre of property near Seattle, Washington. Making the most of my space was extremely important to efficiency, which led to removing lots of grass. Now, our property is a sanctuary filled with fruits (blueberries, apples, strawberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, fig and huckleberries), vegetables (kale, beets, peas, tomatoes, squash, potatoes, cardoon, zucchini, green beans, peppers, tomatillos and sorrel) and herbs (rosemary, chives, thyme, mint, oregano, lemon verbena, pineapple sage and sage). Growing our own food is an important mission to me and with a young child teaching is valuable knowledge to pass down generation after generation . If you teach a man to garden, he will eat for life! My husband and I love to cook together. We find new recipes and try them weekly. Wildcrafting has become a fun additional to this pastime. Harvesting stinging nettles or dandelions and making them into something that is edible and delicious is so rewarding.
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