Home Family & Home At Home in my Burien Garden with Veronique Hval

At Home in my Burien Garden with Veronique Hval

By Veronique Hval, Belle Residence

Spring is one of the most exciting seasons in our local gardens. After the initial timid buds & blooms of late winter, there comes a rush of colors & energy shooting from everywhere! Intermittent showers, snowflakes, pre-summer weather & a mix of cold & warm weather remind me of an expectant mother ready to give birth. The bare ground, nude trunks & dormant perennials of March-April are all coming to life in waterfalls of colors, sweet fragrances, and contrasting textures. First are the tulips, hyacinths, and plum tree blossoms followed by the exuberant displays of May & June: the rhododendrons putting on their multicolored show, the heady roses turning on their feminine charm, the soft-looking peonies, and the mysterious irises… a marvelous feast for the senses. Carpets of lilies-of-the-valley remind me of French forests with their tiny white bells and jasmine-like perfume.To all of you who enjoy the plant world, welcome to my Burien Garden, a happy place that always gives me joy & satisfaction.I moved to Three Tree Point twenty years ago out of necessity… my garden was getting cramped! As you know, if you are a gardener, looking for a home is more about the property, sun orientation and the connection one makes with the grounds than the house itself. Well, this is the way I selected my own home; a garden with a house.

The minute I walked through the grounds, I knew I had found THE one. While the property had been neglected for years in a mess of weeds, unruly branches & overgrown “everything”, all I could see were the fragrant azaleas, walls of camellias & the towering pink dogwoods… I could imagine all the hidden treasures I was going to uncover and all that I was going to create: the mini-orchard, the English borders, the antique roses, the rare orchids…

Each garden tells a story about its previous owners/creators, and I could feel that connection. Not long after my initial move, I heard about Wilma who had bought the property in 1941 for $900. An avid gardener, she would spend all her free time digging, planting, and strolling amidst her creations. During the first few years of working the property, I would apologize to her anytime I would have to cut down a poorly shaped bush or a plant that didn’t match my own sense of aesthetics. After 2 decades living here, I still feel her strong presence while “editing” borders or enjoying tea in the garden. I can almost picture her sipping a delicious brew with me. Merci Wilma.

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