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Gardener gift idea: ‘Windcliff,’ a personal paradise on Washington’s Kitsap Peninsula

“Windcliff: A Story of People, Plants, and Gardens” by Daniel J. Hinkley with photographs by Clarie Takacs ($35, Timber Press): Before I even began reading “Windcliff,” I was drawn in by Takacs’ amazing photography. I found myself flipping through the 280 pages in awe. My visual tour readied me for the fascinating story of the fabled estate on Washington state’s Kitsap Peninsula.

The story “of people, plants, and gardens” is a tale of passion and expertise. “As gardeners we choreograph our space by the minute, through the days and years, and will never see the same scene twice,” writes plantsman and author Hinkley, who founded, sold, then restored the famous Heronswood Nursery in Kingston, Washington.

Windcliff is Hinkley’s personal paradise.

Elements of landscape design such as texture, height, movement, balance and repetition are skillfully woven into the story.

The view from the bluff above Puget Sound is masterfully part of the design. Arbors, trellises, a terrace and the house also help unify the landscape, which includes succulents, grasses and vines.

Home gardeners will be inspired by this book, especially Hinkley’s humbling but encouraging words:

“If swallows come to the garden — to nest or to feed — you have received a blessing and a note,” writes the renowned plant collector and garden writer. “You have created Eden in all its original complexities and subtleties. Not just a thing of beauty for us but a cohesion of all that it should embrace — the pollinator, the spider, the serpent, comfort and safety and seclusion for diversity that we do not see nor will ever fully appreciate.”

— Sally Peterson

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