Beautiful Heronswood Garden is near Kingston on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State, and is a 16-acre botanical garden.
Highlights include a stunning Formal Garden, a Woodland Garden with gorgeous flowering plants, and a Renaissance Garden that was a former logging camp.
History: Heronswood Garden was established by founders Robert Jones and Dan Hinkley in 1987. Over the next decade it became a renowned nursery, with a botanical collection from plants sourced from all over the world. It sold in the year 2000 and fell into disrepair, until the Gamble S’Klallam Tribe acquired the property in 2012. Founder Dan Hinkley was brought back in 2021, and the garden was rehabilitated to its current state today.
Dogs: Leashed dogs are permitted at Heronswood Garden.
Tickets & hours: check here.
10 best things to do at Heronswood Garden
1. Formal Garden
The highlight of Heronswood Garden is the European-style Formal Garden with raised flowerbeds arranged symmetrically in triangular hedges.
The Formal Garden was the very first garden to be established at Heronswood Garden.
The best time to visit is in summer, when flowers like hydrangeas and dahlias burst into brilliant colors.
There’s also a Trumpet Flower Garden with a striking water feature.
2. Woodland Garden
The Woodland Garden is the second of the original gardens at Heronswood Garden, and has a lush understory of woodland plants like lilies, trilliums and begonias, shaded by towering conifers. It’s gorgeous in spring and summer, when flowers come into bloom. Over half the 8,000 plant species at Heronswood Garden are located in this jungle-like section.
3. Renaissance Garden (old logging camp)
The Renaissance Garden is a reclaimed forest at the site of an old logging camp. Between 1850 to 1890 there were 15 such logging camps in Kitsap County, leading to the vast destruction of giant old growth trees.
You can find remnants of the original logging camp at Heronswood Garden, like a kitchen stove and piano.
The garden is set amongst 250 species of ferns shaded by majestic red cedars.
Many of the stumps from the old growth trees are visible today at Heronswood Garden.
4. Traveler’s Garden
The Traveler’s Garden is one of the newer sections at Heronswood Garden, with a focus on international plants from Vietnam, Chile, and some Pacific Northwest specimens. It celebrates the efforts of intrepid botanists who travel the world to source new plants.
The garden will take a number of years to grow in, but is well on it’s way.
There's also a felled totem pole amidst the undergrowth.
5. Rock Garden
The Rock Garden is located in the parking lot at Heronswood Garden, and has five islands with desert plants from North America.
6. Special Event Area
The Special Event Area at Heronswood Garden is extremely popular for weddings, and has a large lawn area for ceremonies. Dan Hinkley’s old house is adjacent to the Special Event Area.
The lawn is flanked by beautiful arbors draped in flowers and vines.
Stop by the nursery at Heronswood Garden to purchase some unique plants.
8. Gift Shop
The small gift shop is at the parking lot at Heronswood Garden, and sells botanical books, t-shirts, cards, wind-chimes and more.
9. Plant specimen board
Browse the board to see highlights of plant specimens within different gardens at Heronswood Garden.
Make an appointment to shop for plants at the magnificent property of Dan Hinkley known as “Windcliff”. His home and nursery are located at Indianola, 15 minutes south of Heronswood Garden, and are set on a bluff with views of Mt Rainier. Check here.
Heronswood Garden map