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Welcome to the Flower Garden

Willowbrook Manor | 02/04/2019 | Accommodations, Bed & Breakfasts / Country Inns, Camping & Glamping, Gardens & Outdoor Art, Skagit Valley & Fidalgo Island, Tea

The English Flower garden at Willowbrook Manor is a beautiful place to enjoy a quiet summer afternoon. 

When we purchased the property back in 1996 it was just a cow pasture. I envisioned a secluded flower garden to compliment the planned vegetable garden and berry patches. So I rented a sod cutter to remove the grass for the vegetable garden.  That sod was used to create the elevation for the flower garden. I designed it to have three paths leading into a center oval courtyard, with a perimeter path surrounding the garden.  Drawn on paper, it looked like an elongated peace sign.  (lower right in picture above)

To get the rustic cobblestone pathway I made countless trips with my trailer out to Beaver Lake quarry to pick through the rocks there and find the ones that had a flat side. I would load them up and haul them to the garden then fit them snugly together to form the walkways and courtyard.  It was an ongoing project that I enjoyed working on during the summer months after chores were done.  I relish the memory of working on the garden path while the kids played outside.   

The rustic cobblestone path was beautiful, (as you can see in my daughter Addy’s wedding picture) but maintaining it was challenging. Grass would grow between the rocks, and if not tended to, would get ‘knee high by the fourth of July!’


Navigating the path in heels was also treacherous as I found out through hosting weddings and prom dinners there.

 My love affair with the cobblestone walkway came to an end the summer of 2014 when I realized that my business plan demanded that I make it easier to maintain and safer to walk on. It took me some time to get up the courage to dig up all of that hard work from a decade earlier.  I enlisted the help of my girlfriend and her teens and we pulled the rocks up and used them as landscaping/weed control in other areas of the property. 

 

Once the rocks were removed, I put down fresh gravel and built forms in preparation for stamped concrete to be poured.  I hired concrete professionals to do the job and was very pleased with how it turned out.

Now the path to the garden is easy to care for and even easier to navigate.  The garden is a delightful place to disappear to during the summer.  Its beauty is both rustic and refined.  I love to enjoy evenings there, after a hard day’s work, with a nice pot of tea.  

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