In Love with a Hillside Garden

Ann Streissguth, Daniel Streissguth, and Benjamin Streissguth

  • $24.95 paperback (9780295988573) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2009
  • Subject Listing: Natural History; Pacific Northwest
  • Bibliographic information: 128 pp., 147 color illus., 7 x 10 in.
  • Published with: The Arboretum Foundation
  • Contents

"It all began when architect Daniel, then a bachelor, built his own house on a wild hillside lot, developing his garden as next-door-neighbor, Ann, was developing a garden around natural springs in her backyard. We married, and together with our growing son, Benjamin, continued these gardens as we also fought through blackberries, horsetails, and morning glories to push intersecting paths through the adjacent two-lot wilderness we later purchased, creating a little park which we planted and nurtured and ultimately gave to the City of Seattle in 1996, with our promise to maintain it through our lifetimes." -from the Introduction

This richly illustrated book offers timely inspiration to gardeners in an increasingly urban world. In an engaging narrative, the Streissguths show the emergence of their gardening partnership during forty years of marriage, and their philosophy that developing a site along a public stairway gave them the opportunity to share their garden with neighbors and passersby. They offer practical insight into concepts of linking inside and outside rooms and of combining private and public spaces, and they describe the process through which they transformed a steep forested hillside in the heart of Seattle into a deciduous woodland garden with banks of perennials, a dell, vistas of the city and lake, and a site for ornamental and food-producing plants.

Finally, they consider the future stewardship of the Streissguth Gardens, a park linking the wild and tamed sections of a unique greenbelt garden shared with joggers, strollers, fellow gardeners, schoolchildren, and those who call it "a touch of Eden in a big city."
Ann Streissguth is professor emerita at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Daniel Streissguth is professor emeritus at the University of Washington College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Benjamin Streissguth has a degree in landscape architecture from the University of Washington and lives in Seattle.
Foreword by Douglas Kelbaugh


Daniel's Guiding Principles in Developing a Garden

1. The Setting: Open Space in the City / Ann and Daniel
2. Inside-Outside Rooms: The Streissguth Houses and Their Gardens / Daniel
3. The Public Hillside Gardens: Developing a Deciduous Woodland, the Perennial Banks, a Winter Dell, and Combining Ornamentals and Food-Producing Plants / Daniel and Ann
4. Techniques and Tools: Making Gardens Out of Steep Wooded Hillsides, Clay and Sand Banks, and Bogs / Daniel
5. Plants Who Do Their Share of the Work / Ann
6. Where Gardens Come From: The Garden's Many Contributors / Ann
7. On Collections: Our Special Interests Reflected in Our Gardens / Daniel
8. Growing Up in the Garden, and Getting Educated to Maintain It / Benjamin
9. Looking Back, Looking Ahead / Daniel, Ann, and Benjamin

Appendix 1 Useful and Indispensable Tools
Appendix 2 Useful Books in the Streissguths' Library
Appendix 3 Plants Discussed in the Book, by Botanical / Common and Common / Botanical Names

Photographic Credits and Acknowledgments
About the Authors

"The Streissguth's labor of love over the years reminds us there are no accidental gardeners. Their admirable story should be better known hereabouts."
-City Living

"In this richly illustrated book, the couple explain how developing a site along a public stairway gave them the opportunity to share their garden with neighbors and passersby."
-Salem Statesman-Review

"Filled with color photographs taken over the years and with maps that highlight every aspect of the garden, this little book distills the essence, in miniature, of our garden-happy city."
-Seattle Times

"[This] book is one of the fruits of the city's greenscape movement. . .and it instructs and delights along the way. The Streissguth's labor of love over the years reminds us that there are no accidental gardeners. [Their] admirable story should be better known hereabouts."
-Seattle City Living