On this Earth Day, we are inspired by the gardens we’ve seen which have enhanced our awareness and appreciation for Earth’s natural environments.
Off Old Olympic Highway, a backroads drive brought us to Colette’s Bed and Breakfast in Port Angeles, WA. Colette’s is a 10-acre oceanfront secluded estate tucked between the Olympic Range and the Strait of Juan de Fuca and is a convenient gateway to Olympic National Park, which is next on our agenda. Once settled in, we meandered through the botanical-quality gardens and beneath towering cedars to the bluff directly above the Strait. There we watched freighters and cod fishermen on the Strait while listening to the sound of waves washing in on the tiny beach below; all this while chomping away on warm chocolate chip cookies straight out of the chef’s oven!
Featured on the cover of the current issue of Taunton’s fine Gardening magazine and designed by Sharon Nyenhuis for the owners, this garden gem is a definite wow! Nyenhuis is a Master Gardener who personally maintains the constantly evolving grounds as trees, plants and flowers change with the seasons. Indigenous local species, as well as unusual exotic species were brought in to shape this property. Unique accents include a katsura tree, a Forest Pansy redbud tree, stunning ornamental purple thistle cardoon, and one of the largest herbaceous perennials in the world, the South American gunnera with gigantic leaves. We were lucky to catch Nyenhuis all kitted out in waterproof garden gear and hard at work mulching. She said the extended cold rainy winter caused everything in the garden to be behind scheduled bloom times. The broadleaf evergreens were hardest hit, so she cut them all back to the ground and will give them a season to recover. Nyenhuis gardens eco-sustainably and the reward is a masterwork!
Karen and Richard Field moved here from Chicago a year ago to manage this jewel. Their experience in hospitality shows and they are delightful. From their several recommendations, we chose dinner that evening at the Dockside Grill on Sequim Bay. Family owned, Chef Little and his son Lance provided a sublime dining experience. The Oysters Rockefeller and Seafood Bisque were the best we’d ever eaten; if you ever get to this area, dine there! Next morning, Richard, a trained chef who formerly owned his own restaurant, shared his passion for fine-dining and prepared a delicious multi-course gourmet breakfast. He is a locavore who takes eating sustainably and local food sourcing seriously and the products from surrounding ranches, farms and orchards were all represented here. Our first course of chilled honey-dew melon balls garnished with blueberries was drizzled with smoked chipotle-jalapeno strawberry syrup which added some kick to the cool. Next, a delicate filo-pastry strudel filled with spicy sausage, apples, cheddar cheese and topped with a bonnet of delicately scrambled eggs, then splashed with a strawberry reduction absolutely amazed! A visual and culinary masterpiece! All this and the stunning panoramic oceanfront view. Colette’s Bed and Breakfast is a getaway guaranteed to melt all tension away.
If you’ve spent time here, we’d love to share your story with our readers. Do you know of other B&Bs you think can compete? Send us pictures and we’ll share them too.