“Cuttings Through the Year” and “Windcliff”

Is it too early to start thinking about spring? Probably so since winter hasn’t gotten here yet but why not look forward. Let’s get 2020 behind us.

     “Gardening brain” helps. In the South Sound gardening may slow way down in fall but it doesn’t stop. This year’s new gardeners and those who have been gardening for many years can share in the pastime that doesn’t stop when days shorten and temperatures plummet. Gardening in the South Sound was a grasp at sanity in 2020 for a lot of us. Podcasts, audiobooks and garden reading kept the gardening spirit alive. Nothing can replace planning and playing in the dirt. Even now you can continue your gardening fix by creating…


     Cuttings from your own garden or someone else’s (with permission of course) are the easiest way to get free plants. Autumn is one of the best times to increase your garden bounty.

     What could be better? You don’t have to baby autumn cuttings.  Just put them outside and let the rain do the work. Keep some cutting grown plants for  yourself and have plenty to gift to unsuspecting friends…or trade your progeny in the spring. November and December are ideal for propagating everything from…


So many shrubs, subshrubs and vines can be started now from cuttings. A full list is in “Cuttings Through the Year” by the Arboretum Foundation in Seattle. This indispensible little book lists what you can propagate from cuttings month by month and whether you can do it with woody or soft stem cuttings. Many evergreens propagate well in November and December with just a 4” stem cutting, a light soil mixture and a place outside where you can enjoy the process. It isn’t instant gratification but it IS gratifying and budget minded to boot.

     In the world of cuttings, growing from seed, plant collecting and intense trial and error propagating, Puget Sound’s horticultural rock star plant hunter, passionate gardener, lecturer and accomplished writer lends us plenty of growing enthusiasm in…



“Windcliff “ is the story of the garden by Dan Hinkley and house by his partner, architect, Robert Jones. Windcliff sits on 6.5 acres in Indianola on a south facing bluff overlooking Puget Sound.

     Hinkley is the former owner and current executive director of Heronswood in Chimacum.

     “Windcliff” is about the journey he has taken from his home in Michigan to his present home at Windcliff. Anyone who has gardened for long in the area knows Dan Hinkley as Puget Sound’s most respected horticulturist and most gifted writer. Catalogs from his original garden and nursery in Heronswood are still coveted for their delicious descriptions and clever writing. It’s no wonder that his new book is easily devoured.

     If you have followed his career you might know a lot about his profession but “Windcliff” reveals a lot about how he got there…through living and working at the Washington Park Arboretum, Bloedel Reserve, Heronswood, plant hunting worldwide and building his Puget Sound oasis, Windcliff.

     “Windcliff” is heavy on relatable story telling with Hinkley’s sly humor and easy-going manner filling every page. About halfway through the book he even hints at his politics. It only takes one roguish sentence.

     Even if you’re not a gardener, Hinkley’s writing makes “Windcliff” more than just a pleasure to read, it’s re-readable. If you garden in Puget Sound, “Windcliff” is a necessity. It’s a garden book like no other.

“Windcliff”, by Dan Hinkley, Photographs by Claire Takacs, Timber Press, 280 p. $35, E-Book available