Nursery tour: Ravenna Gardens in Seattle, a color explosion

What could top off a day of garden touring at the Seattle Garden Bloggers Fling? A happy hour, complete with swag bags, at stylish urban nursery/garden shop Ravenna Gardens. Located in an upscale outdoor mall just a couple of blocks from our hotel in the University District, Ravenna sings a siren song with color-coordinated displays of plants, pots, and furniture set up on the sidewalk surrounding the store.

Although it does offer a number of plants for sale, Ravenna is not so much a traditional nursery as a home-and-garden decorating shop. Its mission? “To delight and inspire you to personalize, decorate, and style your outdoor space, and to creatively bring the outdoors inside.” Success! I was both delighted and inspired.

Even more amazing is that they leave all this stuff outside when they close up at night. How does it not walk off? I’m heartened anew about human nature.

Ravenna offers container-design services, or you can purchase beautiful planted containers from the shop…

…like this one.

This whimsical, enclosed garden bench enchanted many of the bloggers, who fantasized about shipping it home or, more frugally, building one of their own.

I love these tall, bronze pots.

Fluffy yellow dahlias, as big as your face, begged to be touched.

Aren’t these Wave Hill chairs cool? Especially in tropicana orange.

Or do you prefer your colors on the cool side?

The shop is constructed somewhat like a square garden cabana, with doors on all four sides thrown open to entice passersby. A real cabana occupies the center of the store, with artful displays in various color combinations set up all around the room.

Trendy tillandsias in tiny, hanging terrariums and affixed to bare branches—love!

This lavender-and-green display spoke of spring, and in fact the breezes wafting in were as chilly as early spring in Austin.

For those who love hotter colors (me!), this display enticed.

As did this one. I love those red flower tealight holders.

Metal butterfly and flower garden stakes

A pretty arrangement of succulents for sale

The good folks at Ravenna treated us to wine and a yummy selection of finger foods, plus they gave us a 20% discount for the entire weekend!

Diana of Sharing Nature’s Garden and Jenny of Rock Rose, a little tired but happy at the end of our first garden-touring day in Seattle.

Next up: The Epping Garden, a hilltop garden with a view. For a look back at my visit to the peaceful Dunn Gardens, click here.

All material © 2006-2011 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

11 Responses

  1. S. Fox says:

    Wow, such great colors and fun designs! I started to list some of my favorites, but it would include almost everything. All the seating is amazing from the purple bistro set to the wood lounges. That bench is so inspiring I’m already thinking of where to get vintage windows to do a Texas version.


    This place is just full of inspirational design ideas, S. Fox. —Pam

  2. Kathleen says:

    I would have gone totally crazy here!! Wish we had a store like it nearby (or maybe I’m glad we don’t??) I love the orange chairs in the first photo. I think hot colors in a cool place like Seattle would make the garden feel warmer. When it’s in the 90’s & 100’s already, maybe not so much!

    I would LOVE to have a store like this in Austin. There were so many great gift ideas there in addition to all the stuff that tempted me for my own garden. —Pam

  3. Alison says:

    I had planned to go back to Ravenna at least once before the end of the weekend, but didn’t get around to it! I don’t remember seeing that covered bench. It was too crowded at the happy hour get-together for me. Fortunately, I can go back!

    Lucky you, Alison! As for the crowds, I’ll confess that most of these images were taken the day before the happy hour, when three of us had the place to ourselves. Great for photo taking! —Pam

  4. […] up: A happy-hour visit to Ravenna Gardens. For a look back at the lovely Birrell garden, click […]

  5. That is my kind of place. Love all the color and design ideas. The old budget could be blown in a hurry.
    Having a good time touring with you. Thanks.

    Linda, my budget would have been blown too if I’d not been going on to Canada and then flying home. —Pam

  6. Frances says:

    If we lived near there, I would be their best customer! What a place!

    If not you, it’d be me, Frances. Loved that place. —Pam

  7. jenn says:

    I am not a fan of ocher or orange, and yet I find that first photo absolutely gorgeous. What great styling skills this shop has!

    They really do, Jenn. Everything was arranged so beautifully it made you want to buy an entire display shelf. —Pam

  8. Love shops like that! All the colors and whimsy are so much fun.

    PS on our emails — I’ve got nothing to lose by sowing my yucca seeds in the planter. Thanks!

    Good luck with your yucca propagation, Freda. Yuccas sound pretty easy. —Pam

  9. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Surely you didn’t come home empty handed. What beautiful colors. Too much fun.

    I bought one little decorative object for my home, Lisa, but that was all. But if I’d not been going on to Canada and flying home, I would have splurged on a few larger items. —Pam

  10. I was so lucky we lived so far away… and across a border. The bank would certainly have been broken. It’s a beautiful shop.

    Yes, it is, Helen. So tempting. —Pam

  11. gail says:

    I want a shop like Ravenna Gardens in Nashville! Such lovely eye candy goodies and plants!

    Oh yeah! I loved that place. —Pam