Garden Gallery: Dan Hinkley (Plant Hunter) in January’s Martha Stewart Living

January 8, 2013


I have some interesting tidbits to share with you this morning.  About a year ago I met a woman who works at a local university who is a seed hunter.  I was instantly entranced by the way she talked.  She was a spectacle of plant hunting adventures.

Her botanizing awesomeness infused everything she did, and she frequently said things like ‘blah blah…”when I am on expedition”…blah blah’.  And to be honest (as much as she had perfectly interesting other things to say), all I kept hearing was ‘seeds….on expedition…seeds….on expedition…’.

At some point my travel-lusting self actually came right out to this new person and (probably inappropriately) asked her if I could come along sometime. I just couldn’t help myself.

She graciously (kinda-sorta) said maybe and I’ve clung to that one-day hopefulness since.  Maybe I’ll get to be a plant hunter sometime!


Have I ever mentioned I have a Martha Stewart Magazine collection whose origins predate all the other significant relationships in my life?

The collection travelled to England with me (and back – do you have any idea the cost of international shipping?).

It is excessive, and I know it.  But even though I don’t currently subscribe (I read it at the library and online), I can’t let these oldies but goodies go.

I know it’s a little weird but I had a huge Martha Stewart fascination when I was a teen and young adult. The things I learned from those pages still inform some of my design and living choices today. My magazine subscriptions moved on, but my Martha marveling never really ended.


Have you ever read Tomorrow’s Garden: Design and Inspiration for a New Age of Sustainable Gardening (by Stephen Orr)? It is definitely on my list of top 10 garden related books in the last 10 years.  Stephen is a great garden writer and thinker whose work I greatly admire.


Lest you think this post is just a bunch of random thoughts, (this all comes together, I promise), you can imagine my enthusiastic response when the Martha Stewart magazine people asked if I wanted to share a recent story that they put together for their January issue.

It is about Dan Hinkley – the pre-eminent living plant hunter and his garden, Windcliff,  in Indianola, Washington. Stephen Orr wrote it.  (see, I told you this all came together).

The story is all you might expect from Martha’s team; great writing, interesting subject, gorgeous photography , fantastic magazine layouts, and bottom-line-better than all the rest. It is classy style all the way.


These are just a few of the images but if you, like me, want to know more, you will have to get your hands on the January 2013 issue.

In the mean time I am pinning my favorites (that pale-purple Verbena bonariensis with bold stands of red cannas is going straight onto my Pinterest board called Breathtaking Plant Combos) and I am lusting after those Rosa sweginzowii hips and researching some of Dan’s latest introductions to see what might be exciting additions to my own garden.

january 2013 martha stewart living cover

images by Peden + Munk. Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living magazine. Copyright © 2013.


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  1. Lynn says:

    Rochelle, I love the first paragraph of this post! You are talking about Julie, of course, and I remember the conversation a year or so ago. She is in Panama now–on “expedition”–and I sent her a link. I’m sure she’d love to take you along on an upcoming trip! L

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