Heronswood Garden’s new director trades TV for tranquility

PBS star Patrick McMillan is excited about his new role at the very popular garden in Kingston #k5evening

KINGSTON, Wash – At Heronswood Garden you’ll find nine thousand varieties of plants. Many have plucked and transplanted from afar. That’s what the new garden director here can relate to.

Patrick McMillan, who recently moved here from Clemson University, said: “This is where a plant enthusiast like me can go and pretty much every plant is something you’ve never seen before.

There, he ran the South Carolina Botanical Garden and starred in the PBS series, Expeditions with Patrick McMillan, where he introduced the natural world.

“I was one of those kids who had a childhood where my best friends were plants and animals,” says McMillan. “I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina and for me school is such an exciting thing that they get to be in the woods and explore every day.”

As other children learned to spell, McMillan memorized the Latin names of plants and animals. On 15 acres here, McMillan will pursue the vision of Heronswood co-founder Dan Hinkley.

“Dan has an eye for bringing the unusual and the elegant into this place,” he said, “and I think that is something that will never change about Heronswood. We’ve always wanted to be the kind of really cool botanical zoo where you go and see things that no other garden has and no one else is doing. “

The garden is now owned by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, whose legacy is reflected in the new Renaissance Garden.

“This is the place to celebrate the coming back to life of our forest system,” says McMillan. “This place is really dominated by ferns. We are a passionate place. “

McMillan wants visitors to leave Heronswood in awe, reminding us that we live on a planet worth saving.

“Absolutely a planet worth saving because only when we save that can we save what is really important to us,” he said.

If McMillan ever gets homesick for the Carolinas, there’s a trillium he can visit here in Heronswood.

“All of these are North Carolina,” he laughs.

Heronswood Garden | 7530 288th Street NE, Kingston | Open Wednesday to Sunday

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https://www.king5.com/article/entertainment/places/heronswood-gardens-new-director-trades-tv-for-tranquility/281-9fac5cf5-f04a-4d77-b18c-e31002d3f1e0 Heronswood Garden’s new director trades TV for tranquility

Russell Falcon

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