On the way to Westport, Washington beaches, I like to stop in at the Westport Winery Garden Resort, locally owned by the Roberts family, and easy to spot thanks to the small lighthouse attached to the main building.
With a winery, the Ocean’s Daughter distillery, the International Mermaid Museum, a tasting room, and the Sea Glass Grill, it is a great stop any time of year.
But the other reason I love to swing by is the unique garden that wanders the 68-acre property.
Located at 1 South Arbor Road, a few miles south of Aberdeen, WA, on HWY 105, the winery has been recognized repeatedly as one of the best in Washington State since it first opened in 2008.
Their tasting room is welcoming, and has a variety of wines on offer. Additionally, it also boasts an unusual and eclectic garden. I always stop by for a nibble and a walk about when on my way out to or back from the Westport Beaches.
Wine and Artwork
As the number of wines produced grew, so did the garden. Each wine is named by the family to represent important places, ideas, events, or local history.
One of the first wines they created is Elk River Riesling. Elk herds are common to the area, and the winery acknowledges their continued presence.
A multipiece elk silhouette was created, and the portion of the garden where it is located is filled with native plants.
To go with each new wine, they commission artwork to be placed in the garden. Currently, there are more than 40 pieces for guests to discover.
The accompanying 36 wines, one nonalcoholic grape juice, four ciders, and distilled spirits are available for tasting and purchase in the main building.
Signs that accompany the art let visitors know not just which wine is being highlighted, but how the name was chosen, describes the wine, names the artist, and identifies the local organizations that benefit from a portion of the sales.
In recognition of the lives of three local fisherman who were lost at sea, The Sentinels were added in 2012, and a new dessert wine was named Night Watch.
Individual pieces are unique, made from multiple materials. These artworks also reflect the sections of the garden that were created to surround them.
The complex copper stand with herons welcomes guests from the outdoor restaurant patio into one of the many garden entrances.
Activities In The Garden
The mosaic at the entrance to the children’s garden was created by Kim Roberts during a battle with cancer. Its bright sunflowers add joy and light to the area, which also highlights activities for children in the surrounding objects.
It marks the entrance to a small, child size hedge maze. While children love the maze, it is a fun activity for their accompanying adults, too.
For a more grown-up maze experience, there is a labyrinth outlined in stone in a gravel clearing. As is typical, following the single path weaves the walker through a pattern that ends at the center, where there is an art piece to greet you.
Used for centuries for meditation, prayer, and to calm the mind, I make sure I have time to slowly walk the labyrinth each visit.
The resort’s dog loving owners have even provided space for visiting dogs. There is an on-leash dog park right off the parking lot.
Additionally, well behaved, leashed dogs are welcome to walk the gardens with their people and to rest outside on the dining patio.
In the far back section of the garden a checker board and padded garden seating invites guests to sit and enjoy their time.
I frequently bring a book so I can sit and enjoy the sights and scents at one of the many small seating areas and benches.
Recently added is the International Mermaid Museum. Using a mermaid theme, the museum focuses on ocean ecology and is filled with exhibits that allow visitors to explore the mythology of mermaids, too.
Themed Garden Sections
There are blossoms galore to be found in the garden throughout the year. Washington’s temperate coastal climate means flowering plants, shrubs, and trees thrive, each sharing color in their own season. Blue iris blooms were resplendent on my most recent visit.
A moon garden, filled with white flowers and seating is at the end of a small side path. The white colors and circular shapes create a peaceful visual scene. It is best enjoyed later in the evening, or perhaps, under the moonlight.
A topiary parade borders the south side of the distillery, bringing whimsical animal shapes to life. This is another section that children especially enjoy, and it always brings a smile when I sit in the accompanying red chairs.
What would a garden in the Pacific Northwest be without lavender? The lavender section is well established, with plenty of artwork for viewing and seating. Visitors can relax and take in the soft scent on the wind during June and July.
The garden paths loop back and forth, with each view point illuminating a perspective of its own. And when I am finished in the garden, I can stop in to the Sea Glass Grill for a martini tower, accompanied with bacon wrapped prawns to finish my visit.