As summer takes its last sigh I want to reflect on the some of the gardens I got to go to this summer. First off, I went to The Northwest Flower and Garden show in the spring. It was my first time and I have to say it’s the closest I’ve come to what I imagine the royal garden competitions to be like. I could hardly believe the settings created from scratch in what is essentially a warehouse space. Suddenly I was in a secret garden, or an orchid jungle, or a new mexico retreat. And they were created overnight! Think Willy Wonka meets Greenfingers. I went by myself, feeling very nervous, wearing my bright flower embroidered sweater and the woman taking tickets at the door exclaimed, “You’re prettier than the gardens in there!” I know that’s bragging, but I loved it so much. It set the tone for how lovely gardeners and garden lovers are. They see beauty in nature and simple color and delicate shapes, and aren’t afraid to delight in it and plant a seed and make more of it to share. I decided I must see more of what others had to share. And so public garden viewing commenced!
Gardens visited this spring/summer:
1. Purple Haze Lavender Farm and Jarin du Soleil lavender farm in Sequim.
2. Orin and Althea’s garden at the UW center for urban Horticulture. (and the adjoining scented garden). This garden is only a couple of miles away from me and I went almost every week. It’s so serene and lovely and there’s a walk to the lake that takes you through gorgeous meadow and a landscaped orchard. I really cannot believe it’s free. I always feel like I’m traversing on someones hallowed private property when I go. It’s my favorite garden/countryside experience in the city.
The following are from the Union Bay natural area connected to the urban horticultural center.
3. The bee garden/ veggie patch/ courtyard in the arboretum. (And of course the arboretum in general)
4. The UW herb garden. This place is unreal. It’s like going to a terraced garden in italy. And as an educational garden it has every herb you can possibly think of. I’ve been back three times and there’s always something new and exotic blooming.
5. The UW rose garden. The entire uni is beautiful and makes you feel like you’re in england, but none so more as the castle ish buildings and meticulously planted roses around the big fountain. A new park is going in next to this, with a train to downtown so I basked in its current summer time seclusion!
This woman in on the front of the uw library, just up the steps from the rose garden.
5. Ravenna Gardens…this is my happy place. There’s a fountain right next to it (and anthropologie and eateries and UVillage all around it) and it makes me happy every time I go. Sometimes I even just go and park in front of it in the early morning to journal. The flowers are sectioned by color… and the shop is inside a conservatory. LOVE!
6. Meerkirk rhododendron Garden on Whidbey Island. I went specifically for the daffodils this time, before all of the rhodies bloomed. It’s beautiful no matter when you go!
7. One of the many gardens at the garden show. 8. My mom’s garden. 70 roses, a view of the sea, an orchard next door, and a pool. Need I say more??9. The Japanese Garden at the Arboretum (I’ve featured this one several times on the blog. It’s a favorite!)
10. The blue bell wood! In Ravenna Park.
11. I want to include Discovery Park for the wildflowers. There were so many different varieties on our last adventure there I just couldn’t believe I was still in the middle of an urban world.
12. And of course…my own garden! Here’s me with my bounty of lilacs last spring!
Happy garden hunting! I promise there’s more secret gardens lurking around the corner than you can possibly imagine. If you have one I don’t know about please dish!
Edit: how could I forget? The conservatory at Volunteer Park! It’s in renovations right now, but still fun to go to. The dahlias are blooming nearby in the park too!