Soos Creek Botanical Garden

After the rain showers this week,  I visited the lovely Soos Creek Botanical Garden today.  It was a rather spontaneous decision, made while drinking my latte at the Starbucks next to the gym where I was supposedly headed next.  But the rain had stopped.  Fresh air and a walk would be better than the treadmill, wouldn’t it?  Of course it would!   And I’d only been to the Soos Creek Garden once before, even though it’s only a thirty minute drive down the road. Time for another visit.

A few volunteers were the only ones I saw as I walked through the Carlmas Long Borders promenade, the centerpiece of the garden.  The grass was still wet and the flowers fresh with raindrops from the day before.  Beautiful color exploded on each side.

Afterwards I wandered on paths through native woods, including a cedar grove and alder grove, and made my way down to the creek.

I headed back up to where I started, to the top of the expansive lawn where the Schaefer Pond Garden was peaceful and serene.

Soos Creek Botanical Garden is 22 acres of garden and woodlands, exactly the size of the Tiffany Park Woods that are currently being destroyed in my neighborhood. I guess it’s some consolation to know I can visit the lovely Botanical Garden for a safe and scenic walk in the woods.

Before leaving, I bought some plants, dropping my money in the donation box, and went home to find a place for them in my yard.

Much better than the gym I have to admit.

~  Susanne

Working in the Garden on a Rainy Morning

I woke up this morning to the sound of another torrential downpour and after much consideration over a steaming latte decided I would not be deterred.  There would be enough breaks in the rain and places to shelter;  I would proceed with plans to work in the garden.

I would target my herb bed where the rosemary had become a tree crowding out everything else.  Out he would come to be replaced with a smaller version that hopefully would be contained.  I would add another variety of lavender to the bed and surround it with some new varieties of mint.  One simply cannot have too much lavender.

I would plant the fuschia starts along with some basket stuffers and hope they do better than last year.  Isn’t spring gardening (like spring baseball) all about hope?

And I would stop to admire the delicacy of the azalea, the faithful and often underappreciated workhorse of the Northwest garden.

That would have to do for today.

~ Susanne

Seattle’s Best Kept Secret – Kubota Garden

Today is sunny, the sky a heavy blue, the temperature a frigid 26 degrees;  a great day to visit Seattle’s relatively unknown Kubota Garden.

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Kubota Garden was the dream of master landscaper, Fujitaro Kubota who wanted to display the beauty of the Northwest in a Japanese style. Mr. Kubota, who immigrated to America in 1907, acquired the land to build his garden in 1927.

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It was already a designated historical landmark when the City of Seattle purchased it from the Kubota family in 1987. According to the City’s website, “The Gardens are a spectacular setting of hills and valleys, interlaced with streams, waterfalls, ponds, bridges, and rock out-croppings with a rich array of plant material.’

Indeed. We wander alone through the park, save for one friendly walker who wishes us a happy new year, savoring the quiet and beauty of the trees and ponds and bridges and even the boulders left from the last glacier 12,000 years ago… .

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My favorite spot is Heart Bridge crossing Mapes Creek, which feeds many ponds in the area.  Here I take too many pictures and am not sorry at all.

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There are many other ponds in the park, this one frozen over….

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After our short, invigorating walk we head to the car but not without one more picture for the road…

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Then on to the nearby bookstore where over lattes, hot chocolate and pastries we plan our return this spring to see the garden in bloom and in color …

Happy New Year!  🙂

~ Susanne

Daily Prompt: Bounty

I first heard this word as a child when we ‘said grace’ before meals.

“Bless us O Lord and these thy gifts which we are about to receive through thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen.’  Granted it was spoken hurriedly by us kids, the words all run together so we could move on and dig into the delicious dishes on the table (for it was mostly said before holiday meals.)  Few of the words were contemplated or understood by me at the time.  But it is never too late.

Through Thy Bounty

Bounty speaks of generosity and liberality. Of abundance and beauty, like a garden overflowing with life.  Bounty realized, understood and appreciated elicits thankfulness to the Giver.

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~ thoughts on Bounty,  Susanne

via Daily Prompt: Bounty

Surprise visitor to the Fall Garden

While strolling in my garden this fine day I came across an unexpected visitor..

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It wasn’t this squirrel storing up supplies for the coming winter…

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And it wasn’t this pair of kinglets who stopped by for a drink and bath.

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It wasn’t Tiger who drank the flavored water after they left..

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Nor this spider who made a home in the rosemary..

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The turtle stands daily, stone cold on the stream’s edge,  so it was not him.

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No.  It was in the woodpile.

Where I found the visitor hiding.

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E.T.

How he got there I will never know.  But I shall let him stay.

Northwest Garden Whimsy

I love the many unique gardens of the Pacific Northwest. Here is a just a small sampling of those I have visited recently.

The centerpiece of Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC is the beautiful Sunken Garden, built in an abandoned limestone quarry a hundred years ago…..

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RoozenGaarde in Mount Vernon has a glorious array of tulips and Mt Baker in the background.

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In Sequim there are the lavender farms with fragrant fields of blooming lavender..

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For roses, there is the International Test Garden in Portland where you can vote for your favorites during the Rose Festival…

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And then there are the more humble gardens we call our own.  Ours is a backyard forest garden, rustic and full of whimsy and surprise, where you never know what you may find…..

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Recently while walking in my garden, quietly so as not to awaken the tree, I thought I saw something new…

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Beyond, past the stream…

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Around the corner, a bicycle stood in the ivy where none had been the day before..

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Had it been there long?  Had I missed it somehow? I sought out the garden curator and asked where the bike might have come from and what it might mean.

“I saw it standing just like that in a neighbor’s yard when I was out on my morning walk. It’s from the nineteen fifties. I asked to buy it. Do you like it?” he asked smiling and hopeful.

“Indeed I do,” I replied.

And so another story and another artifact added to the garden.  Who knows what I will find tomorrow in my Northwest Garden of Whimsy?