Northwest Garden Round-up

As expected, April showers have brought May flowers and it is a perfect time to enjoy a stroll through one of the Northwest's beautiful gardens.

Bellevue Botanical Garden*: Bellevue's horticultural treasure, the garden offers 36-acres of display gardens, woodlands, wetlands, and meadows. Featured are: the Alpine Rock Garden, the Yao Japanese Garden, the Waterwise Garden, and the whimsical statue of Goldiwarts (a giant frog!). For more information, call (425) 452-2750 or go to Bellevue Botanical Garden

Bloedel Reserve: This remote reserve on Bainbridge Island lives up to its motto: a sanctuary for wildlife and the human spirit. After visiting the Visitor Center (a French country-style house), stroll the paths through the formal Japanese Garden, Moss Garden, and Reflection Garden. Continue walking to take in the Bird Refuge and the peaceful woods. Reservations are required. Allow two hours. For more information, call (206) 842-7631 or go to

Carl S. English, Jr. Botanical Garden*: The 7-acre gardens are on the grounds of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard. They were designed in an English landscape style and feature rolling lawns and over 500 species and 1500 varieties of plants from around the world. For more information, call (206) 783-7059 or go here.

Japanese Gardens: The stunning 3.5-acre formal Japanese strolling garden is located on the grounds of the Washington Park Arboretum (see entry below). Highlights include a large carp-filled pond, Turtle Island, footbridges, carefully pruned trees and shrubs, numerous stone lanterns, and a traditional teahouse. Tea ceremonies are held most Saturdays (reservations required) and docent-led tours, which greatly enhance visitors' understanding of the gardens, are held regularly throughout the week. For more information, call (206) 684-4725 or go here.

Kubota Gardens*: Kubota Gardens in south Seattle was designed by master landscaper Fujitaro Kubota in 1927. Kubota artfully blended Japanese garden concepts and plants native to the Pacific Northwest and included streams and waterfalls, bridges, and rock outcroppings. For more information, call (206) 684-4584 or go here.

Volunteer Park Conservatory*: The Conservatory, located in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill, is an elegant glass greenhouse built in 1912. Its five "houses" include: the Bromeliad House, the Palm House, the Fern House, the Cactus House, and the Seasonal Display House. While pleasant to visit at anytime of the year, the warm temperature inside the Conservatory makes it especially enjoyable on cool, wet days. For more information, call (206) 684-4743 or go here.

Washington Park Arboretum*: Washington State's official arboretum is a 230-acre park on the western shore of Lake Washington, near SR-520 and the UW. The Arboretum is criss-crossed by trails from which visitors can view thousands of species of trees, shrubs, and vines from around the world, 139 of which are on the endangered species list. The Arboretum also has a thorough Education Program. For more information, call (206) 543-8800 or go here.

Woodland Park Rose Garden*: Located next to Woodland Park Zoo, this is one of only 24 Certified American Rose Test Gardens in the US. The 2.5-acre garden features 280 varieties of roses and over 5000 plants. For more information, call (206) 684-4800 or go here.

* Free admission.