Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Blossoms and the Japanese Garden

Cherry blossoms on University of Washington campus

 Magnolia blossoms, University of Washington campus

 Spring is in the air; flowering cherry trees and magnolias are in full bloom in many places throughout the city especially on the University of Washington campus where we joined other people taking photos of the trees in the Quad. 

This week we had a day that was dry and sunny after weeks of rain.  We skied in the morning and stopped at the Arboretum on the way home to visit the Japanese Garden.  Not all the magnolias or cherry trees were in bloom in the garden but there were a few things budding and opening up.  The gardens are lovely and peaceful.  We will probably return in a couple of weeks to see what other plants have started to bloom.

The Japanese Garden is located in part of the Washington Park Arboretum.  The park was originally established in 1904.  Through the years it has evolved into a botanical garden and arboretum associated with both the city and the University.   The Seattle Garden Club raised funds to hire the nation’s foremost landscape architecture firm of the time, the Olmsted Brothers of Massachusetts, to design the Arboretum.  The small booklet we picked up from the information window at the garden entrance gives a brief history.  Among other things it explains that as early as 1937 there were plans for a Japanese Garden to be part of the park.  But it was not possible until a sizable gift was received in 1959 that allowed the Garden to be built.  Thousands of plants were selected and have been carefully nurtured and pruned to creature a truly spectacular Garden.  The original teahouse was a gift from the people of Tokyo.  Fire destroyed the teahouse in 1973 and it was 1981 before it was rebuilt with help from the Urasenke Foundation of Kyoto, Japan. 

A small admission charge helps to support and maintain the garden.  Additional support comes from a 2007 voter approved Pro Parks Levy, the Garden Club and the non-profit Japanese Garden Advisory Council.  There was a packet of postcards available so, yes, I did get them and will share in the future.  In the meantime, enjoy some pictures from our visit to the garden.  

 Japanese Maple

Rhododendron buds


 Stone bridge over Koi pond

Stream flowing through park

White & pink rhododendrons (above & below)

Carefully tended willow tree

A butterfly lit on these blossoms

 On of several bridges

Stone walkway

Looking across the Koi pond

Cherry blossoms

Tea house


Entry gate house

For more information, please see:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_Japanese_Garden

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