Dear daughter and I went to revisit the Himalayan Blue Poppies at the Weyerhaeuser Rhododendron Gardens in Federal Way before they completely faded away for the season. In the United States, these poppies only grow in parts of New England, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, so we are lucky.
While we were they we checked out the adjoining Pacific Bonsai Museum, which we had been through a half dozen times. This time though there was a really great exhibit titled Natives. Per the brochure “each display in Natives is a composition of four artists — the bonsai artists, the kusamono artist (Young Choe), the ceramicist (Victoria Chamberlain) and the visual artist (Iuna Tinta)”. In case you don’t know (I didn’t) a kusamono artist creates potted arrangements of wild grasses and flowers in unique pots or trays. So each display has a bonsai, a companion kusamono (accent), the ceramic art (often using minerals from the depicted region) and a visual piece of art, all of which are centered around a particular place. It is a marvelous exhibit and worth some real time. The exhibit runs from April 8- October 8, 2017 and more information can be found here.
And, of course, there are some photos of the blue poppies and other foliage from the gardens.
Dear husband and I wanted to stretch our legs today so we went to the West Hylebos Wetlands Park in Federal Way. Our intent was to walk along the boardwalk path, but we turned right instead of left and ended up at Marlake (that’s what Google Maps says it is called). It is really a beautiful spot and some of the surrounding area must have been an orchard at one point because we found plum, pear and apple trees, as well as grapes and blackberry bushes. The blackberries and plums were delicious! The lake itself has a dock with a bench on it to contemplate life. Many of the trees leading up to the lake were actually labeled and my favorite was a ginkgo tree. Such lovely leaves. The park really is a perfect place to take a walk.
On an amusing note, the handwritten sign that greats visitors asks us to protect the wetlands and no dogs (I get it), bikes (still get it) or Pokemon (what?!). I’m not sure what damage the not really there Pokemon could do. Perhaps they meant no Pokemon players. But there were a bunch of players and they were all respectful and having a good time with their families. Perhaps the highlight for me was that I won my first gym (it’s a game thing) and let out a yell of victory. An older teen smiled at me and we talk about the game for a while. He even set it up for me so that I could really win the gym since I obviously don’t know what I’m doing. I love that the game gave two very different people a chance to visit and work together. What fun. 🙂
Powellwoods Gardens is a wonderful garden that you have to know about to find. The three acre park is located at 430 South Dash Point Road, Federal Way, WA. My first reaction was that the air felt oxygen rich and it was so green, gardens surrounded by tall pines. There are seven separate gardens and a lovely little pond. There is a private house and an open to the public garden room with chairs to rest, a bathroom and a table with a honor pay box ($5 per those over 12).
The variety of flowers so late in the season was a nice surprise and the little rabbit made me smile. Monte Powell purchase the site which is 40 acres altogether in 1993 and after much work the gardens were first opened to the public in 1999. I plan to go visit again at other times of the year to see what additional treasure I can find. More information can be found here.
Federal Way has a pretty righteous farmer’s market located in the parking lot next to Sears at the Federal Way Commons. It has a nice mix of farmers and crafts people and this Saturday there was also a safety fair going on with a fire truck and police dogs. I enjoyed some delicious fish tacos (2 tacos for $8) and homemade lemonade from The Frying Dutchman and bought two pair of earrings (2 pair for $5!). For more information, check out their website.
Seeing a blue poppy has been on my life list and yesterday I finally saw one when I took dear daughter and her friend to the Weyerhaeuser Rhododendron Gardens in Federal Way. We actually went to see the Rhododendrons and while there were many still in bloom I feel like we missed the peak viewing by a couple of weeks. We were having a grandtime walking the trails and were admiring a small pond when a pleasant woman asked if we had seen the blue poppies. Ummm, no, guess we missed that section of trail. Thank you lady! The poppies are taller than I expected and there was some space between the stalks. They were just a little translucent and there was a bit of rain on some of the petals. The photos below feature the blue poppies, but include some other flowers and some Hilltop Artist glass work that is currently on display.
Dear husband and I were delighted to see that the movie Her was still playing somewhere and the place is the Federal Way Gateway Cinema (Starplex Cinema, at 2501 S. Gateway Center, Federal Way, WA, 98003. This is a discount theater, with our tickets being $2 each. We went to the 11:15 show and had the theater to ourselves. Their website is here.
Dear husband and I ventured up to Federal Way for a movie and grabbed a quick dinner at Pho Hoang Restaurant, 31871 Gateway Center Blvd S, Federal Way, WA. Because of time restraints, I went with the two fresh spring rolls and they were very good. The highlight of the restaurant is this wonderful wooden Seattle skyline.
The sun was shining, it was relatively warm and dear daughter and I escaped to the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection in Federal Way. There were very few rhododendrons in bloom, as was to be expected, but that was good because it let us really focus on the bonsai. We left with a little fern, a lovely scarf and two cute magnets.
I found myself in Federal Way today with a few minutes to spare and Indoor Garden Depot at 1401 S 324th St. #103 looked interesting. I was kind of expecting house plants, but instead it was everything one would need to grow indoors plants. There are five Indoor Garden Depots, three of which are in Washington State.
I really debated using Borders Books in Tacoma as one of my new places of the day. But today I stopped in to say goodbye. This is the closest bookstore to my house and my family has spent hours here. Its practically a family tradition to go on a rainy Sunday for a cup of coffee and to read the magazines in the cafe. And of course, we’d always end up with a book or two. I’m pretty sure my daughter has never walked out of the store without a book!
But our Borders, which is almost always busy, is closing no later than the end of May. The cafe is closed, items are heavily discounted and some of the shelves are pretty empty. The GIg Harbor and Federal Way Borders are also closing with only Puyallup Borders to remain open in Pierce Co. Across the country Borders is closing 200 of its 643 locations as part of a bankruptcy reorganization.