Dear daughter and her fella needed a marriage license, so much of Monday, June 26, was devoted to paperwork, but we still took some time to check out Deer Lake Park in Burnaby. I had it in my head that I would see large topiary in the shape of animals, but we never did find the large bird I was expecting. For the record, that was my fault for not being ready with a map and not having wifi. We did get a glimpse of a topiary carousal horse and found this great insect. The joy of the park was the stunning view of part of a city skyline over the lake and the lush greenery. While strolling around we also we enjoyed the very friendly Canada geese with their gawky teenagers (in geese years). And there was some delightful art and unusual plants.
When I went on the University Place Garden Tour one of the volunteers gave me a list of some of the local gardening centers. One of these centers was the Purple Geranium Greenhouse at 12615 47th Ave E, Tacoma, proximate to Canyon Road and 120th Street. Although it is close to my house (about 20 minutes away) it felt like a drive in the country. I was pleased to see that it was a well stocked professionally run gardening center on a lovely site. Their prices were righteous and my questions were answered right away. Of course it is less extensive than the big centers (Watson’s, Molbak’s, etc.) and there is almost none of the decorative items, but really that just makes it easier. I toured the place, took some photos, got some advice and purchased some plants in about 30 minutes. When I stopped for an iced coffee afterward the cashier asked me what I was up to today and I told her I went to the Purple Geranium. She gushed that it was the best place around to buy plants!
Do be aware that they have a limited season (April 1st to August 1st) and limited hours, so check out their Facebook Page before going.
Most years I manage to go to the University Place Garden Tour which is spearheaded by The University Place Historical Society (UPHS). This year the theme was “Spring into Summer,” and there were five gardens and the Curran House. Each garden had several docents that were amiable and knowledgeable. The gardens varied significantly. One was a farm like setting, one was packed with flowers, one had hidden art and a stunning view, one had 100+ rhododendrons and one was a reclaimed barren lot. It was really a delight to visit each one with my friends and daughter. Lunch was an unexpected bonus.
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.
Saint Martin’s College and Abbey in Lacey has been around since the 1890s. It’s small cemetery is located in a rich stand of woods behind the Monastery and is for members of the abbey, thus the vast majority of the uniformed headstones read Father. The metal gates have two welcoming angels and there is a low stone fence.
The nearby College Regional Storm Facility is like a small, tranquil park with a gravel trail that leads around the full storm water ponds. There were plenty of birds and insects, as well as college students playing Frisbee and riding a bike.
Ben Gilbert Park, located where St. Helen’s and Market Street in Tacoma is a relatively large pocket park. The park is pretty cool with native vegetation carefully planted and labeled, a fun owl mural and a stupendous mural showing a gathering of baseball fans in 1926 Tacoma. The fans were there to watch the results of the seventh game of the World Series between the New York Yankees (Lou Gehrig) and the St. Louis Cardinals (Babe Ruth). The park was dedicated on August 14, 2010. The interesting history of the park can be found here http://www.tacomahistory.org/SpecialProjects/Ben_Gilbert_Park.html#
I go to Molbak’s at 13625 NE 175th St., Woodinville, WA 98072 whenever I’m in Woodinville, which isn’t all that often. It is one of the largest nurseries in the Puget Sound with indoor and outdoor areas, gifts and a cafe.
On Sunday we stopped at the plant sale at Tacoma’s Lincoln Center’s Greenhouse at 3600 South G Street. It was the last day of the sale, but there was still a good selection and we came away with some lovely flowers and a couple of herbs. They money raised goes back into the program.
Watson’s Nursery at 6211 Pioneer Way E., Puyallup, WA 98371 is a soothing place and its it is easy to while away a couple of hours. I joined my friends for lunch at their Flower Pot restaurant and then two of us took advantage of their special ($9 for 4 fuchsia starts planted in our own pot)