Greetings from Seattle

Friday, October 22, 2021

Kubota Garden, Part 1

 Today the sky is gray and heavy with clouds that might leak any minute. That will be the pattern now for days to come. But last Tuesday we knew we were to be blessed with one last beautiful day, and we knew where we needed to go to celebrate that special day. 

You have been there before with me through my photo tours, and I stated before leaving that I would limit my photos this year. I couldn't. There will be several installments, and after this first one, not much text to read.

Kubota Garden was the legacy of Fujitaro Kubota, a Japanese emigrant who in 1927 bought 20 acres of swampland in the Rainier Valley in South Seattle. There he established his nursery and landscape business and became a well known designer of Japanese gardens. He also began to create his own garden on the property. Abandoned for four years during the family's internment in Idaho in the 1940's, he reestablished his garden and business with his sons after the war and maintained it until his death in 1973. In 1987 the property was sold to the City of Seattle and with the support of the Kubota Garden Foundation the garden is now maintained as a public garden. Over the years property has been added and a northwest style has been added to the bones of the Japanese garden that Fujituro Kubota began. The result is a true gem, a beautiful city treasure especially exquisite in October. 

There are many wonderful trees and shrubs in the garden, but of course in October the Japanese maples are the stars of the show. 

The ponds are all  original to the garden. This one has Koi in it. 

There were a lot of people in the garden on Tuesday, and a lot of photographers with big fancy cameras. I, with my iPhone, managed to get most of my photos without people in them.  It took a bit of patience. 

More to come. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Bonsai In Autumn

 Side by side with the Rhododendron Garden is the Pacific Bonsai Collection. Visiting it in the fall is a special treat.

This museum of living art contains many trees, both evergreen and deciduous. On this visit I photographed only the deciduous trees, because, well, it's Fall! Little trees glow with autumnal color too.

This wiggly squiggly tree might have been my favorite because of it's oddity. Was Dr. Seuss here?

Ginkgos go golden. 

Larch trees are deciduous conifers. They turn golden before dropping their needles. 

All of the trees on display this day were created by Japanese artists. There was a strong culture of Bonsai in the Pacific states up until WWII and the internment of so many of our Japanese citizens. It took a long time to revive that culture, but it is back and thriving.

My own local artist began taking Bonsai classes more the 40 years ago. He has created some lovely little trees, none better than this Trident Maple, now under his care and training for over 40 years, and in it's glory in Autumn.

Yes, this is one of Tom's trees, rooted over rock in the Chinese style. It's a beauty and a treasure.