The first stop was The Chase Garden, a garden protected as part of the national foundation, The Garden Conservancy. This garden was created by Emmott and Ione Chase, beginning in the 1940's, and over nearly 50 years, they made it their life's work.
It is a blend of Asian and natural Pacific Northwest, sitting on a bluff overlooking the Puyallup River below, and with a striking view of Mt Rainier. It's about an hour's drive south from Seattle.
We will begin on the entry driveway and explore the area around the house, where we met up with our tour guide, Will. I hope you have your walking shoes on.
I went around to the front of the house to sneak a peek at the mountain. Most of it was obscured by cloud cover, but you can get an idea of what it must be like when The Mountain is fully "out".
Leaving the entry court, we proceeded up into the forested area.
The ground was covered with spring blooming wild flowers, like Fairy bells,
A dainty variety of Solomon's seal mixed with vanilla leaf and trillium.
Dodecatheon - Shooting Star
This is a newly planted area. In this old garden, refurbishing is needed in some areas.
This area will put on a show from early spring to early summer. It was created to replicate a mountain meadow.
In a few weeks there will be many more shrubs blooming, but right now, it's all about the little flowers popping up out of the earth, the spring ephemerals.
There is a small plant sale area, and many of our group dug out their cash for little plant treasures.
And then we departed, somewhat reluctantly, from this very special garden.