Greetings from Seattle



Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Garden Touring Part 2

  There was more to see of the old estates on the shores of the lakes in Lakewood. 

Next up, the George Weyerhaeuser garden. George and Wendy Weyerhaeuser bought this undeveloped property on Gravelly Lake in 1957. Wendy was the daughter of the Wagners, who owned Lakewold, which you saw in the last post, and she grew up on that estate. George is part of the Weyerhaeuser Family of forestry fame. She liked roses and he liked rhododendrons. The Weyerhaeuser garden is very much a Northwest garden with old growth fir trees, oaks, dogwoods, and of course rhododendrons and roses.


We checked in in the covered indoor/outdoor room. Here we met the gardener. He told us a little bit about the garden including why the roses were looking so strangely trimmed. Rabbits! He said he had never seen so many rabbits as this year. All the newly planted rose bushes now have wire cages around them. 

We walked through to the back of the house for views of the lake, the swimming pool, the terrace and the large deck. And more big trees!








Around the side and back of the house is a Japanese style garden with ponds and a stream.



Of course there is a great lawn, bordered with wonderful trees and rhododendrons. 


And then we were off to the next garden. the Madera Japanese and Rose Gardens. Madera on Gravelly Lake was developed by Joseph Carmen as an estate in 1920. While the house was being built the couple traveled around the world finding treasures for their new home. Mrs. Carmen fell in love with Japanese gardens and sponsored several Japanese gardeners to create a Pond Strolling Garden. While this garden is now very mature, the bones are still there.








Across the drive is the entrance to the rose garden. First designed as an Italian style garden, it was redesigned in the 1940's to a circular design. 



It's late season for roses and heavy rains recently have left them somewhat bedraggled. In fact most of this garden tour featured not blooms so much as bones, the structures of the gardens, their greenscapes  and their hardscapes. 


This large estate is now a gated community of many lovely newer homes. We talked to one of the residents, who signed us in. She said she and others had been out weeding and primping these two gardens for this opening. For them, this is just part of the community landscape.  


Monday, September 28, 2020

Garden Touring, Part 1

 As the summer wound down, so did the Open Gardens program of the Northwest Perennial Alliance. 

We missed many of the open gardens, but we were happy to be able to join in the touring of this last weekend's offerings. These gardens were in Lakewood, an area with small lakes south of Tacoma. In the early 1900's wealthy area residents began to build summer cottages along the lake shores, which then became expanded into year round residences on expansive grounds. Over time these estates have been divided into smaller properties, but still are examples of a grand lifestyle. 

The Gallinatti garden surrounds a stately home built in 1918 that was originally a gatekeeper's cottage to an estate on the shore of American Lake. Everything you see here is the result of extensive remodeling of the garden and part of the house.

The Open Garden sign lets us know we are in the right place, but it's the planting in this container that catches the eye. 



The elegant box hedges suit this lovely old home. 
Around the back, the hardscape and furnishings are placed to take advantage of the view of American Lake. 








Next we were off to Lakewold, an estate on the shore of Gravelly Lake. Lakewold is now a public garden, a National Historic Landmark,  and the home is used as an event center. Tom had looked on line to see what the plant sale had to offer and had his eye on some dwarf hostas, so we stopped at gift shop/ plant sale area first, which is the old gate keeper's cottage. 

A few pink dogwood blooms linger. 

The back terrace with a lake view. 



We have been to this garden in various seasons so we did not explore the whole ten acres this time.

Not much is blooming now, except the autumn hardy cyclamen. Tom is particularly fond of hardy cyclamen and had to check them all out. 

I, of course, love the big old trees, like this Douglas Fir "Wolf Tree".
Wolf trees had their terminal buds damaged  and so they grew all which way. 
Tom studied the cyclamen. 


Designed in the Olmstead style, this garden, of course,  has a great lawn dominated by an Empress Tree. 
Along the entry drive. 

There is an Asian influence in this side garden off the main drive. 
It was easy to keep a distance from the other masked visitors, and we enjoyed a nice stroll in this beautiful garden.

More to come.