Friday, September 9, 2011

South Seattle Community College Arboretum, a stop on the Garden Bloggers Fling

Okay, I’ll admit it; I thought this was an odd stop on our GBF itinerary. When you live somewhere for years (like I did in Seattle) you are bound to have a bias towards certain places and South Seattle Community College was hardy someplace I thought of as a hot bed of horticultural activity. My concern was elevated when I arrived ahead of the group and was greeted by an empty parking lot (empty except for a few would be motorcyclists getting their driving lessons). I did a little poking around while I waited for the others and learned that “The South Seattle Community College Arboretum was established by the College and the SSCC Foundation in 1978 in part as the result of a petition by the Landscape Horticulture Program students for an arboretum to serve as their living laboratory.” Okay, well, they’ve got a nice little tribute to the danger garden going on (in other words serious points earned in my book). And a nice water garden. But we were primarily there to view the Coenosium Rock Garden and while I wasn’t thrilled with the subject matter (Conifers) there certainly were a few interesting characters sprinkled in here and there. But what really killed me was the number of times I heard “I wish I could grow conifers” This sentiment was most often voiced by someone who could grow agaves. Oh why do we always want what we can't have? I guess I got a little geographically turned around and was very surprised to happen upon an unexpected view of downtown Seattle, in the distance. The SSCC Arboretum is also the location of Seattle’s new Chinese Garden, or at least the 4.6 acres which will become the garden. Currently there are a few sparse plantings and a beautiful courtyard which is worth a look. This simple chunky bridge… Led over a small "creek"… To a similarly chunky table and stools. I love this look! The SSCC Arboretum turned out to be an unexpected pleasure…and the cost of admission (free!) makes it a bargain for anyone wanting to enjoy a sunny a place to wander on a Sunday afternoon…


  1. Don't you love it when expectations are low and then BOOM: you get a good thing?

  2. I wish I could grow Agaves! (snicker) It's so true that we always want what we can't have.

    The Chinese garden looks very promising...and chunky is good!

  3. Oh why do we always want what we can't have?

    Because we gardeners want it all? :)

    Your Chinese garden looks like its being built by the same group doing the Huntington's. They seem to be springing up in multiple locations.

  4. Oh Loree, how I yearn for conifers.Do you suppose there is a perfect climate somewhere ? But.. I can grow citrus !

  5. We always want what we can't have. I do have agaves and one conifer sp. but there are still so many more plants out there.

  6. Wow, very nice to see people try out new plants for tough spaces. All those scenes so nice anywhere, and especially the surprise of up there in Cascadia. They might have a commemoration plaque to you hiding in there. Dangerous!

  7. ricki, yes! It is wonderful...

    MulchMaid, you know I think it (the Chinese Garden) is going to be wonderful, as long as they can keep the momentum growing.

    Hoover, you are the wise one. So true! The Seattle Chinese Garden does have a group of experts working on it, so it stands to reason they are probably doing work around the country.

    ks, I thought parts of California were the perfect climate!

    Bom, and there's something to the challenge of growing something your "not supposed to be able to grow" too right?

    DD, perhaps I should see about having danger garden sponsor that little part of the arboretum!?


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