The era when I used to walk through would have been around the same time the land, formerly a private garden, was donated to the city — in 1996, signed over to Seattle Parks and Recreation, in conjunction with the Parks Dept purchasing three lots south of the garden to save them from development. That purchase had been funded by a 1989 King County Open Space Bond Measure. The garden continues to be family maintained and run, while welcoming in you, and I, and preserving open space that could have just as easily (more easily?) been sold and turned into towering condos. I thank you Dan, Ann and Ben Streissguth.
My visit took place early on Saturday morning, February 10th. Andrew was shopping at the Amazon store at U-Village and I was here. Suddenly 20 years younger, the views, the smells, those years had melted away in an instant.
The younger me wouldn't have known this was Cycleman, but I probably would have thought it was pretty.
This seems like the way to head...
It was chilly that morning (below freezing when we left the hotel), but spring was clearly in the air.
Only now do I realize the stupidity of photographing a bench but not actually pausing to sit on it.
The pathway was urging me on!
Wow, these beauties! Trillium, about to bust open.
And those sweet yellow flowers...
Pausing to look up at the blue sky I was rewarded with Camellia blossoms.
And Magnolia buds.
And a million dollar (+) view of Lake Union...
And the Olympic Mountains in the distance.
Back to the garden, Garrya tassels.
An Edgeworthia, not quite ready to bust open in fragrant bloom.
There were many beautiful Hellebore blooms.
Chimonanthus praecox, aka wintersweet
It's an odd gift to be able to return to a place you hadn't been in years, yet feel it so profoundly as a part of you that it's like you've never left.
I've honestly never thought of this place since leaving Seattle, but being here, I intensely remember walking through it. Wanting and yearning for soil of my own in which to garden. Now I have it, have had it for years, and I do not take it for granted. I am lucky.
Petasites japonicus var. giganteus
This was just one of many vignettes that had me wishing I could return in a month or three, when spring growth has really taken off.
I'm not generally a fan of the conifers, but this one was lit from within.
Saxifraga x urbium 'Aurea Punctata'
I also loved this ivy.
I'm ivy ignorant, anyone able to ID?
Rhododendron some somebody (love the shuttlecock shape).
I'm a sucker for a well done gabion wall.
This one was built to keep back a potentially troublesome (wet) bit of land.
It was clearly up for the job.
And in the drainage seep was this happy Gunnera about to push out some monster leaves.
One of those pretty spring bloomers, being all pretty...
But foliage! That's a year round bit of loveliness.
Not electric, but still pretty.
I want to call this Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire', but what am basing that on? Absolutely nothing but the color. So who knows?
Those orange seeds! I love them, and I'm sure everyone but me knows what they are...
The veggie garden, way down at the bottom of the steep cliff-side I've been zigzagging my way down.
I read something about a pond and raccoons, this must be it.
And it's time to start climbing back up, up, up to my car. And 2018.
And head back to my Portland garden, with these memories fresh in my mind.
I've got the book In Love with a Hillside Garden (2009) on hold in our local library system, so I'll be returning to the Streissguth Gardens again soon.
Weather Diary, Feb 21: Hi 37, Low 23/ Precip .3" snow
All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.