Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Pacific Connections Garden at Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum

Last October, with just a few minutes to kill, I made an impromptu stop at the Pacific Connections Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum.

These plants are just off Washington Park Blvd, a busy street, and looking lovely in the afternoon sunlight.

Mulitple Gunnera and large Blechnum chilense (I think) set the tone for what lies beyond.

There have been a couple Fascicularia doing well here for years. I wonder what they look like after this year's historic snowfall?

I should have made a point to stop by and check on them when I was up in Seattle for the NWFG Show.

Sadly there's never enough time to do it all.

Wow. This was an insane feeling. I approached the Pacific Connections Garden from the opposite side that I normally do. The combination of a different angle and it being a few years since I visited (last visit was October 2015, that means three years, how is that possible!?!) had me feeling completely disoriented. Everything had grown so much! I started in the New Zealand section.

At least the way-finding signs were still visible.

The Hebe ochracea of my dreams, not to mention that monster Phormium.

Basically I just walked along a main pathway and swooned. Pointing my camera wherever something especially stunning caught my eye.

That's an entire grove of Astelia nivicola 'Red Gem' (I think, I saw a label on a couple of plants so I assume that's what they all are)...

This fabulous tiny-leaved shrub grabbed my attention on my last visit, but now I think I know what it is: Coprosma rugosa. I scored one of these when I visited Far Reaches last August (here), and I remember Kelly saying something about the Pacific Connections Garden as he handed it to me.

Look at those little berries! I'm giddy...

Another Astelia...

The fog that had been at my heels all day (starting out at my stop in Kalama that morning) was creeping back in.

Another view of the Coprosma rugosa.

Cordyline indivisa

And over in the Australian section the much admired (by me) Grevillea x gaudichaudii.

What was I thinking not making this place a priority stop when I was up Seattle way last month? Someone please tell me you stopped by recently and this plant is still looking this good.

Lomatia tinctoria, another which it would have been nice to check in on.

So many seed pods back in October!

Weather Diary, Mar 6: Hi 37, Low 30/ Precip .16 (snow)

All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. What a wonderful jam-packed garden. I love the Astelia, which I haven't had much success growing. Seeing the Hebe ochracea, I'm now wondering if that's the plant that pops up here and there like a weed (but not a noxious one) in my garden. I've never been able to figure out what it is - I'll have to pot the next ones I find rather than tossing them out to see if I can confirm their identity.

    1. Hopefully you'll see today's post where I share a photo of a young Hebe ochracea.

  2. A beautiful space. It is amazing how different the landscape looks when approached from a different direction.

    1. I never would have imagined, but so true.

  3. Whew! That is a design and a hort lesson all in one. We visited there almost 20 years ago and I only remember bits and pieces. I have a funny little souvenir figure that I bought in the shop there and all my friends were oohing and aahhing over it recently when they visited.

    1. I'm not sure what this part of the Arboretum was like 20 years ago, but it wasn't carved out as the Pacific Connections garden. That's only come about in the last 9 or so years. So what shop? I wonder if it was the Graham Visitor's Center which is in Friday's post?

  4. My own visits to the Washington Park Arboretum are always much too far apart. I never keep my promise to visit again soon. The giant gray-blue Phormium is a site to behold.

    1. Sometimes it's hardest to get to places in our own hometown!

  5. Ten years living here in the Seattle area and I still have never visited the arboretum. Actually I tried our first year here and couldn't find a space to park, so I gave up, and I've never felt the urge to go back. It looks like a great place for people who live near enough to walk to it.

    1. You can park for free right next to the Japanese Garden (also worth a visit) and walk across the street to this section. I've never had trouble parking there, even on the weekend.

  6. Sad to say that you visit this place far more often than I and it's much closer to my place than yours. This post makes me want to go check out some of these plants post snowmageddon.


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