Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lakewold Gardens, Part 1 - The English Garden

Get ready for some good old Pacific Northwest summer green foliage porn! I took a tour of Lakewold gardens while I was in town. Lakewold Gardens is located in Lakewood, Washington on the hill above Gravelly Lake and is a century old. It was built in 1910 and by 1913 its gardens were already famous. The garden was designed by America's emerging landscape masters including the Olmsted brothers in the early 1900's and Thomas Church in 1958. The garden grew to include include 10 acres of English and Woodland gardens. It was donated by the owner Mrs. Wagner in 1987 to a non-profit organization, The Friends of Lakewold, with the stipulation that an endowment fund be raised to assure the continuing care of the gardens. Mrs Wagner stated she donated the garden because "As we become more and more city creatures, living in man made surroundings, perhaps gardens will become even more precious to us, letting us remember that we began in the garden."

The iron gates and eagles (one on each post) that guard the entrance are from the original garden:

There is a circular drive that was built to allow visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of the garden as they entered the estate. Ginormous rhododendrons flank the drive:

There is also a footpath along the drive tunneling through the rhododendrons:

The rhodies were all done flowering except for a scant few in the deep shade. I imagine the circle drive would be fantastical in the spring:

As you come around the drive you see the giant Chinese Empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa)making a statement all by its big giant self in the middle of the lush, green lawn.(yep, they actually have green lawn in the pacific northwest):

a wider shot:

The parking area in front of the lawn is flanked on the left and right with sculptures. There are sculptures throughout the garden:

The side walking path entrance is flanked with pooch sculptures:


The front entrance of the estate was rather dull as it was just a wall of brick and a couple big doors (all the better to keep the street traffic sounds to a minimum, I suppose), but look just to the right of the entryway and a gorgeous patio comes into view:

Upon entering the house, you are greeted with beautiful tapestries hanging on the walls seemingly bringing the garden inside:

Exit left, walk through the sun porch and enter upon the English garden out back:

Topiary ducks!:

Looking back across the topiary duck garden towards the house:

To the right of the topiaries is a porch covered in ancient wisteria. Again, this would be gorgeous in the spring when in full bloom, but is beautiful in all its green foliage glory in the summer just the same:

Hidden under the wisteria porch are a few little garden trinket surprises. A bird house:

And some chimes:

That well-looking thing in the bottom left of the porch-covered-in-wisteria picture up above is in the center of another hedged garden full of lavender:

Look out beyond the lavender and you will see a view of Gravelly lake:

Down and to the right of the lavender was a perennial garden. And it also had a statue:


Back behind the statue the perennial garden continued at the edge of the shade of the evergreens:


At the very edge of the garden a very simple and new-ish looking garden arch and birdhouse. This is definitely something the backyard gardener can mimic:

Heading back to the duck topiaries, just to the left is a brick walk that leads to a teahouse. This walk was built for the wedding of one of the daughters back in the day. The entire path and teahouse is lined with various species of dogwood including Pacific, Korean, and Cornelian cherry dogwood. Once again, I can only dream how glorious this walkway is in the spring when in full bloom:

Along the walk is a very pretty stone bench. I can just imagine the lady of the house dressed in 1920's garb sitting for a spell in this spot:

A little further along and just beyond the dogwoods you will find a pool punctuated with roses at each corner:


On the opposite side of the path sits a sundial. Color me jealous. I have always wanted one of these:

More statues line the walk leading up to the teahouse. This one appears to be a fawn from Greek mythology:

At the end of the brick walk is the teahouse:


A hanging basket full of begonia; the big poofy kind that hate southern heat but loooove the cool maritine climate:

On the wall of the teahouse hangs this greek or maybe romanesque (I'm not really sure) plaque. This was actually my favorite thing in the teahouse:

Exit the teahouse and you enter the woodland garden, which I will blog about in tomorrow's post 'Lakewold Gardens, Part Deux - The Woodland Garden'.

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