Friday, August 5, 2011

Seattle Japanese Garden

The Seattle Japanese garden is one of the finest examples of a Japanese garden outside of japan. The Japanese garden was designed by Kiyoshi Inoshita and Juki Iida in 1959 and completed in 1960. It is part of the University of Washington Arboretum which was designed in 1924 by the Olmsted Brothers.

The Seattle Japanese garden, having been built in 1959, was the earliest post-war public garden constructed on the west coast, and therefore had a strong influence on many other gardens in the area thereafter.

The garden is filled with japanese maples, azaleas, rhodendrons, firs and pines. It has a large pond with koi, turtles, and a heron or two.

Upon entering the garden, the visitor is greeted with a path that leads one around the garden. The idea is to create views of different landscapes that disappear and reappear as one progresses along the path and through the garden.

Notice that the garden floor is not carpeted with grass, but with a delicate covering of moss:

The path leads into the 'forest':

Further down the path are hosta in bloom under some trees. These were about the only flowers in bloom this time of the year, but who needs blooms with all that gorgeous foliage?:

Stone bridge:

A stream:

Looking through the trees and across the pond is a stone lantern on a rock outcrop. Check out the orangy foliage in the background:

Neatly trimmed pine and looking out across pond towards the zig-zag bridge where you can feed the koi:

Check out this pine being propped up over the pond:

Small lantern at edge of pond:

Trimmed pines and tall lantern. Notice how the shape of the lantern mirrors the shape of the trees:

Heading off to the zig-zag bridge in the middle of the pond to feed the koi:

You can purchase koi feed at the entrance to the garden for a dollar. On busy days, get there early as they only have so much food they will give out each day. Don't want the fish to overeat themselves to death! Feeding is allowed from the zig-zag bridge:

Closer shot of the koi:

One of these fish actually followed us all around the pond the entire time we were there hoping we would feed him more food! Here he is just swimming out of this photo:

He's the orange guy heading out of the shot on the left. Also, in this photo above, there are several turtles warming themselves on a rock.

A view from the zig-zag bridge:

Back on the path a willow hangs over the pond, propped up by a large post:


An ancient wisteria envelops an an arbor over the pond:

Another view:

Looking out from under the wisteria arbor:

Back on the path, a few azaleas are in bloom:

At the far end of the garden, up on the hill and overlooking the entire garden, is a giant 3 1/2 ton granite lantern is 200 years old and was a gift from Kobe, Japan to the city of Seattle. Kobe is Seattle's sister city:

Looking out across the garden from below the lantern:

Moving along to the other side of the garden, a grove of pines stand sentinal on a mound above the pond:

More hosta in bloom along the gentle curved edge of the pond:

The pond is host to many lily pads:

pink ones:


The path then leads up the hill:

and to the teahouse. This teahouse was burned down by vandals in 1973 and rebuilt in 1981:

Back down the hill and ferns are found nestled in moss on the hillside:

And a waterfall with a pagoda above it:


And a lantern below:

The waterfall flows into a stream that then flows into the pond:

Ferns grow off the boulders in the pond and cast their reflection upon the calm water:

Coming full circle, the same lantern we saw across the pond at the beginning, we now see up close edging the pond with the garden in the distance:

another angle. I thought it was pretty nifty how the juniper that was hanging over the pond mimicked the saucer shape of the lantern top:

On the way out, I noticed the maples already had their propeller shaped seeds developed and were causing the branches to hang heavily over the trail:

1 comment:

Lancashire rose said...

I'm afraid that was one of the gardens we didn't visit on our recent Fling in Seattle. I imagine they just couldn't fit it in with our hectic schedule. It was nice to visit it along with you. I have to say that I like this climate when the sun shines but not so much when it rains! We were down along the Olympic Peninsular and I did get tired of the mist and fog and drizzle.