Public Gardens in the Pacific Northwest – Resource list

One of my plans is try and go seNorthwest gardens open to the publice more gardens in our area.  So towards that endeavor I started collecting information on public gardens in the Pacific Northwest that I wanted to go see.  This is to gain inspiration but also because I do believe in the concept that learning to be a good designer is in large part a result of looking at good design.  Every time I go to the Chicago Art Institute (my favorite spot in all of Chicago) I see students camped out in front of some of the masterpieces at the museum, usually sketching the pieces.   When I spoke to one student she explained how really looking at the art and trying to copy the technique was intended to help her with her own art.  I think that’s true for garden design also. 

As I go see gardens my intent is to take pictures and report back here onYoda garden quote what I thought.  The list for Snohomish and King was created by me for the Master Gardener group I belong to last year when I sought information on the various gardens that I could take my out of state family to see.  So that’s why I have so many in this area. But over time I will add more from Vancouver BC down to Oregon or even San Francisco (I went to school there 20+ years ago and remember many of the gardens fondly).  If readers have any suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments below of email me and I will add then to the list.

Gardens in the King and Snohomish Counties (Seattle, Everett, Bellevue) – WASHINGTON

Bloedel Reserve

Brockman Memorial Tree walking tour  

Tour is dedicated to the memory of Professor C. Frank Brockman. About 480 different kinds of trees beautify the U.W. Only twenty-eight are species native on campus.  Map shows 67 unique trees and their location on campus map.

Center for Urban Horticulture

Chase Garden                                

Chihuly Garden and Glass        

Childrens’ Hospital grounds   

Dunn Garden  (*admission fee)

This is an Olmstead Brothers designed garden under the care of a trust.  Since it was originally a private home it has the feel of a person’s garden rather than a public garden.  It is large but very walkable.”

Evergreen Arboretum in Everett      

Forest Park in Everett

Greenhouses on the Health Sciences Building complex   

Hiram Chittendon locks      

Kubota garden            

Lakewold Gardens      

Elizabeth C. Miller Botanical garden
Miller Garden

Meerkerk Rhododendron Garden      

Elizabeth C. Miller Garden   – read my

in-depth post here on my tour of this garden in late spring 2014.           


Rhododendron and Bonsai garden   Bonsai display

Bonsai garden Seattle
The Bonsai Garden. I went at the height of the sun… hence harsh shadows. Try for a overcast day as most of the bonsai are outside.

The Rhododendron and Bonsai garden off I-5 near Weyerhauser. There are both inside and outside bonsai.    Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden (* admission charged)

Seattle Parks and Rec guide to Gardens

Volunteer Park on Capital Hill 

Washington Park Arboretum

A favorite arboretum walk is the Foster Island trail Washington Park Arboretum Waterfront Trail. Parking is easiest at the old site of the MOHAI museum, NOT at the arboretum side. Renting canoes at the UW canoe house and going to the arboretum is fun.  The Japanese tea garden in the arboretum is always beautiful. Waterfront trail info.

Japanese tea garden

Woodland Park Zoo  



Washington, outside of King and Snohomish County

Heronswood – Kingston.  A historic nursery owned by plantsman Dan Hinkley.  Was unkempt after being sold but has seen new life after being purchased by the Port Gamble S’klallam tribe and the collective assistance of many gardeners in the area who have helped Dan Hinkley and others revive what was lost.  Check the website for open days.

Windcliff – Indianola.  The home and garden of Dan Hinkley.  Often has open garden tours that sometimes have plant sales of plants propagated there on the property.



Butchart Gardens Victoria
Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens in Victoria

Stanley Park in Vancouver BC

University of British Columbia Botanical Gardens, Vancouver

VanDusen Botanical Gardens Vancouver



Portland Japanese Garden

Lan Su Chinese Garden

Elk Rock Gardens of Bishops Close

The Grotto 



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