Seattle Garden Destinations

Survey these museums, parks and gardens tailor-made for the horticultural tourist.

By: Dee Nash
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Photo By: Photo by Dee Nash

Photo By: Photo by Dee Nash

Photo By: Photo by Dee Nash

Photo By: Photo by Dee Nash

Photo By: Photo by Dee Nash

Photo By: Photo by Dee Nash

Photo By: Photo by Dee Nash

Photo By: Photo by Dee Nash

Photo By: Photo by Dee Nash

Photo By: Photo by Dee Nash

Photo By: Photo by Dee Nash

Photo By: Photo by Dee Nash

Photo By: Photo by Dee Nash

Photo By: Photo by Dee Nash

Photo By: Photo by Dee Nash

Photo By: Photo by Dee Nash

'The Sun' at Chihuly Garden and Glass

The Chihuly Garden and Glass museum is located at the base of Seattle's Space Needle in the lower Queen Anne section of the city. One of the most dramatic sculptures in the garden is "The Sun," which measures sixteen feet in diameter. Chihuly's influence was the Pacific sun, which he sees as "an explosion of yellow and orange" rising out of a dark Earth. The Earth is represented by 4,500 plants of black mondo grass. 

Chihuly Glass House

A view of the Seattle Space Needle through the Chihuly's Glasshouse at the museum. Dale Chihuly has a lifelong appreciation for conservatories and glass houses. He loves their play of light and shadow. This 40-foot tall, glass and steel house with 4,500 square feet space is the crescendo of the museum. The Glasshouse holds one of Chihuly's largest sculptures and pays homage to the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris and the Crystal Palace in London.

Outdoor Garden at Chihuly Garden and Glass

This portion of the garden at Chihuly Garden and Glass is filled with blue "Neodymium Reeds," "Niijima Floats" and other glass resembling sea creatures. 

Chihuly Garden and Glass Persian Ceiling

Visitors walk beneath glass floral shapes lit from behind in the Persian Ceiling. This dramatic lighting casts colored shadows on the walls and floors, forms which Chihuly calls "the Persians." He began this glass art series in 1986. The first Persian Ceiling was presented in his 1992 exhibition at the opening of the downtown Seattle Art Museum.

Green Chandeliers at Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Fantastic green shapes resembling Chihuly's chandeliers placed upside down glimmer in the sun. Permanent plantings were designed by landscape architect Richard Hartlage of the Seattle enginner and landscape design firm AHBL, and they compliment Chihuly's vision. The entire garden surrounds the Glasshouse and changes dramatically throughout the day especially if there is shade instead of sunlight.

Dale Chihuly's Accordion Collection

Dale Chihuly is an eclectic collector of many different objects including chalk figures, transistor radios and accordions. Many of his prized collections are displayed at the museum cafe, a nice respite before or after visiting the museum. 

The Lawn at Bellevue Botanical Garden

After you walk through the garden entrance at Bellevue Botanical Garden, you are greeted by a carpet of green lawn. The lawn sets the stage for the remainder of the garden and is a resting place before heading out. 

The Native Discovery Garden at Bellevue Botanical Garden

A stream runs through the Native Discovery Garden at Bellevue Botanical Garden. The Native Discovery Garden encourages visitors to consider native plants as part of their landscape because natives are adapted to the Pacific Northwest. 

The Entrance to the Bellevue Botanical Garden

This welcoming entrance to the Bellevue Botanical Garden is a preview of what awaits visitors inside. Grasses like Mexican feather grass are an easy-care solution to a well-traveled area. 

Olympic Sculpture Park

Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park on the grounds of the Seattle Art Museum is a chance to contemplate notable sculptural works in a natural setting. Covering nine acres on Puget Sound, the park offers free admission and features some art world heavyweights including Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Ellsworth Kelly and Mark Dion's custom-designed greenhouse which encourages visitor discovery of natural forms within the landscape.

Sky Sculpture

Sky Landscape I by renowned artist Louise Nevelson is a collage in her favorite color, black. It is one of many sculptures displayed throughout the park. 

Wide Awake

One of the largest sculptures at the Olympic Sculpture Park is Wake by noted minimalist sculptor Richard Serra. Its towering and massive scale evokes a ship's hull and in fact was created using computer imaging and machines that manufacture ship hulls.

Wildflower Meadow at Olympic Sculpture Park

Grasses and wildflowers create meadow landscapes that bump up against the bordering sidewalks. The Seattle Art Museum planned these meadows to make a “fenceless” park for artists and visitors. The meadows also attract and support pollinators. 

Showcase Garden-Northwest Flower and Garden Show

The annual  Northwest Flower and Garden Show at the Washington State Convention Center has been heralded as the start of spring since 1989. One of the prominent features of the Northeast Flower and Garden Show each February are the show gardens designed by prominent garden designers and landscapers around a central them. For 2013, the theme was "A Floral Symphony."

Pretty in Pink Showcase

Floral designs with a pink theme grace this Northeast Flower and Garden show garden meant to evoke spring on a residential patio. Show gardens are judged by a panel of independent judges and afford visitors an opportunity to see new garden trends and products.

Vintage Garden Market

The Vintage Garden Market at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show features vintage items with a garden theme and an emphasis on upcycled items. Old garden books, prints, vases and silver bowls are just some of the antiques on offer to give your garden a nostalgic feel. 

Primroses

Garden designers showcase plants like these primroses in full bloom at the Northwests Flower and Garden Show. In many of the gardens, designers also tag plants so visitors can take planting ideas home with them.