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Pacific Northwest

Garden Tour

Off again

 At the Iris farm in Oregon

It seems Julia and I cannot stand still for long. With this overwhelming travel fever in our hearts, we find ourselves planning our next trip. We intend to visit some more beautiful gardens, but this time in our own backyard, the Pacific Northwest. It is summertime here and so we expect to experience some of the most beautiful gardens in the world.

For plants to grow they need water and sun, and we certainly get a lot of water in the Pacific Northwest.

 The proposed route

The first stop on our over 1,000-mile trip will be Lakewold Gardens in Washington State. Here is what the Bing-AI has to say about this place:

Lakewold Gardens is a 10-acre non-profit estate garden located at Lakewood, Washington, in an area known as the Lakes District.

The property first began in 1908 as a five-acre home site for Emma Alexander, who transferred the property to her son Hubbard Alexander and his wife Ruth Alexander. At this point the gardens were already well known in the area. The Alexanders purchased an adjacent site in 1918. In 1925 the property was sold to Major Everett Griggs and his wife, Grace, who renamed it "Lakewold," a Middle English term meaning "lake-woods". In 1938 the property was sold again to G. Corydon and Eulalie Wagner, who began collecting plants and engaged Thomas Church as a landscape architect. In 1987 Mrs. Wagner donated the estate to a non-profit organization, the Friends of Lakewold.

 Lakewold Gardens WA

The next stop will be Bloedel Reserve in Washington State.

The Bloedel Reserve is a 150-acre forest garden on Bainbridge Island, Washington. It was created by Virginia and Prentice Bloedel, the vice-chairman of the lumber company MacMillan Bloedel Limited, under the influence of the conservation movement and Asian philosophy. The Bloedel Reserve has both natural and highly landscaped lakes, immaculate lawns, woods, a stone garden (formerly the swimming pool where poet Theodore Roethke drowned in 1963), a moss garden, a rhododendron glen, and a reflection garden designed with the assistance of landscape architects Richard Haag, Thomas Church, Kazimir Wall, and Danielle Stern.

 Bloedel Reserve

Our next garden will be Heronswood Garden.

Heronswood is a botanical garden located in Kingston, Kitsap County, Washington. The botanical garden was established in 1987 by Dan Hinkley and Robert Jones. Heronswood was sold to the W. Atlee Burpee company in 2000 and went through their filing for bankruptcy and was completely neglected for the next several years. In 2012 Heronswood was sold to the Port Gamble S’Klallam tribe who are committed to maintaining the garden for the local community as well as garden enthusiast visiting from points further.

 Heronswood Garden

Next, we’ll leave the USA and travel over the border to Canada, British Columbia to visit the amazing Butchart Gardens.

The Butchart Gardens is a group of floral display gardens in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, Canada, located near Victoria on Vancouver Island. The gardens receive over a million visitors each year and have been designated a National Historic Site of Canada.

Robert Pim Butchart began manufacturing Portland cement in 1888 near his birthplace of Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. He and his wife Jennie Butchart came to the west coast of Canada because of rich limestone deposits necessary for cement production. In 1904, they established their home near his quarry on Tod Inlet at the base of the Saanich Peninsula on Vancouver Island. In 1909, when the limestone quarry was exhausted, Jennie set about turning it into the Sunken Garden, which was completed in 1921.

 Butchart Gardens

Next, we’ll spend a few days in Tofino, the home of the famous/infamous sea wolves.

Tofino is a small coastal village located on the west coast of Vancouver Island in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is situated within the traditional territory of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, at the heart of the Clayoquot Sound, which is a UNESCO Biosphere Region. Tofino is known for its stunning natural beauty and outdoor activities such as surfing, hiking, and whale watching.

There have been reports of wolf encounters in the Tofino area. In June 2016, a wolf warning was issued for Pacific Rim National Park Reserve near Tofino after two wolf encounters involving pets and their owners and campers. Wolves have been spotted in packs of up to seven, patrolling area beaches for food.

 Tofino sea wolves

Hopefully we’ll only have good encounters with these wolves as we explore the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve here in Tofino.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a 511 km (197 sq mi) national park located in British Columbia, Canada, which comprises three separate regions: Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail. The park is characterized by rugged coasts and temperate rainforests. It lies along the west coast of Vancouver Island in the traditional territories of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations and boasts kilometers of long sandy beaches, unspoiled temperate rainforests and adventures that will delight the explorer in all.

 Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

From here we travel onto Vancouver BC.

Vancouver is a major city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. It is the most populous city in the province, with a population of 662,248 people in 2021. Vancouver has the highest population density in Canada, with over 5,700 people per square kilometer. It is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada: 49.3 percent of its residents are not native English speakers, 47.8 percent are native speakers of neither English nor French, and 54.5 percent of residents belong to visible minority groups.

 Vancouver BC

We hope to visit the famous Stanley Park here.

Stanley Park is a 405-hectare (1,001-acre) public park that borders the downtown of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, and is mostly surrounded by waters of Burrard Inlet and English Bay. The park is home to some of Vancouver's favorite, most-visited attractions. You could easily spend more than a day here and still not see everything this urban oasis has to offer. If you want to experience the park the way the locals do, walk, cycle or jog around the nearly 20-mile seawall that hugs Vancouver's waterfront. The park offers a wide range of unforgettable experiences for all ages and interests, including Canada’s largest aquarium.

 Stanley Park

Man, I can not wait to get going on this Pacific Northwest Garden Tour. I’ll keep you posted on our travels.



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