By Karen Ulvestad

Seattle is known as the Emerald City for its green spaces, public gardens, and near-by forests. It is home to many amazing gardens that show their beauty through-out the four seasons. These youngest of these gardens is over 50 years old. Visitors can view mature trees, bushes, and landscaping. They are a great place to rejuvenate from a busy week, or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll.

Seattle Japanese Garden
1070 Lake Washington Blvd. E.
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 684-4725

The Seattle Japanese Garden is located in the Washington Arboretum, and opened to the public in 1960. The garden is designed after the 16th and 17th century strolling gardens in Japan. It is in the shinzensa style, which means the essence of nature. The granite boulders were brought in from the Snoqualmie Pass area, and the plants are native to Japan and the Pacific Northwest. The garden is the first post WWII Japanese garden built on the west coast, and influenced the design of the following garden designs. The koi pond is beautiful, with mature fish. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for students, seniors, and disabled, and free for 0 to 5. First Thursday after 3 p.m. is free for all visitors.

Volunteer Park Conservatory
1400 E. Galer St.
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 684-4743

Volunteer Park Conservatory is located in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill. Built in the early 1900’s the building reflects the architecture of the era, and is as picturesque as the gardens it houses. The conservatory houses exotic plants, and the displays change seasonally. They offer classes from orchid care to Learn the Art of Kokedama. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for 13 to 17, and free for children 12 and under. First Thursday and Saturday are free admission.

Kubota Gardens
9817 55th Ave. W.
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 725-5060

Kubota Gardens is located in south Seattle, and free to the public. The gardens use native Pacific Northwest plants, and display them in a Japanese style garden setting. It was first designed and built by Fujitaro Kubota, and started in 1927, a Japanese immigrant and gardener. The gardens and surrounding area were home to his family, business, and the garden. Currently, the garden is part of the Seattle Parks system, and is maintained by the city. It is open daylight hours, and offers an area for weddings or other events.

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Woodland Park Rose Garden
750 N. 50th St.
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 548-2590

Woodland Park Rose Garden is located at Woodland Park Zoo, and first established in 1922. The garden is free to explore, though it is paid parking in the lot. In full bloom, the roses range in color from reds to pinks and yellows. The scent fills the air, and the garden offers benches to sit to enjoy the flowers. The free-standing pond is home to water lilies. The design is reminiscent of the Art Deco era. The garden is surrounded by an ornate fence, and the gazebo contributes to its beauty.

Carl S. English Botanical Gardens
3015 N.W. 54th St.
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 783-7059

The Carl S. English Botanical Gardens are located at the Ballard Locks, on the Ballard side. The garden offers grassy areas for picnics or other activities. The gardens are filled with various flowers and trees. It is common to see great blue heron, Canada geese, and gulls in the gardens and the locks. The gardens overlook the locks, which were build in the early 1900’s. Entrance is free, though parking in the lot costs.

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