Glass flowers by Jason Gamrath at the Volunteer Park Conservatory

Glass flowers by Jason Gamrath at the Volunteer Park Conservatory


The Volunteer Park Conservatory in Seattle is currently displaying some glass flowers by artist Jason Gamrath amidst their collection of exotic and not-so-exotic plants.  We went there expressly to see the glass art, but quite frankly, the glass flowers couldn’t hold a candle to Nature’s offerings.  The conservatory has done some remodeling since my last visit.  The seasonal room seemed less crowded and more open, making for a less chaotic experience.  The orchids are no longer behind glass.  Here’s a virtual tour:

Seasonal room, Volunteer Park Conservatory

Seasonal room, Volunteer Park Conservatory








Cactus room

Cactus room





Passion flower

Passion flower

Bromeliad room

Bromeliad room





Jon B Dove garden cottage, Georgetown Garden Walk

Yesterday was the 2012 Georgetown Garden Walk.  My friend Carol and I strolled around, map in hand, enjoying the garden ramble.  We re-visited old favorites from last year’s Walk, and eyed a few new surprises.  This year the Garden Walk was made extra special by art in the gardens, a co-event called “Cross Pollinate.”

My absolute favorite part of the Georgetown Garden Walk was Jon B. Dove’s garden cottage.  I would love to have a garden retreat like this to write, paint, and work on my blog. Here are some photos:

The Jon B. Dove garden cottage interior

A relaxing spot to read a book

Dove garden cottage, another view

A profusion of clematis, Dove garden

Honeysuckle blossom, Dove garden

Another garden shed being made over into an extra living space

Red poppy

A small backyard space converted into a magical oasis, lined by votive candles


Garden gate, Georgetown Garden Walk

Garden arch, a cool, green spot

Many gardens sported interesting art objects, like this vintage toy airplane

Foliage from Solomon seal

Purple and green grape leaves

We saw borders lined with hubcaps, bowling balls, and this one with bottles

A gardener and her passion flower

Pink hollyhocks

Old-fashioned flowers — hollyhocks

Tea in the garden

Carol resting on a bench in Oxbow Park

Parasol and long braid

This woman with her parasol was perfectly attired for the garden walk.

Plein air painter in a garden

Budding artist, Piper, painting in her garden

Poster for 2012 Georgetown Garden Walk

I stopped in the Volunteer Park Conservatory this week and enjoyed all the usual plants — cacti, orchids, lilies in the seasonal room, etc.  But my eye was caught by two special flowers that I cannot recall ever seeing before — a scarlet passion flower (passiflora miniata) and the Tiger Eye flowering maple.

Brilliant red passion flower

Tiger Eye flowering maple -- the flowers dangle like oriental lanterns

Tiger Eye flowering maple

Passion Flowers

October 14, 2011

Blue Passion Flower (Passiflora)

Blue Passion Flower

Watercolor sketch of Passion Flower

The Passion Flowers are certainly intricate blooms.  There are some flowering on Greenwood Avenue right now.  Beautiful!

This past weekend's Georgetown Garden Walk

Summer gardens are flourishing, and communities often host Garden Walks to showcase their gardens.  I’ve never attended a Garden Walk event, so I made it a point to check out this year’s walk in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle.  Georgetown is perhaps better known as an industrial and warehouse district, but there are a few residential streets and pockets of houses nestled among the businesses in the area.  Armed with a map of the participating gardens, my friend Carol and I set off to explore the neighborhood.  Here are some photos:

A private cafe table and chairs

Lovely arched arbor between a front and back yard

I loved the color of this ground cover plant

Hubcaps edge these borders. These gardeners also used old bowling balls to line the edges of some garden patches.

Floating four-leaf clover at Oasis Water Gardens

Old-fashioned hollyhocks

The most unusual flower I saw on the Georgetown Garden Walk -- passiflora, or passion flower

Giant Cowboy Hat 'n' Boots, Oxbow Park, Georgetown

My favorite garden: Jon B Dove's garden has a garden house, a perfect retreat!

Dove garden house, Georgetown Garden Walk

Interior of Dove's garden house