This post was supposed to go up almost two weeks ago, right after we got back from our weekend in Seattle. Then, however, we had a long string of house guests, and there was work, and then there just never seemed to be enough time. So here it finally is, one post to cover the various garden-related sights we visited or came across while in Seattle. Somehow I took less pictures than usual, though there are still quite a few. Perhaps the loveliest single horticultural attraction we enjoyed was the Volunteer Park Conservatory. Built in 1912, it is much like the historic conservatories in many other big American cities, and not a particularly large example of the type at that. However, I was very impressed by how immaculately maintained it was, with all the plantings not only in a perfect state of cultivation but also beautifully arranged. This was true throughout all sections of the complex - the Palm House, Fern House, Bromeliad House, Seasonal Display House, and Cactus House
The front entrance to the Volunteer Park Conservatory
One of numerous orchid displays in the Palm House
Another orchid display
A particularly lovely Vanda tessellata
The lush, though not very ferny, planting of the Fern House
A stunning Epiphyllum hybrid in the Fern House
In the Bromeliad House
A view of the Seasonal Display House
In the Cactus House
A pool and bell tower outside a chapel on the campus of Seattle University
We also visited the University of Washington Botanic Gardens and the Seattle Japanese Garden contained within them. Here, in particular, I somehow failed to take as many pictures as I should have. However, I did buy some cool plants from the Pat Calvert Greenhouse by the visitor center: saplings of the tea shrub (Camellia sinensis) and Camellia 'Showa-No-Sakae', a Hesperantha coccinea, and a Jasminum parkeri. If I did not have to bring the plants back in my carry-on I would have happily bought more; they had plenty of very cool plants propagated from the arboretum and that at very reasonable prices.
An Inca lily (Alstroemeria ligtu cv.) in the Chilean section of the arboretum
Flowers of a catalpa, probably of the southern kind (Catalpa bignonioides)
In the Seattle Japanese Garden
The lily pond in the Japanese Garden
Finally, there are many lovely plants and gardens we saw just by the wayside around town; here are just a few.
An unusual hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla cv.)
A beautiful yellow montbretia (Crocosmia cv.)
All sorts of Crocosmia cultivars in particular were blooming perfectly all over the city, making me wish all the more that I could get some established in the garden here. The bulbs of Crocosmia crocosmiiflora that I planted in May did not come up at all, and the seedlings of Crocosmia 'Lucifer' that I raised over the winter indoors are still growing, but tiny as they are not getting much light or air in the jungle-like growth of the July garden. Maybe I will have to try again with some fully grown potted specimens next year.