“Stop and smell the flowers.” Great words to live by. We all need to take some time to relax and enjoy life. But, what about actually stopping and smelling flowers? This summer, I have visited several arboretums and botanical gardens. Each has its attributes. My walk through The University of Washington’s arboretum rates among the best gardens I’ve visited.
During a Seattle visit, I thought I would pop in and out of the UW gardens. It didn’t strike me as being too large, so I figured I’d spend about an hour there. I ended up spending my morning between the garden and a nearby Japanese garden (a future story). The size is deceptive; the botanical garden spans 230 acres and includes six gardens.
The Rhododendron garden mesmerized me. It rained (surprise. Surprise. Rain in Seattle?) shortly before my arrival, so flowers entertained water droplets. I love views of water on flowers, so I snapped away with the camera. Before I knew it, I had more than 100 photos of wet flowers. I forced myself to move on to the rest of the arboretum.
The gray clouds and wet conditions created plush greenery. I think I stopped every few feet to take in another sight. The flowers came in a variety of colors – red, white, yellow, pink, as well as mixes.
The walking path soon passed from the flowers to trees and plants. Trees of all shapes and sizes lined the walking path. Moss covering several trees owned most of my attention. The deep green colors popped visually against the dark bark of trees.
Azalea Way was a pretty walk. It combined flowers with bushes and other plants. Again, I believe I stopped and stayed much longer than the average person would. But, I loved the colors of the flowers and the scenery.
The UW arboretum provided interesting views of wildlife. I know we have crows (blackbirds, ravens, or whatever you call the bird), but I felt the need to get a photo of it. I was in the naming mood, so I named it Edgar Allen Crow. Right?
A duck family was swimming in a small pond, so of course I had to see if they were the McDucks of Hollywood (yeah, I know, bad). Whomever they were, apparently it was lunchtime. I love watching ducks sink half their bodies under water to grab fish. It’s even better when they pop up and water drips off their beaks.
The clouds eventually gave way to blue skies and the arboretum was even more beautiful. The flowers I loved a couple of hours earlier were showing off their colors in the sunshine.
Even the turtles enjoyed the sunshine. I caught a few sunning themselves on the bank of a second pond. They didn’t seem to care humans were nearby. I was able to get within a few feet of one turtle before he raised his head in my direction. I thanked him for the picture as I stood up and moved along.
The Seattle area continues to impress me. I believe each time I visit, I enjoy a new adventure. The University of Washington’s arboretum rates among my favorite garden walks. I recommend strolling through it. Another plus is that admission is free (if you continue on to the Japanese Garden, there is a small admission fee, because the garden is owned by the City of Seattle).
For more information on the UW arboretum, please visit the school’s website.