Meet at the Visitor’s Center @ 12:45
Tour begins at 1:00 (no charge)
I look like my photo in a brown coat and red scarf.
Washington Park Arboretum
2300 Arboretum Drive E
Seattle, WA 98112
The Arboretum is a hidden gem on the shores of Lake Washington. Its 230 acres are a dynamic assortment of plants found nowhere else. The Graham Visitors Center contains an information desk and a gift shop.
The Winter Garden is in “peak bloom” in January.
Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden
A short walk from the the Graham Visitors Center via the Hillside Trail, the Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden features a central lawn encircled by tall cedars and firs and a tremendous assortment of smaller trees, shrubs and perennials. This garden is a real treat from late November through the end of March, when much of the rest of the park is quiet and subdued.
What makes a plant suitable for a "winter garden”? Splashes of color are welcome. You can't miss the bright yellow blossoms of Mahonia 'Arthur Menzies' and Chinese witchhazel (Hamamelis mollis) or the bright pink blooms of Cyclamen coum. Shrubby dogwoods show off red and yellow bark, while small orange-red fruit covers the winterberry (Ilex verticillata ‘Afterglow’).
Some plants, such as sweet box (Sarcococca) and fragrant daphne (Daphe odora 'Aureo-marginata'), are selected for fragrance. Many plants such as hellebores (Helleborus), dogwoods (Cornus) and the silk tassel (Garrya x issaquahensis) feature elegant, delicate and interesting blooms. Attractive foliage is a plus, whether it is evergreen like the rhododendron’s, spotted like the pulmonaria’s, or subject to change. The William Penn barberry’s (Berberis x gladwynensis 'William Penn') dark leaves turn bronze-red in winter.
The garden also showcases plants with striking forms. Among the most unusally shaped is Harry Lauder's Walking Stick (Corylus avellana 'Contorta'). Its branches and twigs curl and twist above low-growing hebes and heathers, a pairing which gives the bed rich visual texture.