"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Field trip to Seattle Center

I was lucky enough to join my oldest daughter's class on a field trip to a play at the Seattle Children's Theatre.  It is located in Seattle Center, this is also where the Space Needle, Science Center, Experience Music Project and lots of open green space that is used for different festivals and music events are located.  The day was beautiful,  sunny and cold.  After the play the kids had time to enjoy running around and I had time to look at the gardens where they played.
There are several small gardens around the Children's Theatre and lots of interesting plants.  I like how they've landscaped with so many evergreen shrubs.  There were so many textures and colors in these beds, even right now in winter.  There was a euonymus shrub that looked from a distance like something covered in yellow flowers.  It wasn't until I got closer that I noticed it was just the colorful leaves.  The areas leading up to the International fountain were full of sarcococca and pieris.  You could smell the sarcococca for a long way.   
These pussy willows were at the entrance to the theatre.  They just invited the kids attending to touch their fuzziness.
The trees are still bare, but with the different bark textures and shapes they still added a lot of interest.  I thought this one was growing in a very unusual way.  I'm not always good at identifying trees.  Any ideas?  I thought maybe it could be a weeping cherry.  
There were large polished stones for resting on in some of the beds with engravings in them.  I thought this was an interesting one.  I did a little research on Basho.  Apparently he was considered one of the finest masters of haiku.  If you click on the link you can read a little more about him.
I found one witch hazel in bloom.  I still would like to find a place for one in my garden.  It's hard to tell from the pictures how pretty the yellow and deep red looked together.  I think it's amazing in nature how colors look so pretty together.  I probably would never think to put a light yellow skirt and dark red shirt together, but on this flower it looks beautiful.  I'm sure that's why so many clothing designers use nature as inspiration.
Here is the top of the Space Needle through some trees.   The Space Needle was built for the 1962 World's Fair.  It's 605 feet high.  The view from up top is incredible.  There is also a very nice restaurant up there.  
It seemed there had been a lot of well thought out landscaping since my last visit there.   A lot of the gardens looked fairly new.  
My daughter has gotten used to me taking pictures of plants.  When one of her friends asked why I was taking the pictures, she said, "Oh my mom just really likes plants."  Being a growing gardener herself she spotted this lone blooming cyclamen and asked me to take it's picture.
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  1. Love the pics. The tree is so amazingly shaped. Cant tell what it is though. My garden needs better winter bones.

  2. Isn't the center great for finding plants? That's where I spotted the camellia I wrote about several days ago. I love that your daughter is a budding gardener!

  3. What a wonderful way to spend a day! So cute about your daughter!

  4. What a great time on your field trip. Don't you just love growing gardeners?

  5. I think I'm going to have to find a spot for Witchhazel too!

    That Space Needle is just synonymous with Seattle!


  6. I love the witch hazel! Great photo! I see you had a great time with your cutie.

  7. You live in such a progressive and wonderful city (so I've heard-never visited the west coast). I'm with the kids-I'd be touching the pussy willows too:)

  8. I wish I could help on the identity of the cool tree but I don't have any answers either. I like its twisted shape a lot tho ~ definitely adds character to its surroundings. I'd love to add a witch hazel to my garden too ~ maybe we'll both find a spot this year?? I also really miss having pussy willows in the garden. I might have to see where I can put one of those too. It would be fun to cut them and force them indoors in late winter. What a great day you had and what your daughter said about you taking pictures of plants reminds me of what people say about me! It's great you've inspired an interest inside her. Thanks for the tour today.

  9. Hi Catherine, what a nice trip for you all! Those are gorgeous and obviously very healthy witch hazels. The leafless tree is beautiful too, but I cannot ID it without leaves. :-) It may have been pruned that way or just grows with the contorted branching, just lovely. I like how your daughter explains your picture taking too. I was out taking photos last week and the newspaper delivery person asked what was wrong, that I was taking pictures. Like it was to file a complaint or something. Sigh. I said it was because they were pretty.

  10. flowrgirl1 - I always think the same thing. I need better winter bones :)

    Melanthia - I remember your camellia. I didn't see any where we were. I've had my oldest out since she was a baby, now I can't get her to come inside!

    Jan - We did have fun, but I was tired after!

    Darla - I do love those growing gardeners. Are any of yours interested?

    Rob - This is always the time I start looking for a spot. One day I'll figure out place.

    Chandramouli - It's hard taking good pictures when one eye is on the kids, but they turned out pretty good.

    Tina - You should try and get out here sometime. It is beautiful in the summer.

    Kathleen - I guess if you're not into plants you just wouldn't get taking a picture of one. I always like to because then I can remember ones I like or how they look in groupings. Let's both try and find a spot for our witch hazel so we can post pictures next year of our own :)

    Frances - Luckily my daughter isn't embarrassed about me taking plant pictures since she loves the flowers too. How funny that the delivery person thought you were taking pictures to file a complaint. Guess he just didn't "get it". Your witch hazel is so pretty!

  11. Catherine, we are taking our boys to Seattle Children's theater next week. I know I will be looking around trying to find the things from your pictures!

  12. Very awesome! I miss those times with my kids now that they are grown. That witch hazel is very merry looking amongst the greys and the trees are all trimmed to look interesting. I would love to visit if I lived 3,000 miles nearer to the gardens. I'm jealous.

  13. It's great that the weather was friendly and allowed you to tour the gardens. I think the contorted trunk shrub is a weeping Japanese maple (disectum purpureum). I have one very similar. Sounds like you had a great day.

  14. Thanks for making me think about the plants at the Center - I'm usually too focused on the event or activity in question (not to mention overwhelmed by the crowds) to notice them. Hope you liked the play! I think we're going to a few more of those before the year is out, I usually chaperone too. :)


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