Dunn Gardens

I went on a garden tour at Dunn Gardens with Simone, Kim, Calder, and Judson on Thursday afternoon.  Simone’s friends, Jan and Maggie, met us there and are training to be docents/guides at this garden.  Whenever I mention Dunn Gardens to anyone, I encounter a questioning look. “Where is that?”  Well, apparently Dunn Gardens are one of Seattle’s carefully hidden gems!  Not only are the gardens off the beaten path, but they are only open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and only from April to November minus the month of August!  And, you can only go by appointment on a paid guided tour.  Please don’t let this discourage you!  The Dunn Gardens, sitting beautifully on 2.7 acres near the Northgate area of Seattle, are well worth going to.

Sculpture at Dunn Gardens

another view of the sculpture

An experienced docent took us around the gardens and gave us a history of this living work of art and identified various plants for us.  Ed Dunn and his family had their summer cabin here.  Every summer, they would pack up all their belongings, including the family piano, from their home at First Hill in Seattle and move out to the cabin  for three months.  Northgate area was considered to be a long ways  from First Hill and thought to be a perfect place for a summer cabin.  In 1916, Ed Dunn hired the famous Olmsted Brothers to architecturally landscape his property.  The Olmsted brothers are famous for designing many city parks throughout the states, including Central Park in Manhattan.  Ed Dunn’s land had recently been logged and was basically a clearcut.  The famous brothers found Ed Dunn’s land to be a wide open canvas that fed their imaginations.  They set about planting firs and deciduous trees, flowering shrubs, flowering borders, roses, bulbs, and ground covers. They put in their famous trademark Olmsted stone steps and circular paths and trails.  They put in ponds and streams. They accentuated the woodland gardens and created texture and soft colors.  The original property was some 20 acres, but is now 2.7 acres.

soft textures of sedum plants

It was fun being there with Judson and Calder!  They are landscape architects who work together at Cultivar in Ballard.  My dream is to hire Judson and Calder to design and landscape my future garden around our Lotus Pavillion!  A very strong image of the Lotus Pavillion came to me about 12 years ago in a meditation!
The Lotus Pavillion is the yoga studio we  will build on our south lots at Ocean Shores.  Judson and Calder do amazing work and it was fun to see them so inspired at Dunn Gardens.  Check out Judson and Calder’s awesome work at: http://www.cultivarllc.com/

Enjoy these photos of Dunn Gardens:

Judson and Kim

Large Peonies with bees

Peonies en masse!

terra cotta pot in field of green

Pretty artwork

Reflections in a birdbath

bouquet of double headed daffodils

Granite Stones

Hino Azaleas in Bloom

How to find Dunn Gardens  http://www.dunngardens.org/    So, I am wondering, have any of my Seattle readers been there???


3 Responses to “Dunn Gardens”

  1. Jenelle Says:

    Never heard of it before this post. Looks beautiful.


  2. fran gallo Says:

    Just like me, Jenelle! I never heard about it until Simone mentioned it. Leaves me wondering how many other gems are tucked away, hidden, in this city.


  3. Nancy Regensburg Says:

    Thanks for the information re: the Garden. never would have known


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