What Can You See at a Public Garden in the Fall and Winter?

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The Great Lawn at Dunn Gardens in Shoreline, WA. Photo by Angie Narus.

If you live anywhere near a public garden, you might consider spring and summer to be the best time of year to visit public gardens. It’s true that summer is the peak touring season for gardens. But public gardens can be spectacular in fall. Fall is the only time when you can walk on a carpet of red, orange, and yellow leaves, and even jump in a pile of them. It’s the season when the texture and colors in tree bark, ornamental grasses, dwarf evergreens, and fall-blooming flowers command attention. The lack of foliage on the trees in fall opens up views across a garden that aren’t seen when the trees and other plants are leafed-out. At public gardens in the Pacific Northwest, you might see asters, chrysanthemums, fuchsias, hydrangeas, and even rhododendrons blooming through October. Just the other day, I was at Chase Garden in Orting, WA and was delighted to see pink cyclamen and heather (yes, heather) blooming among the green leaves of ajuga, strawberry, and other ground covers.

If you’re looking for a different way to experience public spaces like these, the fall and winter off-season can be the perfect time to go. Don’t forget to check the garden’s website for their current schedule.

The West Sound Home and Garden and Pacific Horticulture websites are other great sources of information for gardening in the Pacific Northwest.

*I am a contributing blogger to the WSHG website. Click here to see my blog posts on that site.

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