Featured Gardens: Ohme Gardens and the Seattle Japanese Garden

These pages highlight gardens that are featured in my book, Walking Washington’s Gardens

Ohme Gardens

Location: Wenatchee, in Central Washington (off Easy Street about a mile outside Wenatachee). Directions are on the garden’s website:  www.ohmegardens.com

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Ohme Gardens. Photo by Angie Narus, 2013.

A nationally-acclaimed garden that sits high on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River. Ohme Gardens was designed and constructed by Herman and Ruth Ohme, and their children, over 42 years. Nearly a mile of granite stepping stones carve a path through wildflower meadows, past crystal-clear ponds, through a conifer forest, and by waterfalls and rock outcroppings. The Ohmes added features such a a wishing well, alcoves, and overlooks to be discovered along the paths. They also wooden pavilions, a stone fireplace, and stone benches. One of the pavilions sits at the highest point in the garden, giving a panoramic view of the river valley. The garden hosts

Ohme Gardens. Photo by Angie Narus, 2013.

Ohme Gardens. Photo by Angie Narus, 2013.

summer concerts and other events. It is open daily from 9am to 6pm, April 15 to October 15. In summer months, it stays open until 7pm. A select number of gift items and plants are sold at the entrance station during open hours. See the garden’s website for more information.

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Seattle Japanese Garden

Location: The Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle (about 5 min. northeast of downtown, off I-5 and 405, a few min. south of the University of Washington). For directions, visit www.seattle.gov/parks

Seattle Japanese Garden. Photo by Angie Narus, 2014.

Seattle Japanese Garden. Photo by Angie Narus, 2014.

The Seattle Japanese Garden was designed by landcape designer Juki Iiad. The garden’s design represents a Japanese village and surrounding landscape. The garden has a main path (picture right) that loops around the pond, and several other paths branch off to other parts of the garden. The pond contains resident koi and turtles that visitors will likely be able to see anytime they visit the garden. Rhododendrons and Japanese irises fill the pond’s banks. Other features include a wisteria-covered pergola, a grove of crabapple and flowering cherry trees, a teahouse, a pavilion, and an 11-tier stone pagoda. The garden is open March through November and holds a variety of events for the public. Although located in Washington Park Arboretum, there is an admission fee. Public tours are offered on weekends with general admission. Check the garden’s website for current hours of operation, times of public tours, and upcoming events. Special events may require an additional fee and registration.

Seattle Japanese Garden. Photo by Angie Narus, 2014.

Seattle Japanese Garden. Photo by Angie Narus, 2014.

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