These pages highlight gardens that are featured in my book, Walking Washington’s Gardens.
Soos Creek Botanical Garden
Location: Auburn, WA. http://www.sooscreekbotanicalgarden.org
The Soos Creek Botanical Garden is located in Auburn, near Kent, about 15 minutes northeast of the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden off SR 18. The 23-acre garden was started by Maurice Skagen who still resides on the property.With diligence, hard work, and knowledge of plants, Maurice transformed the property into a series a beautiful garden rooms with conifers, azaleas, rhododendrons, peonies, roses, camellias, hydrangeas, magnolias, kalmias, ericas, pieris, maples, and exotic trees and shrubs.
Perhaps the most striking feature of this garden are the two opposing long borders, running 500 feet on either side of a sloping lawn. The borders are filled with a kaleidoscope of color and sit below a picturesque pond garden.
The Soos Creek Heritage Center is a feature of the garden that Maurice built in an effort to preserve the rural history of the area and his family heritage. In the Center, he displays historical photos, maps, articles, old tools, and furnishings that depict farm life of settlers on the Soos Creek plateau. The Center is open during garden hours.
In 2009, Maurice and his partner in the garden, James Daly, started the Garden Foundation and opened the garden to the public in 2011. Volunteers now assist them with planting and other tasks required to maintain the garden. They hold public events and gardening-related workshops at the garden each year. The public is welcome to visit the garden during the open season at no charge.
No admission fee. The garden is open Wednesday through Saturday, mid-March to mid-November.
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