Butterfly Weed
The UW biology department’s two-and-a-half-acre medicinal herb garden was founded by the UW pharmacy school in 1911.

University of Washington Medicinal Herb Garden

The UW biology department’s two-and-a-half-acre medicinal herb garden guarded by two monkey statues was founded by the UW pharmacy school in 1911. Nearly 1,000 species of plants known for curative powers are arranged in seven garden rooms. biology.washington.edu/mhg

  

soest herbaceous display garden
Image: Larry Howard
Soest Herbaceous Display Garden

Soest Herbaceous Display Garden

A gift of two devoted gardeners, Orin and Althea Soest, this formal display garden is one of the specialty offerings at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Over 280 herbaceous plants are grown to show the effects of the Northwest’s climate and loamy soil; the garden’s raised beds, small trees, and water-wise irrigation techniques demonstrate how plants adapt to urban settings. depts.washington.edu/uwbg

 

parsons garden seattle
Parsons Garden

Parsons Garden

Donated to the city in 1956, the former family garden of Reginald H. Parsons has grown into a popular venue for small weddings. With its wisteria bower, open grassy lawn, comfy benches, and flowering trees, Parsons Garden is a placid oasis tucked in a corner lot on the west edge of Queen Anne Hill. seattle.gov/parks

  

bradner gardens park
Bradner Gardens Park

Bradner Gardens Park

This city park, completed in 2003, wouldn’t exist if not for a determined group known as Friends of Bradner Gardens Park, who fought the city and raised money to complete their vision of a lush wildlife habitat with over 50 types of trees, a children’s garden dotted with kid-crafted mosaic stepping stones, and a leaf-shaped pavilion designed by the UW architecture department. bradnergardenspark.org

 

elizabeth c miller botanical garden
Elizabeth C Miller Botanical Garden

Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden

When Betty Miller acquired the land now known as the Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden in 1948, the land was overrun with fir trees. With the aid of gardeners under her direction, she slowly cleared swaths of land on which to cultivate her collection of native as well as nonnative plants found across the globe. Only 500 people are allowed to visit each year, and tours for 2014 are already booked, so mark September 12 in your calendar to reserve a tour for summer 2015. millergarden.org 

 

seattle university shakespeare garden
Shakespeare Garden

Shakespeare Garden Seattle University

“…Where the wild thyme blows, / Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows…” The Bard may not have anticipated SU’s Shakespeare Garden when he wrote A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but the joint production of the grounds and fine arts departments has lulled many a student into Titaniaesque slumber with its lush bed of herbs and flowers found in Shakespeare. seattleu.edu/grounds/gardens


streissguth gardens
Image: Will Austin
Streissguth Gardens

Streissguth Gardens

The one-acre hillside sanctuary at the north end of Capitol Hill began as two private gardens that grew together when their owners, Ann and Dan Streissguth, married in 1968. The couple tended to the urban oasis for 30 years, filling it with year-round plantings of phlox, azaleas, and rhododendrons. And then, in 1996, they just gave it to the city. streissguthgardens.com

 

Dunn Gardens

Nearly 100 years after the Olmsted Brothers landscaping firm designed this natural haven in Broadview, the encroachments of surrounding suburbia have failed to infringe upon the serenity of the mossy steps, gargantuan Douglas firs, and flourishing rhododendrons that populate Dunn Gardens’ 10 acres. Tours must be reserved in advance. dunngardens.org


bloedel reserve
Bloedel Reserve

Bloedel Reserve

This 150-acre eden on Bainbridge Island breeds serenity from the first step into the opening meadow through the final stop at a hedge-lined reflection pool. Experience walking trails through forests and bogs, formally landscaped French- and English-style gardens, and a uniquely northwestern celebration of moss. bloedelreserve.org

  

South Seattle Community College Arboretum

Five acres of greenery, modern wood bridges over babbling brooks, and the Coenosium Rock Garden highlight this American Conifer Society reference garden capping a bluff on the SSCC campus. With views of downtown Seattle, Elliott Bay, and the West Duwamish Greenbelt alongside perennial borders, rhododendrons, and ornamental grasses, the arboretum has flourished despite heavy soil and poor drainage since its birth in 1978. southseattle.edu/arboretum/default.aspx 

south seattle community college arboretum
South Seattle Community College Arboretum