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The Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle

The Sunny Bank I was very excited to get the opportunity to visit this garden because I've heard so much about it. It did not disappoint. The garden was created by Elisabeth Carey Miller and her husband Pendleton who purchased the house in 1948. Mrs. Miller was a self-taught gardener who used her artistic skills (she majored in Art History) to create the stunning garden which features a dense canopy of native conifers. She became a plant collector and tracked down unusual specimens and was known as a well-respected plantswoman in the horticultural community. The front entrance Visiting this garden is not exactly easy. It is situated in a restricted community and there is a limit to the number of visitors per year. You must make an appointment on the website at designated times or you can find a tour group like I did. The address isn't listed either although even if you had it, you would have to get past the security guard at the gate to the neighborhood. I think if I lived in

Winter Walk-Off

It is time to say goodbye to winter and what better way to do it than participate in Winter Walk-Off, hosted by Les at Tidewater Gardener.  Les invites bloggers to take a walk and share photos of what you see. Last year, my entry was filled with flowering plants from our new neighborhood. This year, winter is keeping a grip on us until the bitter end. 

Signs of spring are finally beginning to appear. The forsythia is blooming, as seen here shining above a neighbor's fence.

Some camellias are blooming as well...

And the heathers (or are they heaths?) are also beautiful now.

Just down the street from us is Jason Lee Middle School. There is an elementary school and a high school farther down the road as well. 

Surrounding the school is a nice walking trail that winds around the back and circles around the soccer field and track. The entrance to the trail is filled with enormous Douglas Fir trees. The heavy snow and ice storm that we had back in January did some damage.

 It looks like crews have been busy cleaning up the mess...

Along the trail, you can see into the back yards and gardens of people who live around the perimeter. There are some really nice gardens here but I did not see many blooms. I did see a chicken though...

And there are signs of spring popping up -

For my next trek, I drove a few miles and took a walk in Vancouver Lake Park. Vancouver Lake is just a few blocks from us. We catch glimpses of it when driving along Lakeshore Drive. There are some nice homes that face the lake.

To get to Vancouver Lake Park, you must drive through an industrial area. Michael, snack and potato chip lover that he is, would be happy here...

As I approached the park area, I noticed that water was standing along the roadways everywhere. We have had a very wet winter, even by Pacific Northwest standards. I think records have been broken this past month for rainfall and I heard a weatherman say that we had already surpassed our average rainfall for the entire year! 

I am assuming that the water here is overflow from Vancouver Lake. Since I have not been to this area before, I am not exactly sure.

Vancouver Lake Regional Park seems quite large with lots of grassy lawns, picnic tables and wildlife. Birds and geese were everywhere.

There were not that many people about (it is another damp and dreary day) but I did see some guys with a kayak (can you see it in the distance in the photo below?).

I want to visit again when the trees and shrubs have leafed out. 

This bridge in the distance was completely surrounded by water.

I hope you enjoyed my walk and seeing a part of Vancouver that was new to me as well. 

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Nice pics. Glad spring is finally arriving there. You sure have gotten a lot of rain!

  2. Wow, you have had a lot of rain, and it is quite different from last year. Most of our winter was incredibly warm, and then then beginning last week we started dipping into the 20's, and all those plants that opened early either had flower/bud loss or damaged new foliage. Hopefully you will dry out soon, and spring will come soon. Trust the forsythia and camellias.

  3. It is fun to get out and see things you haven't seen before. Man, your area has had a lot of rain. That forsythia is pretty peeking over the fence. I like chickens. I enjoyed all of your photos.

  4. Yes. I did enjoy your walk.
    Forsythia here is just beginning to open - a definite 'moment' in the year. However, it's not the right kind of ground in my immediate area for heathers and camellias, so they were nice to see too.

  5. So. Much. Water. I am done with it! The image of the soccer goal posts out in the lawn made me laugh. The park at the end of our street is a popular soccer park but if anyone dared to walk out there now they'd sink up to their knees.

  6. My goodness Philip, you took quite a long walk! There was lots to see nearby, including snack trucks! Your Michael and my Brian would get along famously, as long as they had their salty snacks to keep them happy. LOL I see spring is quite a bit more advanced than ours. One day is winter, one is day is spring, and that goes on and on and on. It's the craziest winter I can remember here in Ohio.

  7. The Camellia and white daisies are really awesome! Thanks for sharing

  8. Beautiful area--spring will make it even more so. We got record rain here also, but nothing like yours. Thanks for sharing your walk.

  9. Enjoyed walking in your 'hood! Funny, we live just up the road from Jason Lee Middle school too!

  10. Water water everywhere...little lakes all around our yard (never seen before). Made for a pretty walk though.

  11. Winterscapes can be beautiful in their own way.I especially like the photo with the metal tower-ey structure. Here in northern Cal we have also had plenty of rain, and since it was needed I'm tolerating it.


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