Friday the 28th of June, 2019 was our final day in the Pacific Northwest before we began our return trip home to South Dakota. We had recently discovered that there was a rose test garden located at Woodland Park in Seattle, and since we loved the International Rose Test Garden in Portland so much (we’d visited it in both 2017 and 2019, and I’d visited there in 2014 as well), we figured it would be worth a visit. It was shortly before 11:30 AM when we arrived to test that theory.
We were not wrong in our assumption. In some ways, the rose test garden in Seattle’s Woodland Park is superior to the sister garden in Portland’s Washington Park. Though the variety and sheer quantity of blooming flowers doesn’t compare to what we saw in Portland, the landscaping and park environment of Seattle’s rose test garden made for a different type of experience.
Photos from the Woodland Park Rose Test Garden are below.
Our next stop was the Seattle Japanese Garden, only a matter of five miles or so Southeast of Woodland Park. We arrived there shortly after 12:30 PM. We had enjoyed the Seattle Japanese Garden a great deal when we’d been there in 2017 as well. Though it doesn’t have quite the same beauty of the Portland Japanese Garden, it is a lovely place to wander through just the same. Additionally, there is the perk of being able to purchase fish pellets at the entrance for the purpose of feeding the colorful koi inhabiting the large central pond.
While feeding the koi, we were provided with the added amusement of watching a heron attempting to catch a meal only a few feet away from where we were. So intently focused on the potential meal, the bird hardly paid us any mind. I’ve included photos below.
It was shortly after 2 PM when we reached our final destination of the day, the Kubota Garden. After the Seattle Japanese Garden, the Kubota Garden was a little bit lackluster and disappointing. It was, however, free admittance…so that’s a nice thing. It’s still a pretty location, just not as well maintained or as pretty.
In a sense, I suppose it felt more wild…more natural and unsculpted than the Japanese Garden…and I’d like to visit again just to see if my perspective might be different a second time. I’m including photos from Kubota Garden below.
Financial conditions being different, we might have done more on our final day in Seattle, but we were essentially tapped dry beyond what we had set aside for food and fuel for the return trip home. Also, we had more than 1,200 miles of driving to do between the following morning and Sunday evening, and I would be going all of that distance behind the wheel. The first 750 miles of that return trip to the East would get us into Yellowstone National Park so we could capture the sunrise at Mammoth Hot Springs (I’ve shared photos of that part of the adventure previously). I had a lot of driving to look forward to–or dread–the next day.
It’s always a sad experience for me, leaving the Pacific Northwest and returning to South Dakota…and I keep hoping that someday I won’t have to return to make it home…because my home will be there.