Bellevue Botanical Garden

I struggled to sleep after the Nickel Creek concert - because I was just too hyped. But I managed. 
I woke up to a rare thunderstorm in the Seattle area. I had some hotel breakfast and read the morning paper while I tried to decide what to do with my day. I had reached out to a friend that relocated to the Seattle Tacoma area for some suggestions a few weeks before my trip. She made some great suggestions, but it turns out I was in Seattle on Seafair weekend - an air and boat event. Because the Blue Angels were performing as part of Seafair (twice on Saturday), the I-90 bridge from the east side (where the concert was and where I stayed for the night) was closed from 12-2 and 2-4. Even when it was not closed, traffic was a snarl. I had planned to go to the Ballard Locks, Alki beach and Mercer Island. After the traffic situation just getting to the concert, I decided to change my plans. 

If you know me at all, you can guess it involved plants. And a suggestion made by the nice people who sat next to me at the Nickel Creek concert. 

I ended up at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens - a free garden just SW of Kirkland where I had stayed. I love a good reminder that I am in the Pacific NW. The good parking at the garden was saved for people who are saving the planet. 

It was one of the best free botanical gardens I have been to. If you find yourself in the area - GO! As I arrived, the rain hit in full force with a downpour. It stopped after a few minutes and meant that I had the garden virtually to myself. I am amazed at the diversity that will grow in the PNW.

I love the contrast in textures produced by hostas. I think this was the moment I decided I will plant some on the east side of my house this fall. Beautiful contrast.

There were lots of different varieties of red hot poker. And they were putting on a show.

I want some of these as well. My neighbor has some and I am hoping to get some next time he divides.

One of my favorite things about the PNW is fuschia. I hated this plant when I was trying to grow it in baskets in the SE US because I felt like I was battling all kinds of disease and insects. Here, a diversity of fuschia is growing in border. There must have been 100 different varieties. There were even a few trained into trees.

My favorite is always a dissected Japanese maple. 

And I love moving water in a garden. All of the waterfalls were running fast because of the downpour that happened as I arrived. Amazing sounds. 

And the obligatory "this is me happy in a garden" selfie.

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