Mei Hua Blooming in Welcome Garden

Flowering plum – Mei Hua 梅花 – is symbol of nobility and one of the “three friends of winter” along with pine and bamboo. It also is a messenger of spring on its way and the promise of warmer weather and more blossoms to come. We are all looking forward to that after our long, cold and rainy winter. The plum trees along the Welcome Garden pathway are blooming somewhat late this year, and many buds are still tight. If you come for a walk in the next week or two, you likely will see many more of these delicate and beloved blossoms.

 

5th Annual Peony and Bamboo Festival Alert !

New Dates: April 22 – 23 (more info below)

The cold, rainy weather this winter (carrying over into spring) is delaying peony blooming because the plants need temperatures in the sixties to stimulate buds to open into big blossoms. For this reason the festival committee is rescheduling all the core activities for the weekend of April 22-23 (10 AM to 4 PM). Warmer weather is not only stimulating to peonies, but much pleasanter for festival attendees too, and both plants and people are eager for more sunshine.

We will post updated festival information on the website as soon as available and will send email event alerts to everyone on our mailing list. In addition, watch for provide regular updates as blooming begins, so you can visit to see the earliest blooming varieties in addition to those bursting forth later in April. We also expect to begin selling potted tree peonies on Saturday, April 8 and the following Saturdays as supplies last.

The April 22-23 festival will showcase specialty bamboo offered by growers from Washington and Oregon, craft vendors, displays, cultural entertainment for the whole family, peony and bamboo painting demonstrations and Chinese food booths. Plus, we have other special plans in the works for this year. Stay tuned!

If you are not on the Garden’s email list and would like to receive event updates, please send your name and email address to: info@seattlechinesegarden.org

Garden Conservancy Northwest 2017 Passport

Soos Creek Botanical Garden in Auburn

 

Garden lovers will appreciate this passport to 24 public gardens in the Northwest (15 in the Puget Sound region). Each garden offers a benefit such as a discount on admissions, a gift shop or nursery purchase, or a special program. The passport provides contact information (including website) and a map ID.

The passport will inspire visits to explore some of the most beautiful gardens in Washington and Oregon – the well known and many hidden gems – such as Bellevue Botanical Garden, The Bloedel Reserve, The Chase Garden (Orting), Yakima Area Arboretum, and in Oregon – Leach Botanical Garden and The Rogerson Clematis Garden. The Seattle Chinese Garden is among the 24 as a member of the Garden Conservancy Northwest Network.

Special price of $12 per passport (a $3 discount; tax included)

Mail a check (payable to Seattle Chinese Garden) to the address at bottom of this newsletter, or call the office at 206.934.5219 between noon and 5 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Passports are good gifts for any occasion, and will be available for purchase through early spring, or until the limited supply runs out.

A Magic Carpet of Snow

Maybe Dragon Seeker wishes he could fly off to a warmer climate, but we cheer for gentle snowstorms that transform the garden into a winter wonderland. Dewey Webster, docent program coordinator, headed to the Garden on February 6 to photograph the first significant snow in three years. He reports that neighborhood families were in the field building snowmen and sliding down the small hill. See more of Dewey’s photos on the Garden blog.

Take heart, Dragon Seeker, spring is on the way and with it come the peonies!

Great Blue Heron Checks Out the Garden

Great blue herons occasionally visit the Garden, primarily to cast an eye on the goldfish, the mission of this one in late afternoon on January 7. This brief video link shows him stalking up to the pond. Alas for the heron, no meal there as the fish were in hiding on this cold day. Garden manager Julian Leung took the courtyard image and video. Volunteer Trudi Fajans captured the heron in surveillance mode on a cornice of the Pine and Plum Pavilion. Volunteering in the garden sure has its rewards, as does coming often for a walk, even in the winter.

If you capture good images of birds or other critters while visiting, do share them with us. We want to compile an archive of wildlife in the Garden and post some of the best photos on the website and on our “coming soon” Facebook and Instagram sites. You may email photos to: info@seattlechinesegarden.org, along with your name, date you took the photo, and any comments of interest.

2017 Events ~ Mark Your Calendar!

5th Annual Peony and Bamboo Festival – April 22 & 23, 10 am to 4 pm

World Tai Chi and Qigong Day – April 29, 10 am  to 11:30 am

5th Annual Kite Festival – June 24, 2 pm to 6 pm

Other events and cultural/educational programs will be added to the calendar as the year progresses. If you are not yet on the event alert email list, send your name and email address to:  info@seattlechinesegarden.org