Garden Outing at Magnuson Park

magnuson park garden


After seeing my preview for the Magnuson Park Gardens, my best friend suggested we get together there some weekend. She loves gardening, but recently moved to a condo with a deck that is in shade most of the day, which severely limits the gardening she can do. This was an opportunity to get out and see lots of flowers.

First we had a picnic in the courtyard next to the garden. As I’d suspected, it was a very peaceful and enjoyable spot to eat lunch, talk, and sit in the shade on a warm day with a nice breeze blowing.

There were quite a few people in the garden, but we had the courtyard completely to ourselves. I suspect that would be true most of the time. So I’m again recommending it as a great picnic option when you want to be at Magnuson, but prefer a little privacy.

Since it was a weekend, lots of parking was available in the small lot. That meant not having to tote our lunch more than a few steps in the hot sun, which isn’t true of the more common picnic areas in the park.

We had set the date for Saturday, June 4th after our first date in May fell through because of crummy weather. The 4th turned out to be the opposite of crummy weather. The temperature was in the high seventies, but seemed much hotter once we went out into the garden where there was no shady relief from the intense June sun.

We were in the garden for about an hour in early afternoon. Based on this experience, unless you love the heat, I highly recommend going earlier or much later in the day in the summer.

We both wore wide-brimmed hats, but I still got too much sun. Others were loving it I’m sure, but in hot weather I’m a stay in the shade kind of gal.

Though, even with the heat it was an enjoyable experience wandering the garden with a friend. Flowers were blooming everywhere and birds flitted all over. I was excited to see an American goldfinch because it had been a long time since I’d last seen one.


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We went through a part of the garden at the north end I hadn’t been in before. And there I discovered that on a clear day you get a peek view of Mt. Rainier when looking south from that end.


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One of the fun things about the garden is that a lot of the gardeners add artistic touches to their plots. So you not only get to enjoy the color and beauty of growing things, but also a whimsical art exhibit.

This is an added attraction of the Magnuson Park garden for anyone who enjoys photography. I’d like to go back on a sunny day in September when the heat isn’t as intense so I can focus on photographing that aspect of the garden on a day I’m not feeling impatient with my camera because of a desperate need for water and shade.

It’s a good spot for taking photos that fit into Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge.


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After we were done with the garden I insisted we sit in the shade in the courtyard again for a while so I could cool off before we got into the hot car. Then we drove over to the North Shore Rec Area by the boat ramp.

We sat there for another hour or so enjoying the cooler breeze off of the lake. Waves were crashing against the shore and tons of people were out sailing, kayaking, and boarding on the bay. All-in-all it was a lovely day at Magnuson Park.



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