8/2/08

Tossed salads and scrambled eggs

We were in Seattle for a few days.

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A bustling, vibrant city with an accessible, down-to-earth vibe and boundless beauty and charm, Seattle is one of my favorite places to visit. We're lucky to have family and friends there, and I hope we always do.

Some notes:

#1) Seattle and San Francisco have a lot in common--just the hills, preponderance of coffee shops, and susceptibility to inclement coastal weather could make the two hard to distinguish--but Seattle feels decidedly more masculine than San Francisco.

San Francisco: pastels, gingerbread Victorians, beaux-arts facades. Seattle: None of that silliness.

Seattle: Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon... San Francisco: conventions, ticky-tacky tourism.

#2) The overpowering north-south axis. Seattle is all about going north or south. Surely I'm not the only one who's noticed... Are you like me--do you have a strong, innate sense of the cardinal directions? Do you know what direction you're moving in, almost always? In Seattle, it's pretty much either north or south. With Puget Sound on the west and Lake Washington on the east, there isn't anywhere else to go. Unless you take a ferry. #2.5) Islands, lots of them.

#3) Astonishing botanical diversity. Plants you can ID on the side of the road driving by on the freeway in the Bay Area: quercus, acacia, cotoneaster, pyracantha, melaleuca, eucalyptus, baccharis, oleander, brooms. In Seattle: Pinus, picea, abies, taxus, cedrus, sequoia, thuja, cryptomeria, fagus, magnolia, populus, corylus, betula, ilex, malus, prunus, acer, fraxinus, arbutus, hamamelis, platanus, laurus--ET CETERA. Buddleia volunteers in abandoned parking lots. Hydrangeas reach the eaves in neglected front yards. A representative sidewalk planting in residential Seattle looks like this:

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Or, maybe you prefer vegetables.

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If you're ever in Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood you must see this front garden (okay, yes, it's a gingerbread).

Designed by Glenn Withey and Charles Price, surely this is one of the best front gardens...anywhere.

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Come back later and I'll have some pictures of the Japanese garden in Washington Park and the Conservatory in Volunteer Park.

9 comments:

cindee said...

Wow, what a beautiful home/garden. That is so enchanting! I love the details on the house itself. So many wonderful things to see. I have never been to Seattle. Thanks for sharing!!!

Les, Zone 8a said...

The shots of the Withey and Price garden are great. The garden reminds me of a carnival. Did you get to meet the gardeners or was this just what you could see from the sidewalk?

chuck b. said...

That's just the sidewalk. Guy's sister lives on the next block over from this house.

Christopher C. NC said...

That house looks like it would be harder to maintain than the gardens. Seattle is a beautiful city. I would like to visit it again.

The one thing I really didn't look at closely when I went to the Bellevue Botanical Garden was the perennial border that made Price and Withey known. Oh well.

susan harris said...

I'm sick with envy.

Frances, said...

Thanks for showing us that garden and all the other stuff and pointing out the differences. I am in love with the blood grass, we have it too and use it everywhere. So glad the kitties are friends again.

lisa said...

Gorgeous! I just love your tours, regardless of the location!

lola said...

Love the gardens & the colorful houses. Are all of them painted that way?
I've never been to Seattle but my late hubby was & he said it was beautiful. I also had a cousin that lived there for a few yrs. A minister.

Deviant Deziner said...

Charles and Glenn are Priceless !
Shared a villa with them in Bali and loved their sense of adventure , their style ( Charles has the best sock collection ever ! ) and their fun fun fun personalities !
Their feeling for a full fun life shows in their design work.