Located in the city of Lakewood near Tacoma, Lakewold Gardens is a 10-acre nonprofit estate garden. It’s open to visitors year-round, with the available dates and hours depending on the season. Walking the peaceful paths and enjoying the scenery will cost you $9, but children under 12 are free and they offer military and group discounts.
Lakewold Gardens got its start back in 1908 when Emma Alexander bought the property and began to turn it into something beautiful. By 1913, the gardens were already locally famous. She eventually transferred the property to her son, Hubbard Foster, who was a shipping magnate. He and his wife used the house on the property as a country retreat. Everett Griggs and his wife Grace bought the property In 1925, which they renamed Lakewold. The Wagners bought it in 1938 and ended up donating it to the organization that made it what it is today. But before they donated it, they spent a lot of time enjoying the property and hosting garden parties.
Lakewold Gardens is a little piece of paradise. Walk the paths to see what’s in bloom, browse books at the Garden Shop to learn more about gardening at home, and check out the Carroll O’Rourke Memorial Library located on the first floor of the Wagner House just off the foyer. The Library is a quiet, tranquil place known for its architectural detail. It was always the favorite room of the Wagners.
There are restaurants nearby, but we highly recommend enjoying a picnic at the garden. Picnicking is permitted and even encouraged, but make sure to carry out all of your trash and leftovers when you’re finished.
Interested in learning about gardening? Lakewold Gardens also has classes and workshops for both children and adults. Their annual “Learn in the Garden” lecture series is informative and interesting. You can even rent the garden for private events like weddings and corporate conferences.
Visiting Lakewold Gardens is a peaceful experience. If you can’t make it anytime soon, check out the documentary “Where the Blue Poppy Grows,” which is available on the Lakewold Gardens website. The film includes walks through the gardens, the geographic history and clips from the Alexander family as it tells the story of how the gardens came to be.