Now that it’s spring, there’s nowhere more gorgeous to visit than a garden full of blooming flowers. Luckily, we have plenty of displays to see all throughout Washington, many of which are hidden gems that are completely free to visit. Check out these 15 serene, picturesque gardens across our state this season for the ultimate place to relax and unwind.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island
Bloedel Reserve offers a quiet place to relax on Bainbridge, just a short ferry ride away from Seattle. The forest garden encompasses 150 acres of natural woodlands, with an award-winning Japanese garden as well as a tranquil reflection pool.
2. Heronswood, Kingston
Heronswood is an enchanting, world-renowned garden on the north end of the Kitsap Peninsula. While you're walking along their stone walkway, you'll be able to admire an incredible variety of rare and unusual plants and trees.
3. Meerkerk Gardens, Whidbey Island
Meerkerk is a lovely, dog-friendly park on Whidbey Island with 10 acres of gardens and 4 miles of nature trails. Our state flower, the rhododendron, can be seen everywhere, as well as azaleas, spring bulbs and more. There is a small admission fee of $5, though kids 16 and under can visit for free.
4. Chetzemoka Park, Port Townsend
Chetzemoka Park is a dreamy place to relax in-between Port Townsend's downtown and Fort Worden. It's complete with a gazebo overlooking the water, stone pathway lined with vibrant flowers, a small footbridge, and even access down to a beach area where you'll find all kinds of seashells.
5. Lakewold Gardens, Lakewood
Lakewold Gardens is a pristine, 10-acre garden open for the public to explore. Some of their highlights include the Boxwood Parterres Garden, which is shaped into ground-level patterns (that look like something out of a maze), as well as a lovely rhododendron collection.
6. Kubota Gardens, Seattle
A hidden gem in Rainier Beach, Kubota is a gorgeous 20-acre Japanese garden that dates all the way back to 1927. It's filled with fragrant flowers, ponds, waterfalls and even a charming moon bridge. In the spring, you'll be able to spot azaleas and rhododendrons blooming all over.
7. Nishinomiya Japanese Garden, Spokane
The Nishinomiya garden is underrated, but it's an absolutely heavenly part of Manito Park. It's free to stroll through, and features a lovely footbridge & dazzling small koi pond. This garden in particular was actually created in honor of Spokane's sister city, Nishinomiya, Japan.
8. Bellevue Botanical Gardens
This floral paradise is free to attend everyday in Bellevue. It features acres of restored wetlands, meadows and gardens - including the waterwise garden, Japanese garden, alpine rock garden, and a charming display of dahlias in the summertime.
9. Duncan Gardens, Spokane (South Hill)
This European, Renaissance-style garden is another one of the most enchanting features in Spokane's Manito Park. It's filled with vibrant symmetrical flowers, in addition to a small, quaint fountain and gazebo at the south end.
10. Hulda Klager Lilac Garden, Woodland
This garden specializes in lilacs, but there's a lot more to see around its 4 acres. The country-style display is set by an 1880s Victorian-era farmhouse, and is home to a wide collection of rare flowers and exotic trees. In the gift shop, you'll find lilac plants available for purchase, along with all kinds of unique, lilac-inspired items.
11. Evergreen Arboretum And Gardens, Everett
Free to the public, this hidden park in Everett is actually home to ten beautifully themed gardens. They're closed for reconstruction temporarily, but they'll be featuring two new benches and plenty of relaxing scenery once they're up and going again. Check out updates on their
12. Highline Garden, SeaTac
Highline Garden is a hidden gem only a mile north from the SeaTac airport. Free to visit, it's home to over 10 acres of display gardens, trails and woodlands. Check out the Seike Japanese Garden, or the delightful Sensory Garden for wonderful photo opportunities.
13. Ohme Gardens, Wenatchee
This central Washington oasis is now open for the 2016 season. It features a mile of natural stone paths to walk along, hillside gardens and woods to explore, a koi pool with a small waterfall, and unbeatable views of the Columbia River and Cascade Mountains.
14. Glen Echo Garden, Bellingham
Glen Echo is a quiet, peaceful woodland retreat near Bellingham that features a number of different themes and displays. Check out their gorgeous English Garden, or the Fern & Moss Garden, which is almost like walking through a rainforest.
15. Point Defiance Park Rose Garden, Tacoma
More than an acre of rose gardens are hidden in Point Defiance Park - the oldest of which dates back to 1895. They have a small garden of mini roses, arbors of climbing roses, a wishing well and even a couple of charming gazebos.
These places are absolutely stunning. Where’s your favorite garden in Washington?