Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


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Georgetown Garden of Tudor Place

We set off in search of Dumbarten Oaks but before we got there came across the garden at the Tudor Place on 31st Street NW. Originally opened by a granddaughter of Martha Washington. We only had time for walking the gardens rather than the guided tour of the house, but in between showers, it was beautiful. The house was built in 1815 and includes 5 1/2 acres of land. It remained in the hands of the same family until 1983. The plants are being accessioned into the museum holdings as a living collection. I loved the outdoor rooms (walked through but couldn’t sit down because everything was wet. Here are some highlights:

A gate like that would be welcoming…

The store had fascinators so you can outfit yourself for a royal wedding!

Old trees, formal beds…

Places to sit (they recently lost all their fish in the ponds because they do not know how to hide). Along with the formal parts there is also a dell

(And mosquitos…)

Love the boy and his dolphin…

My favorite plants…

And historic restored cold frames to grow them…

It was a beautiful stroll through history (I have a feeling I am going to be saying that a lot this week.


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Garden and Glass, two…

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As you leave the dark gallery area of the Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle you step into areas where the glass objects interact with natural light. The glass glows in both environments. Talk about blowing your mind on color. In the transition area is a wall filled with blown-up images of old postcards depicting a collection of landmark glasshouses in gardens around the world. Right before walking into Chihuly’s glasshouse you get a sense of this unique type of architecture. I was reminded of walking into the Sainte-Chapelle Chapel in Paris. Maybe I was experiencing “art as a protective covering”. Chihuly’s glasshouse is asymmetrical and contains a 100 foot suspended sculpture.

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Exiting the glasshouse you enter the gardens where the glass interacts with nature.

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I loved the way plants were used as a backdrop for the glass. In an area confined to black and white coloring, covering the ground was black mondo grass. (It is not often you can find a plant that can give you such a background color and texture. Works wonderfully here. I mentioned this plant before and how I combined it with chartreuse plants, although, in our garden I can only use it in containers since it is not a California Native. TM sets the rules on that!)

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Black mondo grass covering a hill, this time…

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It was time for lunch before going up in the Space Needle, so we went back inside to the cafe connected to the garden. It seems Chihuly is also an inveterate collector (the cafe is called Collections and his personal collections are everywhere.)

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The ceiling contains his collection of accordions…

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Walls have a collection of his paintings and figurines…

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and the tables to eat at were the coolest…a box covered with glass was in the center of each table and inside was one of his collections.

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The food was good, too…later, coming down from the Space Needle I got this bird’s-eye view of the layout of the garden…

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There are some nice videos on Chihuly’s website. Worth the time to watch…