Posted by: marymarthatours | February 28, 2013

Springtime in Washington State

Well, it wasn’t quite spring on my recent visit to Martha’s home in Olympia, Washington, but it was close enough for this winter-weary Minnesotan.  The temperatures were in the low 50’s, and although there weren’t many sunny days, we did have several.  On one day, the “mountain was out”, as the Olympians say when the day is clear enough to see Mt. Rainier.


Mt. Rainier from Olympia, Washington

On another beautiful afternoon, Martha and I took a long walk around the “east campus” of the Washington state capitol grounds.  The landscaping – both hardscape and planting – is beautiful, and with new cedar mulch around the shrubs, the aroma in the air was wonderful.  It’s amazing to me that so many plants were already in bloom in Washington, e.g., primroses, heather, pulmonaria, and snowdrops.

We spent one delightful afternoon in Martha’s garden, transplanting several shrubs that needed to move to new locations.  In the process, we also moved a number of perennials, did some pruning of the magnolia tree, and got a start on garden clean-up.  I love this part of my annual visit to the NW, and Martha appreciates the free labor.  We both know that these tasks are much more fun when shared with a friend.

DSCN4115For a real taste of spring in bloom, we drove to Seattle one day to go to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show at the Washington State Convention Center.  It was a family outing, as our group consisted of Martha, her husband Collie, son Charles and daughter-in-law Tamara, 3 year old granddaughter Shawn, and me.

Martha, Shawn, Tamara, and Collie

The first area that we wanted to see at the Flower Show was the hall full of display gardens, all created by local landscape designers, landscape firms, and growers using the theme of “The Movies”.  Here are some of our favorites:

The Hobbit’s New Zealand Garden


Audrey’s Roman Holiday Garden


Living Amongst the Stars Garden


After lunch, we had time to check out the many vendor stalls.  We saw everything for the garden from seeds to tools to lighting to garden sheds to plants to yard art of every sort.  I was absolutely entranced by the “steam-punk” water fountains designed by Douglas Walker of WaterWorks Garden Sculpture, Vancouver Island, Canada.  Douglas combines old brass musical instruments, recycled copper, and junkyard finds into whimsical fountains full of movement and appeal.  There were several at the show that I would have loved to bring home to Minnesota.  And, yes, he informed me that he had had several Minnesota customers, and the fountains are just fine in our climate (although we should bring them inside for the winter).  I’m now saving up to get one for my very own garden.

DSCN4128          DSCN4129

Fountain creations by Douglas Walker, WaterWorks Garden Sculptures

All in all, another wonderful visit to Washington with family, gardens, beautiful scenery and plenty of time to relax and enjoy them all.  Thanks again, Martha, Collie and kids.

(by Mary)




  1. Thank you for the lovely review of my fountains. The NW Flower and Garden show feels like home to us. Year after year we meet new friends from all over North America.

    cheers Douglas Walker

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