The Secret Gardens of Seattle

There’s something soothing I find when walking through the neighborhood in Seattle where my friend lives. Perhaps it’s the familiarity of it. After all, I have visited several times and I once worked at the University of Washington, which isn’t too far.

Perhaps it’s the houses that beckon you to come in for a spell, have a cup of tea or some cool lemonade, and relax on the porch. Each house has its own individuality and personality, with a splash of quirkiness. And each seems to welcome you in its own fashion. I could walk through this neighborhood for hours on end, finding solace in its natural beauty.

My friend, who has lived in this neighborhood for many years, doesn’t see it as I do. She takes a walk when there’s a purpose–to either walk the doggies or run an errand to the grocery store nearby. But for me, God help me, all I want to do is capture the neighborhood’s vitality and color through my photography.

The key,of course, is to look about as you walk, with an eye for detail. Look up, look down. Look across the street. What do you see? Look ahead, and even look behind you. You’ll find there is so much to see. Sometimes, it’s about seeing what’s around you in a different light or from another angle. Even if you don’t take snapshots, the experience can be so eye opening. You can learn much about the people who live there by keeping a keen eye out for the ordinary and the extraordinary.

So, please indulge me as I share here some photos I took during a recent stroll. I’ve grown rather fond of this neighborhood, where the density of flowers and trees excite me with every step I take, every pulse of my beating heart. Indeed, my cup runneth over when I reflect on this lovely section of Seattle.



Such a cozy, inviting porch, don’t you think?




I crossed the street just so I could get the cherry blossom tree into the photo. I think it frames the house rather nicely.



Seattle must be a very literary city. I came across several Little Free Library installations in front yards. These libraries are designed so that anyone can take a book to read–it’s free!–and once a book has been read, return it or add a new book to the collection. This  library in particular was hands down my favorite.



This bed of tulips and other flora offered me a quiet moment.



Each Little Free Library has its own unique character, much like the neighborhood does.



The magical whimsy of Cherry Blossoms!




I love how the cherry trim on the windows and front door give this house a cheerful and homey look.


A bird in the hand is nothing compared to this little one keeping guard of its garden.


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March of the Wooden Soldier? As I said, each house has its own individuality.



An ideal garden for reflection.



This bird sculpture overlooks a rather colorful street mural.


Tulips dancing in the breeze set my heart aflutter!



I first discovered Bleeding Hearts many years ago when I first moved to Seattle and I rarely see them anywhere else. They are stunning in their grace and beauty and the name suits them quite well. They’re absolutely breathtaking!

And one more…

…A most unusual sight awaited me in the front window of this abode. What do you make of it?


17 thoughts on “The Secret Gardens of Seattle

  1. Thank you, Monica, for taking us on this walk with you.
    Superb photos.
    Love the little libraries. I want one in our neighborhood!
    And the flowers.
    I do not like the babies in the window. Freaky.

    • Kim, I included the link to the website for the Little Libraries. It tells you how to create one in your neighborhood. I think they’re a great idea. Not everyone has time to make it to the library, but sharing a book is a great alternative! 🙂

  2. Another place to add to my must visit list. I love my blog buddies for sharing all these places even though I’ll probably never get to visit them

  3. Ah Seattle! … I’ve always wanted to visit, Monica. Not just because they have my favorite chocolatier there – Theo. Or because the coffee is fabulous. I think it is for the very same reason you love visiting – your photos are simply beautiful. The tulips are gorgeous and the cherry blossoms are certainly celebrating.
    I think most of all, the little free library made me want to cry. What a beautiful concept. You’re right, they must be a very literary city. Each house seems unique, I noticed the colors are different and the gardens are thriving.I bet you find something to love each time you visit.

    • We who live in California, MM, are used to seeing our share of drought ridden landscapes. So to go to Seattle, one feels as though you’ve walked into a rain forest. Everything is so lush and green and blooming! It is the Emerald City, after all!

  4. Monica, no wonder you find Seattle such a delightful place to visit! Walking along a cherry blossom-strewn sidewalk must be heavenly! I love all the interesting gardens and the Little Free Libraries. I’ve never used one of those because the only one I’m aware of in my community sits in front of a house I don’t care to frequent, but I imagine they serve a useful purpose. As for that last photo, gee, I have NO CLUE!!

    • Perhaps one day, Debbie, you’ll build a little library (maybe Domer will help you?) yourself and others will want to peruse it. It’s on the honor system and I love that, as it is a testament that there are still good people in the world. People who relish a good book!

  5. How charming and beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve never been to Seattle, but I must put it on my bucket list. Gorgeous! And those little libraries! Love.

    • Yes, Jayne, you must visit someday. There is so much beauty to see. I always say that I never saw nature until I moved to Seattle. And Seattle is just the beginning. There’s the San Juan Islands, Mt. Rainier, the Cascade Mountains, etc. And did you see the tulip fields I posted last week? Amazing!

  6. Monica.

    What a super set of images. The first thing I thought was that it would be a super relaxing area to live in. I love the little free libraries, in this neck of the woods they would disappear overnight.

    In the first picture I could picture myself sitting on the porch with my laptop in one of the nice comfortable chairs writing away. Cool drink on a small table beside me. With a small dog curled up at my feet.

    Your friends picturing of the area is fairly typical of most places, we never look on our own area with fresh eyes and a clear mind. We become used to places and stop appreciating what makes them unique. The houses would I think photograph very well very early evening with lights shining out through the windows, but not when it’s too dark to appreciate the multitude of colours outside.

    My favourite picture is the one with the wooden soldier in, I love the blue colours contrasting with the creams/whites, and the sharp angles of the structure, but despite that your eyes are drawn to the soldier figure.

    As for the last picture, I am sure there is a story behind the two figures, I would have been tempted to knock the door and ask for the story.

    • Robert, I’m glad you say your eye is drawn to the wooden soldier in that picture, because I passed that house quite a few times before I noticed the soldier. So your words make me feel like I succeeded in drawing your eye to him, in a way that mine didn’t at first. Funny that you say the Little Library wouldn’t last in your neck of the woods. I’d love someone to build one near me. I’d keep it stacked with books, for certain. But I’m all thumbs when it comes to building anything. Apparently, you can buy a kit to build one, but it’s rather expensive. Sigh. Have a good week!

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