2020 Sign-Up Experiences
Guests at our 2020 Opening Night Party & Auction will have the opportunity to sign up for six delightful wildflower, wildlife, and garden tours. Following are short descriptions of the tours. Join us on February 25 for an unforgettable evening in support of the Arboretum; then join us again for one of more of these unique experiences.
Enjoy a day at Jennifer and Scott Wyatt’s mountain home in Leavenworth, exploring pristine trails that wind along Icicle Creek and up the canyon. The Wyatts will share with you how they designed their sustainable “off the grid” home and native plant expert Randall Hitchin will lead you in a wildflower hike. Options are also available for a leisurely ramble to photograph plants and wildlife. After the hike, guests will be treated to a multi-course luncheon in the Wyatt’s home, affording stunning views of the canyon and its jagged peaks.
(Photo by Chris Mockli)
Sunday, May 17, 2020 | 10 a.m.
Generously donated by Jenny and Scott Wyatt
8 spots available, $200 per person
Transportation not included
Larry Hubbell Bird-Watching Tour in the Arboretum
Board member Larry Hubbell is a well-known author of the Union Bay Watch blog and your expert source for information about birds and their habitats. This 2-hour birdwatching tour in the Arboretum will focus on nesting, feeding and secrets of bird identification. Please bring your binoculars and birding questions! Afterwards, enjoy light refreshments and lively conversation at the Lookout Gazebo. This is a wonderful opportunity for bird enthusiasts of all interest and skill levels to find more to love in our urban habitat.
Sunday, April 26, 2020 | 9 a.m.
Bonus: April 26 is John Audubon’s Birthday! We’ll raise a glass to him at the Lookout Gazebo.
Generously donated by Larry Hubbell
15 spots available, $125 per person
A Magical Mystery Tour with Ciscoe at the Fries’ Garden
Are you ready to take a trip into a fabulous private garden with Ciscoe Morris? Featured in several books and publications, the garden of Kathy and Ed Fries on Champagne Point in Kirkland began 27 years ago as an acre parcel on Lake Washington. Now encompassing seven acres, the garden features fanciful follies housing ornamental poultry and pheasants and century-old native trees framing Champagne Creek. Whimsical structures to explore include Clucking Hen Palace, home to unusual breeds of poultry; Doges Palace, a Venetian-inspired folly and tower; and a 100-year-old beachfront cabin. Rare plants are found throughout the gardens, as well as many ferns, fuchsias, and woodland treasures.
Your tour ends with a garden-inspired tea with homemade treats, refreshments, and a chance to chat with Ciscoe about the garden. What can we say to cap things off except: “Oh-La-La!”
Sunday, June 14, 2020 | 1 p.m.
Generously donated by Ciscoe Morris, Kathy and Ed Fries
15 spots available, $150 per person
Rhododendron Heaven: Tour the Brockenbrough Garden
For more than 50 years, Dr. Ned Brockenbrough has designed and cultivated an extraordinary private rhododendron garden on the shore of Lake Washington. It’s been featured in Sunset books and visited by enthusiasts from around the world—but has never been open to the public. In this private tour for 12 people, you will see an astonishing variety of rhododendrons. Some are gigantic specimens Ned brought back from treks to the Sikkim region of the Himalayas; others are rhododendrons he hybridized himself. Ned is a legend among rhody hybridizers, and a number of his creations—including ‘Nancy Evans’, ‘Bambino’ and ‘Dawn’—have found pride of place in the Arboretum’s Rhododendron Hybrid Garden. Ned’s home garden also features an extensive collection of bonsai. Following the tour, hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served.
Saturday, May 2, 2020 | 1 p.m.
Generously donated by
Dr. Ned and Mrs. Jean Brockenbrough
12 spots available, $150 per person
Capitol Hill Gardens Tour & Brunch
Take a step back in time to explore Seattle’s most elegant historic neighborhood on this tour for eight people, led by none other than landscape architect and Arboretum Foundation board President, Jason Morse. Gain rare access to exclusive private gardens, and enjoy a sumptuous brunch at one of Seattle’s most exciting new restaurants. Walk along the shady streets of the Harvard Belmont district and learn about the movers and shakers who built these magnificent homes and gardens.
“This was truly an amazing experience that none of us will forget! Thanks to Jason’s vast knowledge and preparation, we learned so much about early Seattle, its pioneers and their spectacular estates and gardens.”
—Jan, 2019 tour participant
Sunday, June 28, 2020 | 10 a.m.
Generously donated by The Bullitt family and Jason Morse
8 spots available, $125 per person
Autumn Leaves: Insider’s Fall Tram Tour in the Arboretum
Autumn is one of the best times of the year to visit the Arboretum and enjoy the fall colors and changing seasons. Nestled among the gardens, natural areas, and wetlands, the Arboretum has one of the largest collections of deciduous trees in the Pacific Northwest. Your guides will be Jason Morse, Arboretum Foundation board president, and Ray Larson, UW Curator of Living Collections and the Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium. Your journey will include viewing rich fall colors and interesting seasonal textures of Japanese maples, buckeye, witch-hazel, Oregon grape, dogwood, native berries, and more. A true feast for the senses! After the tour, adjourn to Wisteria Hall for wine, goodies, and more conversation about the Arboretum’s colorful history.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020 | 4 p.m.
Provided by the Arboretum Foundation & UW Botanic Gardens
10 spots available, $100 per person