A Date With Serenity: Kubota Garden

New pavilion under construction
New pavilion under construction

Last Sunday, Zach’s sister offered to babysit the girls while we enjoyed a daytime date for a change. The weather was absolutely perfect: sunny and blue skies with a fresh breeze. We decided to grab a quick lunch and go explore Seattle’s Kubota Garden. Neither of us had been there before, but I’d heard it was gorgeous. It is a twenty acre Japanese-style garden, made up of plants native to the Pacific Northwest, several ponds and bridges, and miles of winding paths.

Fern, ready to unfurl
Fern, ready to unfurl

At one point, the path led through a small opening made by the low-hanging branches of some trees. Once inside, it opened up to the most magical hidden place! A forest of trees, all cleared of low branches, with the path winding among them and a small park bench. It felt like being in a secret fairy world. The photo below hardly does it justice.

Enchanting hideaway
Enchanting hideaway

There were, in fact, many enticing “hidden” pathways and stair steps made of stone. The entire park makes you feel like you are exploring magical, secret places.

Where could this secret staircase lead?
Where could this secret staircase lead?

There are several reflecting ponds throughout the garden, surprising you when you chance upon them.

Here we see a Zach in his natural habitat: the outdoors.
Here we see a Zach in his natural habitat: the outdoors.
One of several serene ponds.
One of several serene ponds.
Isn't this bridge gorgeous?
Isn’t this bridge gorgeous?
Another exquisite bridge and pond.
Another exquisite bridge and pond.

Despite being at sea level, Seattle is actually quite hilly and Kubota Garden is no exception. Throughout the grounds, there are areas where the paths run parallel, rising up the hillside and allowing some hikers to be on a higher or lower level than others. It made for some great photo opportunities!

Me, on the next path level up from Zach
Me, on the next path level up from Zach

The largest pond held several HUGE goldfish and a turtle, who crawled out onto the rocks to warm himself in the afternoon sun. The pond was quite still and offered beautiful reflections of the flowers surrounding it.

Flowers reflecting in the pond and one of the resident goldfish
Flowers reflecting in the pond and one of the resident goldfish
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Turtle sunning himself on the rocks

It turned out to be the perfect time of year to visit the garden, as all the flowers were in full bloom. We were surrounded by gorgeous, bright colored blossoms everywhere. Lilac, Wisteria and Jasmine made the garden smell heavenly.

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We stopped for awhile in the shade of a tree near the large pond. We rested for a bit while Alden finished his nap in the stroller (yep, he was there too!) and just enjoyed the peace of being out in nature.

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Our chaperone wasn't exactly diligent...
Our chaperone wasn’t exactly diligent…
Is there anything more peaceful than nursing a sweet baby, surrounded by flowers and the gentle chirp of birds?
Is there anything more peaceful than nursing a sweet baby, surrounded by flowers and the gentle chirp of birds?

We ended our date at Pike Place Market, where we bought some delicious (and very overpriced!) muscat grapes and a gorgeous $5 bouquet of fresh flowers. We both felt relaxed, renewed and peaceful after convening with nature for an afternoon. It was a wonderful way to spend our weekly date (and quite inexpensive – despite the grapes).

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