I recently picked up a free pamphlet at one of the regional gardens in the Puget Sound area…you know…the type of free info that tourists whiz right by all the time. This time my interest was piqued and I grabbed one titled, “Garden Lover’s Guide to the Pacific N.W.” I stuffed it into my purse and went about my business. At home, I perused through the pamphlet and suddenly realized what all I had been missing. Those free brochures and pamphlets are there for a reason. And boy, were my eyes opened!
I’m going to tell you about a garden of all gardens, if you are interested in the art of bonsai, as well as oriental gardens. Did I mention esoteric gift shops? More on that, later.
Welcome to Elandan Gardens, tucked away in a cranny along the shores of Puget Sound, located just off Hwy 16, in Gorst, heading west towards Bremerton. Those that live and commute in the region have probably whizzed by the gardens time after time, just like me. I’ve seen the sign, but was always in a hurry en route to somewhere else. Reading about the gardens in the pamphlet gave me pause to plan a trip to the gardens. And, so I did. The autumn colors of the Japanese Maples in the gardens are still flaming. That is what I primarily came for—the colors. Below are photos of the beautiful autumn colors in and surrounding the gardens. I will not post images of the many bonsai specimens. There is an entry fee for the Bonsai Museum. Let’s just say that it is very well worth the drive to experience. I’ll be back. That’s for sure.
Upon driving into the garden entrance, one is greeted by a flaming Japanese Maple tree surrounded by Buddha figures.
Before walking into the Bonsai Museum and Gift Store, one can walk along a path leading to the shoreline with landscaped area that has stone sculptures and works of natural art.
To get to the Bonsai Museum, one has to enter the gift store. The gardens are located outside the opposite side of the store. I was taken aback by the size of the gift store. It has several rooms full of all sorts of esoteric antiques and imported items from the Far East. Be forewarned. One could spend a few hours in here!
And now for the bonsai garden. I don’t know how to describe this ‘garden of Eden.’ Bonsai master, Dan Robinson, was out and about in the garden greeting and talking to visitors. What a gentleman! What can I say? You just have to see this place! Get to it before all the leaves fall.
All photos property of Peggy A Thompson