2022 Convention – Convention Trips and Closing Event

Gesneriads In the Pacific Gateway
July 4 to July 9, 2022

On Sunday, July 3 – Private horticulture tours of the Amazon Spheres have been arranged for our attendees. We will bus at noon to downtown Seattle to tour the 57,000 square-foot spherical glass enclosures that are   home to more than 40,000 plants from the cloud forest regions of over 30 countries. After the hour-long Spheres tour, the bus will travel a short scenic route heading east over Lake Washington to the Bellevue Botanical Garden for us to enjoy a self-guided tour of this outdoor garden that includes a rock garden, perennial border, rhododendron glen, native plant garden, Japanese garden, ravine experience, and more. Aside from the many gardens to explore, there are benches around if you want to simply sit and socialize outside in the garden for a while.

On Monday, July 4 – We will board our bus in Tacoma for a full-day trip with more views of Mt. Rainier and other iconic scenes around Puget Sound. We will pass over the Tacoma Narrows bridge with water views to the north and south. Most of the way will be lined with tall evergreens and bigleaf maples as we head north on the Kitsap Peninsula. We will catch glimpses of mountains in the North Cascade and in Olympic National Park with the last of the snow on their peaks. We will pass near Naval Base Kitsap with its fleet of active and mothballed ships. Ferries will be making their way to Seattle in the distance. Our destination is the fascinating Heronswood Garden created 30 years ago by legendary plant collector Dan Hinkley and his partner Robert Jones. They filled the garden with plants collected while traveling throughout the world and sold these rare plants in the nursery. Now operating under the stewardship of the Port Gamble S’Klallam tribe, the garden welcomes visitors and sponsors educational programs throughout the year. Many unique plants as well as items in a newly opened gift shop will be for sale.

Heronswood’s new Director, Dr. Patrick McMillan, and botanist Dr. Ross Bayton will lead our tour of the Woodland Garden and Potager, as well as the wexas shayi (new life spirit) Renaissance Garden that tells the history of the Port Gamble S’Klallam tribe. The gardens offer a fascinating mix of plants from far-flung regions of the world and native plants of the northwest coast of North America. It features sculptural accents by noted sculptors George Little and David Lewis. The tour will be followed by a catered box lunch in the garden’s picnic area and time to visit the plant sales area and gift shop.

To enjoy some beautiful aerial and ground views of the gardens at Heronswood (images courtesy of Tom Twigg), click on <https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomtwigg/51611497805/in/album-72157720042756633/>

Our bus will then take us back to Tacoma for a tour of the Seymour Conservatory. This 1909 Victorian-style glasshouse has recently been renovated with many interesting new plant installations including gesneriads contributed by members of the local Puget Sound Chapter, a bog plant area, a rainforest with dart frogs, and a living wall with 1500 plants (by the same designer who created the living wall in the Amazon Spheres in Seattle). Our visit will also include a tour of the champion trees of Wright Park before heading back to our hotel.

On Wednesday morning, July 6 – Our bus will take us on a short ride to Point Defiance Park. This 760-acre park has many interesting areas and we plan to visit the Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, and Dahlia Garden and perhaps also see a small exhibit on the history of the park in the former gatekeeper’s cottage. We’ll return to the hotel via Five Mile Drive, which winds through an area of old-growth forest with 450-year-old Douglas firs.

On Saturday, July 9, our convention closing event will be very relaxing. After breakdown of the plant sale and flower show, we will enjoy a two-hour social in the Hotel Murano Rotunda with light refreshments and a cash bar (co-sponsored by the Puget Sound Chapter). There we can relax, wind-down and have a chance to visit with each other before heading home again for another year.

Share this: