Saturday, October 15, 2011

One October tour and three to go

by aleks
(Click on the pisc for lager view)

THANK YOU, Seattle Parks, Arboretum  and Japanese Garden Advisory Council for the last Monday volunteer appreciation string of delightful events, starting from lunch in Graham Visitor Center, tour of Arboretum and desert-happening on the end, with tea and sake in the Japanese Garden itself.   Each event had its own appreciative takers,  I just wish I started with the desert and worked my way back with some time machine, instead of starting from lunch and fizzling out due to remnants of recent cold.  THANK YOU!


SJG • 9/19/11 - you should come and see how it looks NOW!
Yesterday a group from the Bainbridge Island Senior Center visited our beautiful garden to see it in its autumn glory - we had such a delightful time that the tour lasted almost two hours instead the usual 40 minutes.

As much as I enjoy giving tours around SJG to anyone and everyone (even some quirky east coast summer visitors who run ahead of me as soon as I stop to take a breath, forcing me to complete the tour under 30 minutes),  I particularly like visiting the Garden with locals, who give themselves time to enjoy the garden fully, wandering in and out of being guided, stopping to look or listen to something else than my voice, then coming back to ask a question or ponder some detail while sharing it with others.

To be fair to the quickies, I had been in their touristy shoes while traveling and giving only a shallow glimpse to this world wonders, because my time THERE while not HERE was short and a list of things to see overly long.  Most tourists wonder at one time or another how would it be to actually live day after day next to the marvels they visit, but a glimpse is all they get; they do not get to experience how the place changes with seasons, time of the day or different light of the hour, how it goes dark at night or wakes up in the morning.

That particular pleasure of seeing the change is only possible HERE, where we live, so I find it very gratifying to exchange musings on the topic with our city and  neighborhood  people:  some of them remember coming to the Garden through the original East gate, we talk about circumstances of their past visits or about upcoming events in the Garden or, like yesterday, swap tips on how to keep the koi from being taken out by raccoons or herons (Bainbridge Island is very close to Seattle, but has more wild habitat).

Bloedel Reserve • Bainbridge Island, August 2011

The island visitors noted that right now the leaves are turning equally beautiful in Bloedel Reserve - a place on Bainbridge Island close to Winslow, where they came from; we talked about Japanese garden part of the Reserve, and Kubota Gardens in Seattle (which also include magnificent Japanese garden),   about the people who created and maintained those gardens and their history.  All little secrets which make our talk local and intimate, as opposed to the times when the tour is meant for visitors from far away places whom I literally show the Garden off.

Kubota Garden • Seattle, October 2009, photo by Tony

I'm lucky to have four tours this October (more like a summer pace), and most of them local.

1.) Tomorrow's public tour will be celebrating Maple Viewing (reminder to self: take camera along!):  it often attracts people from around here, who come each year to drink the beauty of the leaves turning shades of red and yellow.  I might not have to say much to them, because they are usually busy trying to capture on camera the impermanent moment of autumnal orgy of colors + Mary mentioned that the Taiko drummers are scheduled for about the same time as the tour -  we all know who will win that competition of sounds, so just as well I will be enjoying the drummers play...

2.) Interlake High School Horticulture students - I better study up on maples, which they are particularly interested in... This assignment came with a note: 'Their bus schedule requires them to leave the Garden at 11 AM', which usually means that half-way through  the tour their teachers and guardians get nervous, calculating the time needed to get back to the gate --  merry times, we all get jittery and my sentences get shorter and sorter,  so I can finish one when the final signal for retreat to the gate is given and sudden haste and fever overwhelms everyone.   I haven't solved that problem graciously yet, except asking the students to give me updates about passing time in 5 minutes intervals; oh well, better than bringing the alarm clock to do the same, which crossed my mind.

3.) Seattle University "Philosophy of Art" class students:  they will be visiting  'in respect to their studies of relationship between beauty and knowledge and  its role in human experience'...  That should be super interesting and mercifully no couch to pumpkin event mentioned on that assignment of imposing heigh.

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