Friday, August 19, 2011

Seattle Garden Bloggers' Fling - Coenosium Rock Garden at the SSCC Arboretum

On the third day of the Garden Bloggers' Fling, as the sun hit its peak in the blue skies over Seattle, our friendly drivers shuttled us over to our last stop of the day: a visit to the Coenosium Rock Garden at the South Seattle Community College Arboretum.
Coenosium Rock Garden entrance

What's a coenosium? It's Greek to me. Actually, it's Greek for "plant community." And this particular plant community features hundreds of dwarf conifers.
Creek in Coenosium Rock Garden

It's considered one of the premier collections of this type in the U.S. The plants were donated by Robert and Dianne Fincham, owners of Coenosium Gardens in nearby Eatonville, and the garden was designed by former SSCC student Yukie Kato.
Coenosium Rock Garden

Admittedly, at the end of the third day of non-stop-garden-go, in the bright afternoon sun, the impact of the Coenosium Rock Garden was a bit lost on me. Look at what I missed! It's said to be spectacular in the winter, and I'd like to go back some January.

The Arboretum is host to two dwarf conifer gardens. In addition to the Coenosium Rock Garden, there's the Sutton Dwarf Conifer Garden.
Sutton Dwarf Conifer Garden

The Arboretum has much more to offer than dwarf conifers. These roses and arborvitae hedge are features of the Anna C. Mason Garden.
Roses & arborvitae in the Anna C. Mason garden

There's a sensory garden,
Sensory garden

and a fern garden with a wide variety of shade plants.
Sun and shade in the Dawley Fern Garden

This large barberry specimen is in the Mabel Davis Memorial Garden,

as is this gazebo, which offered a welcome seat in the shade to this group of intrepid Flingers. (Left to right: Robin of Bumblebee Blog, Suzi of The Garden Plot, Layanee of Ledge and Gardens, and Michelle of Veg Plotting.)
Garden bloggers set a spell under a gazebo

This weekend, I say a fond farewell to the Seattle Garden Bloggers' Fling with two final Fling posts: an enchanting visit to Bloedel Reserve, and a Fling reception that packed quite a Punch!

Words and photos © 2009-2011 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. Funny I was thinking of those evergreens today in my garden! I hope to go back sometime too.

  2. I'm happy to hear that the appeal of the conifers was a bit lost on you. I had to get out of that part of the garden before I screamed at the next person who mused loudly "oh how I wish I could grow these at home".... BORING!