Garden Photo of the Day

Anderson School Garden

School turned garden


The first junior high school in Bothell, Washington (just outside Seattle), has been bought by a company that has turned the historic buildings into hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, and more. But what WE care about is the beautiful gardens around all the buildings. Open to the public, they are well designed and packed with beautiful plants, including some west coast natives.

Lupinus arboreus (tree lupine, Zones 7–10). Native on the West Coast, this shrubby lupine is dotted around an area devoted to local plants that don’t require extra care. Despite the Seattle area’s reputation for endless rain, that is actually only true in the winter. During the summer, it can be very dry, and the tree lupine takes that annual drought with ease.
‘Tasmanian Tiger’ (Euphorbia characias, Zones 6–8) has round green-and-white flower heads that echo the form of the purple ornamental onion ‘Globemaster’ (Allium ‘Globemaster’, Zones 4–9). Both are set off by a mass of dark-red-leaved loropetalum (Loropetalum chinensis f. rumbrum, Zones 7–10 ). See more about Euphorbia characias.
English roses are found throughout the garden, bringing their old-fashioned form and scent. See our plant guide to English roses.


Beauty bush (Kolkwitzia amabilis, Zones 5–9) is well named. When it is in full bloom, it completely covers itself with masses of small, pale flowers, each touched with a bit of yellow at the throat. Unfortunately, once this incredible spring display is over, the plant is simply a mass of rather boring green foliage the rest of the year. But who said gardens were supposed to be practical? Why not plant a beauty bush and give yourself something truly amazing to look forward to each spring?
This is a great example of a plant in exactly the right spot. Euphorbia ‘Fen’s Ruby’ is a beautiful little thing, with delicate foliage and great yellow-green flower heads. It can also be a bit of a weed, rapidly spreading and smothering weaker plants. Here it is growing in an island in the parking lot. Surrounded by concrete, it can’t escape, and no weed can manage to get a root hold in that solid carpet.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/01/2018

    How gratifying that so many of the wonderful plantings were saved inspire of the ownership and use. I'm always intrigued by euphorbias and like how the 'Fen's Ruby' in the last picture gives the impression of a ground cover white pine with flowers...quite a sight.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/01/2018

    Everything is so pretty but especially those lupines!

  3. perenniallycrazy 06/01/2018

    So glad to finally see the famous Anderson School Garden featured on GPOD. Thanks for sharing!

  4. [email protected] 06/01/2018

    Happy to see something (sort of) in my neck of the woods, and to see plants and ways of using them that hadn't occurred to me. Thanks for another good choice!

  5. Maggieat11 06/01/2018

    Lovely! great pairing with the alliums!

  6. phungnguyen 07/10/2018

    For the first time I admire the beauty of a garden with many flowers, I wish my garden would have as many flowers as here hoa khai truong

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    David_Lomas 03/13/2020

    Amazing garden. I believe that every school and college should have its own garden. This way, the school can easily teach children and students of botany and biology. This will greatly facilitate learning. Because very often students get very difficult tasks that they cannot accomplish. One day, I was commissioned to write an essay on the death penalty.
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