The 2016 edition of the annual PowellsWood Storytelling Festival comes July 22nd and 23rd next year. Save the dates! More details to come soon.
Be prepared to be enchanted by the genus Fuchsia. These showstoppers of the fall garden range in form from large shrubs to low groundcovers. Since these perennials begin blooming as early as May and continue blooming until frost, they are still in their full glory as many other perennials have started to fade.
Fuchsia Days is a celebration of these outstanding plants and their many uses in the Northwest garden.
In addition to the hardy fuchsias located within the garden proper, PowellsWood is home to an additional site with an extensive private collection. Viewing of the PowellsWood Hardy Fuchsia Collection will be possible via guided walking tours Thursday September 15th through Saturday September 17th. Two tours will be offered each day and will begin at 10:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. From PowellsWood Garden visitors will accompany a docent along the trail to the fuchsia collection; trail distance is roughly 1 mile round trip. Tour duration is 1 hour 15 minutes and is complimentary with admission.
Labelled cut stems will also be on display in the Garden Room for the enjoyment of those unable to walk the trail to the special collection or those whose schedule does not permit them to join a tour.
In addition to tours and cut flower displays, Fuchsia Days also includes resources for the home gardener, including information on designing with fuchsias, fuchsia care and planting, and where to purchase fuchsias locally.
PowellsWood Garden will be open during Fuchsia Days from 9:30 am to 3:00.
Adult admission: $7. Youth admission (ages 13-18): $5. Child admission (ages 6-12): $3. Children 5 and under free.
New garden spaces make it possible for PowellsWood to expand offerings at their annual Mother’s Day weekend event. Hours are 10:00 – 5:00 both Saturday May 9th and Sunday May 10th. Entrance is $5.00, free for children under 12.
Visitors are requested to take the shuttle from Sacajawea Park, just east of the garden, at 1401 S. Dash Point Road.
On-site parking is limited to handicapped vehicle parking only; please no parking in the neighborhood.
Looking for a beautiful place to hold your holiday party? We are currently taking reservations for the Garden Room at PowellsWood for holiday gatherings.
Set in the midst of the three-acre garden at PowellsWood, the Garden Room provides a quiet and scenic retreat for your business or social gathering.
For rates and details about the Garden Room, please visit our rental bookings page.
We look forward to helping you make your holiday event a special one!
A warm thank you to all who attended, staffed, performed, or volunteered this past weekend at the PowellsWood Garden Storytelling Festival!
Says Elizabeth Dorpat at the Waterland Blog:
From the comical Greek mythology tale by Barbara McBride-Smith (above), to the banjo-playing vignettes of Ed Stivender, this festival had it all.
The breathtaking backdrop of PowellsWood Garden was absolutely stunning and made it easy to get caught up in the adventures, songs, and memories of these fantastic tellers.
We plan on making this a yearly tradition for our family and encourage you to get swept up in a weekend of storytelling with us next year!
Congratulations to Don LaMoore who won the raffle for two full festival passes to the 2015 festival.
The PowellsWood Storytelling Festival “is like a little pearl,” enthuses storyteller Syd Lieberman.
The two-day festival, which runs July 18-19 this year at PowellsWood in Federal Way, is decidedly unique.
The first day of the festival, storytellers engage registered guests with workshops designed to turn everyday people into tellers of their own stories. Full-pass participants even get a chance at “Tea with the Tellers” on PowellsWood’s fabled Garden Room Terrace.The second day, it’s all telling, all the time, with special secret spots in the 3-acre garden set up with tents featuring storytelling tracks for adults, families, and children. This year’s tellers include Donald Davis, Diane Ferlatte, Angela Lloyd, Barbara McBride-Smith, and Ed Stivender.
“I haven’t been to anything like this,” says Lieberman. That’s quite a testimony from the man who’s a regular feature at internationally-renowned festivals like Timpanogos and the National Festival in Jonesborough. “It’s this little special thing in the woods that you come upon and you find,” he continues. “It’s wonderful that way. ‘Wow! I’m telling in this beautiful setting!’”
It’s magical by design, a “fairy tale come true,” to use the words of the Federal Way Mirror.
“Our belief is that people come away from the Festival happier, more joyful,” says garden founder and Festival organizer Monte Powell. “And maybe revitalized—from being here at the Festival, and also from doing the Festival in a beautiful, green environment.”
And make no mistake. The garden setting offers a one-of-a-kind experience. “Telling a story in a garden like this definitely makes a difference,” attests Indian storyteller Jeeva Raghunath, who also appeared at last year’s festival.
“I’ve told stories in the classroom,” she notes. “I’ve told stories in the auditorium. I’ve told stories by the sea. But this is very different, the reason being that it’s very identical: the gardener and the storyteller. Both of them do it with a lot of soul. And stories are not from head to head. It’s from heart to heart. So every story has soul. It has life.”
Festival anchor and master teller Donald Davis has the heart of it.
“I love trees,” says Davis. “They are listeners.”
Visit the PowellsWood Storytelling Festival this year and listen. Listen with the trees.
Listen, and grow.
For complete schedule and parking information, visit powellswoodfestival.com. Price $15 and up; children’s and family rates available. Online Ticketing at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/531089.
May 9th is a national day of celebration to raise awareness of American’s public gardens and their important role in promoting environmental stewardship and awareness, plant and water conservation, and education in communities nationwide.
We will share information on other local, regional and national public gardens—great resources for trip planning or entertaining friends and family.
PowellsWood will be open for our regular hours, 10am to 3pm. Admission is $5.00, children under 12 are free.
Special offer—print a coupon from National Public Gardens Day for complementary coffee, tea and cookies with admission. Click here for more info, and to get your coupon! Once on the NPGD site, click “Find Gardens Near You” and look for PowellsWood.
A great garden brings people together; visit PowellsWood Garden this Mother’s Day weekend, May 10-11, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with your mother or child and share the magic of this remarkable garden.
Entrance is $5.00 for adults and children under 12 are free.
Please plan on joining us to enjoy:
Visitors are requested to take the shuttle from Sacajawea Park, just east of the garden at 1101 S. Dash Point Road. On-site parking is limited to handicapped parking only.
Celebrate Earth Day at PowellsWood Garden April 22, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Stroll the garden and discover the wonders of the natural world with hands-on activities for the whole family! Entrance is $5.00 for adults and children under 12 are free.
Click on any image to view a slide show.
That’s why PowellsWood has formed a special partnership in support of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, a 55,000-acre reserve in Costa Rica that was created by the fundraising efforts of kids from around the globe and which protects some of Earth’s most biodiverse habitat. Like PowellsWood, Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest supports nature education for kids and gives them the opportunity to get involved in protecting our world’s most important places.
Our partnership helps children understand that by providing habitat needed by birds and insects migrating through the Pacific Flyway where PowellsWood is located, this garden and the creatures in it are connected to a much larger world. (See diagram at right.)After all, many of the seasonal birds we see, like the Olive-sided Flycatcher and the Western Tananger, are on their way to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest and beyond!
From 2001 to 2002, the latest large addition to the garden was completed: the Woodland Garden. Nestled amongst the tall fir and hemlock in the crook of the access road’s northern elbow, the Woodland Garden is specifically designed to take advantage of dry, acidic forest duff and heavy shade.
Most recently, the Patio and Garden Room were completed during the winter of 2002-2003, at the same time that the slope across the stream from the west Perennial Border was being renovated. The Garden Room, which hosts gardening classes and teas, can also be rented by garden clubs as a meeting space—a social and educational gathering spot.
As PowellsWood has matured, and the word of its existence has spread, it has become a symbol of hallmark Powell values. You’ll see beauty wherever you look, a reflection of the Powells’ personal touch. Be a part of the vision that transformed a clandestine dump into a lush private garden. Bring the tranquility and beauty of a garden into your life.
But the beautiful gardens you see today had been used for years as literal dumping grounds. “Before we could restore the soul,” says Monte, “we had to restore the soil.” The first two years following the purchase of the land were spent building the soil back up so it could support plant life again. The first new plant life—rows of hedges—were planted under the guidance of landscape architect Ned Gulbran, who designed the overall layout. Former head gardener Richard Hildner completed much of the original landscaping. It was he, says Monte, “who really built the place.”
Once the soil was restored and architecture was decided, the vast task of planting was underway. By 1997, the garden was ready for its first year of mass plantings: Diane’s favorite Perennial Borders Garden. During the garden’s second planting season, the man-made stream would need to be completed. The lazy, babbling brook winds along the western perennial border and empties into a wrought-iron lined pond—where the water, gleaned from local runoff, is pumped back to the southern edge of the property to make a return trip through the garden. Development of the other “rooms” in the garden continued during the garden’s third planting season, and in 2000, Monte and Diane participated in a stream restoration project of Cold Creek, which borders PowellsWood on the North.
For four generations, the Powell family has invested love and personal care in all the things they’ve done: raising families, creating and managing some of the finest homes in the Northwest, giving back to the community. And one of the things Monte and Diane Powell have always loved is a good garden.
During summer vacations as a college student, Monte apprenticed as a carpenter, helping his father Cecil build houses. When Monte’s own kids were old enough to help out on home construction during summer vacations, he “explained what it took to create a home, not just a house,” son Todd explains. What it takes is a daily dedication to bring value to each and every thing the Powell family touches.
Occupying the southern tip of a 40-acre greenbelt the Powells bought just west of their home in 1992, the 2-acre PowellsWood is now an urban oasis designed to “restore the soul.” The garden features themed “rooms,” a man-made stream and a pond which uses natural stormwater and drains into Puget Sound.
The Festival returned to the garden for its second spellbinding year.
CBS featured the PowellsWood Festival in a special report on storytelling. Click here to watch it. Federal Way Mirror journalist Andy Hobbs describes the Festival as a “fairy tale come true,” an opportunity for the community “to sample culture and nature, right here at home.” The term most used by adults and children alike is… magical!
The centerpiece is a full day of telling on Saturday:
For detailed info, visit the PowellsWood Storytelling Festival website. Click here!
On Friday, we also have a full day of workshops and meet-and-greets with the Festival’s tellers. Advance registration is required for these events! Click here for more details.
Summer is a great season to visit newly renovated PowellsWood Garden, 430 S. Dash Point Road.
The garden will re-open its doors to the public, with a celebration on June 22nd and 23rd 2013. The gate opens at 10:00 a.m. and the garden will remain open until 3:00 p.m. Admission is $5.00, children 12 and under are free.
Festivities include exploration of the garden’s summer color, bluegrass and harp concerts, a raffle, and refreshments in the Garden Room.
Bluegrass artists Bonnie & W.B. are playing from 12:30 -2:30 on Saturday, and you can enjoy harpist Victoria Norman from 12:00 – 3:00 on Sunday!
On site parking at the garden is limited and visitors are requested to take the shuttle from Sacajawea Middle School, just one-quarter (¼) mile east of the garden on S. Dash Point Road.
Portland area designer Rick Serazin’s renovations have added additional structure, new vistas, more four-season color, and take advantage of the new plant varieties available to Pacific Northwest gardeners due to a changing climate.
So far, the most commented upon new addition has been the Pedyphylum pleianthum hybrid, commonly called a Chinese mayapple, or dysoma. Come and decide for yourself what’s the best new plant of the garden’s collection.
Each visitor to the garden during the Re-opening Celebration will be entered into a raffle for 2 free passes to the 2nd annual PowellsWood Storytelling Festival Saturday July 27th 2013. For more information on the Festival see the Storytelling link on our website powellswood.org. The festival is co-sponsored by the Seattle Storytellers Guild.
Tea, cookies, and scones will be available for purchase in the Garden Room. A small pot of tea, two cookies, and a scone is $10.00 , tax included.
The re-opening marks a return to the garden’s regular open hours of 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday through October.
This spring PowellsWood garden is abuzz with renovation activities and as a result has not yet re-opened its gates to the public, after having been closed for the winter.
Instead of our usual tours and events, the garden is under the watchful eye of Portland area garden designer Rick Serazin who is re-working many of the garden’s rooms. (At right, the Spring Garden renovations are in process.) Although the changes are happening quickly, the process will not be complete until late spring, thus PowellsWood will not be open for Mother’s Day weekend. Watch for news about a PowellsWood grand re-opening celebration in early summer.
Renovation became desirable for a variety of reasons. Twenty years had passed since the garden’s first plantings were established. Some plantings did not retain their initial glory as they aged. The perennial border along the stream had reached the end of its lifespan and needed to be re-worked. The house garden had lost most of its structural elements due to either deteriorating condition or damage from the January 2012 ice storm. The hillside west of the perennial borders had never been fully planted; these new plantings will add exciting structural elements to the garden. Additionally, an irrigation and drainage issue in the entrance garden made the pathway difficult to navigate, a fix to this issue will allow for more foot traffic through the space.
Designer Serazin utilizes a wide palette of plant material and is able to take full advantage of the wealth of new plant varieties that have become available to northwest gardeners in recent years. Global climate change has led to a heightened awareness of the need to connect people to the natural world and the new plantings at PowellsWood reflect this goal. The garden owners, Monte and Diane Powell, are excited to share Serazin’s dynamic style with local gardeners. They hope the PowellsWood Garden will continue to inspire and sooth the soul in a unique way.
If it’s December, we must be mulching!
During the summer, we roamed the garden looking for and identifying bare spots that tend to get weeds, especially the persistent and not-so-welcome buttercup and morning glory.
This winter, we’ve been making sure to cover those areas with a thick coating of woodchips and cardboard to help prevent weeds from returning. To learn more about mulching, check out the full details from last December’s blog post on sheet mulch. Click here!
A couple days ago we talked about one of the featured garden plants that has bounced back the quickest in the recent spate of wet weather. Here’s another!
We love sedums! The lower-growing sedums make a perfect groundcover for Puget Sound area gardens, and some even perform well in shady, moist spots. They are an economical plant, too—you can buy just one plant, and easily pinch off a small bit and pop it into a new spot in the garden where it will quickly make itself at home. Sedums, like ‘Ppink Jewel’ at right, are a great plant to “knit” the garden together.
We haven’t found any sedums to be invasive, though some may be a little more enthusiastic than others, but they are easily removed if you wish.
Sedums make a good addition to hanging baskets, too. Since baskets tend to easily get dry, you don’t have to worry as much about keeping them well-watered when they’re planted with sedums.
We’ve been adding lots of sedums to our new Fuchsia Garden, where they are thriving. Some of the varieties we’ve planted include Sedum album ‘Green Ice,’ Sedum lydium, and Sedum kamstchaticum, as well as the following Great Plant Picks: Sedum cyaneum, Sedum spurium ‘Pink Jewel’, and Sedum cauticola ‘Lidakense’.