I recently completed an interesting interpretive sign project at the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden in Shoreline.
This beautiful garden is a life-work, a work of art, and a tribute to the wonderful flora of the Pacific Northwest.
It was created by Arthur and Mareen Kruckeberg.
It all started in the 1950s when a young botany professor at the University of Washington and a grad student met and married. Their shared love of plants, the outdoors, and Pacific Northwest ecology became a cornerstone of their marriage, family and life work.
Together, Art and Mareen Kruckeberg transformed their 4 1/2 acre lot in Shoreline into a beautiful oasis of flowers, shrubs, and trees representing over 2000 species, many which they collected themselves from Washington and other similar zones around the world.
The Kruckeberg family spent much of their free time exploring the wilds of the Pacific Northwest, collecting rare native plants.
Below is one of the interpretive signs I did for the site. It introduces the visitor to the Kruckebergs and their life-long work at the garden.
The center photo shows Art and Mareen in later years. The black and white photo shows the house on the property when they first moved there in the 1950s.
This is a second sign on the theme of the present-day garden, describing the current management and mission of the garden.
If you visit, be sure to wander through the whole property. In back is the Nursery which specializes in rare and native plants, and behind that are trails which wind down through the garden itself.
Beyond the nursery, the path leads you further into the garden…
This garden has such a distinct Northwest feeling. It’s not surprising, since the Kruckebergs were experienced naturalists as well as botanists. One of my favorite books is “The Natural History of Puget Sound Country” written by Art Kruckeberg in 1991, about the landforms, waterways, and native plants, animals and people of the Puget Sound basin.
And, when I was researching this project, I discovered what a fascinating person Mareen was (she died on New Years Day in 2003. Art is still living). She was an internationally known horticulturalist with an artistic flair who spent her life advocating for rare and native plants.
The two of them created a beautiful, living legacy for the Pacific Northwest.