Two of the best herb gardens in Seattle

Bastyr Herb GardenIf your garden has grown to include an herb collection for culinary or medicinal purposes there is nothing more exciting than visiting mature herb gardens with extensive plant collections so you can get a glimpse of your future. There are two in Seattle that are absolutely worth the visit.

The University of Washington’s Medicinal Herb Garden

The garden is two and a half acres and is one of the largest public gardens of its kind. It houses nearly 1,000 species from all over the world used in historic and modern times for treating a wide array of ailments, from colds to heart disease, as well as for food, fiber, dye, spices, and ceremonial purposes.

The Medicinal Herb Garden is divided into seven sections, including Cascara Circle. Cascara Circle features many Pacific Northwest species, including the cascara tree (Rhamnus purshiana), Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia), Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium), and evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum). Throughout the rest of the garden visitors will come across many intriguing plants including foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), pomegranate (Punica granatum), squirting cucumber (Ecballium elaterium), black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), and many, many others.  You can pursue the compete plant listing by clicking plant index.

The garden is located on flat-to-gentle ground with gravel and bark paths so it is quite accessible.  The plants are well labeled making them a resource for both herbalists and botanists

Directions: From Interstate 5, take the Northeast 45th Street exit and go east on Northeast 45th Street. Turn right on 15th Avenue Northeast, turn left into campus at Northeast 40th Street, and bear right to follow Stevens Way.  Click Look for the sign for the gardens on your left. Campus parking is free on Sundays and after noon on Saturdays; there are a few parking spots available just above the gardens (turn left after passing the gardens).  Click University of Washington for a campus map and location of the garden.  Many Metro routes go to the campus; some buses run right by the gardens on Stevens Way. Click Metro Trip Planer to find the best bus routes from your home.

Bastyr University Herb Garden

Enjoy the Bastyr University Medicinal Herb Garden which is open to the public for self-guided tours.  You will see over 350 western and Chinese herbs on display. You can feel free to visit, browse and explore the Bastyr gardens on your own any time.  Plants are well labeled and broken into groupings by body systems they impact.  Paths are grass and bark so access is slightly more difficult than the UW garden if your mobility is limited. You can find a map of the area by clicking Bastry University or click Metro Trip Planer to find the best bus routes from your home.   The address is 14500 Juanita Drive NE Kenmore, WA 98028.

Please note

Some medicinal plants in each of the gardens can be toxic, so you are asked to not touch or taste anything in the medicinal garden. Respect garden specimens, and keep children and pets from touching, tasting, or disturbing the plants.

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