Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Skagit Gardens Christmas Open House

Friday November 6th we went to dinner at the Garden Cafe and I've already posted a few photos from there in my last post. Garden Cafe is located inside a large greenhouse that is the retail outlet for Skagit Valley Gardens. Skagit Valley Gardens does a fantastic job of decorating for the Christmas holidays and this open house is a perfect time to come see the displays which look even better after dark. I took many photos and had a hard time trying to limit how many I was going to post here. I think that I will actually split the post into two. I'll do one now and another in a couple of days with the rest of the photos. They let me take my tripod and most of the photos are in available light, so it is generally pretty "warm" toned light as opposed to a colder, more bluish daylight that we are more used to. I decided to not make a color shift on most of the photos but instead just leave them as the camera saw them, with some cropping, exposure and contrast corrections. You will also notice that I am posting them in a little larger format. I checked it on my system and this size is fine with it, although I do have a wide screen monitor. Please let me know it it doesn't work well on yours. Anyway, here we go:

Skagit Gardens Christmas 00
This is a general inside scene with their cashier station and a Welcome sign.

Skagit Gardens Christmas 01
This old truck is one of a few that are around the area. During the warmer weather there are outdoor gardens to explore and in September the local dahlia society, that grows their display garden here on the property, holds their annual viewing and it is spectacular. In addition to this greenhouse there is a large building that is heated and comfortable that contains many gift items.

Skagit Gardens Christmas 02
The shutter speeds on these photos are not real slow but you can still see some motion showing up in many of the people who are moving. I like the juxtaposition of the tree ornaments in this photo, both those in the distance that are in sharp focus and the nearby ones that are fuzzy. There were a lot of people here and it was very hard to get photos without including some of them.

Skagit Gardens Christmas 03
There are many already decorated Christmas trees with various themes. They can be bought already decorated or one can pick decorations off the trees to buy individually. This is a closer view of a part of the Peacock tree.

Skagit Gardens Christmas 04
This tree in the foreground would be perfect for an apartment or other fairly small place. It is tall and skinny. And, the trunk is lighted AND it changes colors! There is a more normal Christmas tree in the background.

Skagit Gardens Christmas 05
This display was hanging from above so I lowered the camera and turned it upward for this photo. You can actually see the glazing that makes up the roof of the greenhouse in the background here.

Skagit Gardens Christmas 06
Musician Marcia Kester provided live entertainment during the evening. We have heard her before and she is good, kind of a country western/pop artist. Notice the tall skinny Christmas tree from the previous photo to her right in this photo. This is a flash photo so the lighting is more like what we are used to seeing.

This gets me about half way through the photos I've got ready to post so in order to keep the post from getting too large I'll close it here. Look for the second half of the photos in a couple of days. In the meantime, go check out the Skagit Valley Gardens web site as listed at the beginning of this post.

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Great pictures.I would like to go there. I just looked at the map and I know where it is.Having lunch in there sounds like fun, How is the food?
as always mr mocha it is a pleasure to tag along with you through your post and esp the pics . Sorry I havent been on the blog scene much lately but life can slam ya hard at times and keep you busier than one ever thought . I have been reading your back post and enjoy every sec , Thanks for the wonderful info . Glad to know your and your "BRIDE" are still doing well , take care and drive safe Mr And Mrs mocha ;-)

What a pretty place to be in! Not long now and Christmas will be upon us. :-)
Beautiful photos and looks like a fun place to spend time. Lots of good decorating ideas
The food at the Garden Cafe is great and for anyone interested, they do a formal tea also. But do remember they are only open for lunch, from 11 to 2:30 in the afternoon. You can get coffee (including good mochas!) from about 10 until about 3pm. Their soups are great (especially the tomato bisque) as are the sandwiches and Pat likes their quiche. For desert, try the bread pudding, especially with the bourbon sauce.
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