The Chase Garden is an outstanding example of Pacific Northwest modernist garden style. Situated high on a plateau with majestic Mount Rainier rising in the distance, it is a place of almost incomparable serenity and beauty. The Garden Conservancy was granted a conservation easement for the garden and helped establish the Friends of the Chase Garden to maintain the property and guide its future operations as a public garden.
For more information, see the Chase Garden website, www.gardenconservancy.chasegarden.org.
1943: Ione and Emmott Chase purchase 12 acres of woodland in the foothills outside the town of Orting, Washington, near where they had both grown up
1956: After clearing land and selling some acreage, the actual parcel size for the future house and garden is settled at 4 ½ acres
1959: The Chase's move onto the property into a new home designed by architect/craftsman K. Walter Johnson. The Chases do all of the finish work themselves after the foundations are poured and the walls constructed
1962: Landscape architect, Rex Zumwalt completes his design for the garden and Emmott and Ione Chase begin their life work developing and maintaining one of the finest examples of gardens in the Pacific Northwest style. They construct all the hard-surface design elements in Zumwalt's plan, even mixing the concrete themselves; they compost brush, and plant over 1000 Noble firs, pine trees, a wide variety of shrubs, seeds and plants from friends and fellow garden lovers, and perennials and rock garden plants in drifts.
1995: The Chase Garden becomes a preservation project of the Garden Conservancy, which accepts a conservation easement on the site, protecting the scenic and conservation values of the landscape in perpetuity
1998: The Friends of the Chase Garden is established to promote visitation and public support for the garden. The Garden Conservancy manages the garden and employs garden staff
2000: A garden preservation strategy is developed and a feasibility study for the physical development of the Chase Garden as a public garden is completed
2001: Caroline Eells, a Marco Polo Stufano Garden Conservancy Fellow assists Ione Chase in maintaining the garden
2002: The garden is featured in The New York Times describing the garden with its gentle curves, as seeming to "soar off the edge of a cliff and across a valley to Mount Rainier, 14 miles away."
2005: The "Handbook of Garden Beds" is completed and includes descriptions of the design and maintenance practices behind the gardens
2006: Ione Chase passes away at the age of 97
2008: Chase Garden opens to the public on a regular basis
2010: Emmott Chase passes away on January 17 at the age of 99. Per the wishes of Ione and Emmott Chase, their garden becomes a public garden, owned by the Garden Conservancy.
The garden is open to the public on
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,
from April through October,
regular hours: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Spring Plant Sale, Sat-Sun, April 13 - 14, free admission
Mother's Day Weekend, Fri-Sun, May 10 - 12, mothers free
Father's Day Weekend, Fri-Sun, June 14 - 16, fathers free
Garden Conservancy Open Day, Sunday, June 23, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Fall Plant Sale, Sat-Sun, Sept 28 - 29, free admission
Harvest Tea, Saturday, Oct 19, 2 - 4 p.m.
Admission and Tours
Entrance fee is $5 per person.
Guided tours for individuals are available at 1:30 on the fourth Saturday of each month throughout tour season, April through October.
Group guided tours are available by appointment only and must be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance. Group guided tours can be available on any day of the week in the morning 10:30 a.m. to noon or afternoons 1:30 – 3 p.m. Please call 206.242.4040 to make reservations. A group rate of $4 per person is available for parties of 10 or more.
Available parking is very limited, carpooling recommended.
16015 264th St E, Orting. About 3 miles east of highway 161 on 264 St E.
Click here for directions.
Visit the Chase Garden website for more information.