Chase Garden

Outstanding example of Pacific Northwest modernist garden style with majestic views of Mt Rainier, the garden was created by passionate amateur gardeners Emmott and Ione Chase as their life work. In 1995, the Garden Conservancy was granted a conservation easement for the garden and began guiding its steps toward opening the garden to the public . Since Emmott Chase's death in 2010, the Garden Conservancy has managed the property, working to build awareness, extend the gardening season of interest, expand programming for visitors, and establish the garden's identity as a center of horticultural excellence.

TIMELINE

2017
The Garden Conservancy is continuing to manage the garden through the end of June and is exploring alternatives, including management by a local organization and a sale to a friendly buyer, to better secure a sustainable future for the garden

2016
The Chase Challenge matching gift program launches with an anonymous $10,000 donation

2015
First garden director appointed, new highway directional signs and billboards erected, new cedar shake roof installed, new visitor programs introduced

2012
New summer garden and fern border planted. Garden serves as meeting venue for the Garden Conservancy Northwest Network spring workshop

2011

New website, signage, and brochures establish garden's identity

2010
Emmott Chase passes away on January 17 at the age of 99. As per the wishes of Ione and Emmott Chase, their garden becomes a public garden, owned and managed by the Garden Conservancy

2008
Chase Garden opens to the public on a regular basis

2006
Ione Chase passes away at the age of 97

2005

The "Handbook of Garden Beds" is completed, including descriptions of the design and garden maintenance practices

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"

2001
Caroline Eells, a Marco Polo Stufano Garden Conservancy Fellow, assists Ione Chase in maintaining the garden

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

1998
A friends group is established to promote visitation and public support for the garden. The Garden Conservancy manages the garden and employs garden staff

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

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.

1959
The Chases 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

1956
After clearing land and selling some acreage, the actual parcel size for the future house and garden is settled at 4.5 acres

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

 

For more information, visit chasegarden.org.     

"It is, in a word, ethereal."

Read the latest profile of Chase Garden, from Northwest Travel & Life magazine, May/June 2017

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Pacific Horticulture magazine, Summer 2016

A feature article on mid-century landscape designer Rex Zumwalt and the Chase Garden, his "most noteworthy garden."