Discover how Dick Bosch, owner of Glen Echo Garden, turned a botanical dream dating back to 1968 into reality.
We wanted to develop a botanical garden so began the 3 year search for the perfect piece of property. When we discovered this 16.5 acre wooded land we fell in love with the stream, Anderson Creek, and with the beautiful large trees. We intended to develop the garden immediately and began clearing some land, making a road and building a bridge. We worked for about 3 years but then had to let the dream go as the demands of a young family, a landscaping business and garden center filled our life. When I retired after 40 years of landscaping I once again got excited about the possibilities and threw myself into making it happen! The Glen Echo Garden opened to the public in the summer of 2007! We now have approximately 7 of the original acres developed into a botanical garden with nine different garden themes. We’ve collected over 900 unique trees and shrubs, conifers, rhododendrons and azaleas. Each spring we raise roughly 15,000 annuals and perennials to be planted in the Garden in May.
The property has a very rich history that we did not know about at the time of purchase. There is an old coal mine off the south end that was operated by Glen Echo Coal Company. Thus the name of the Garden. In 1933 there were explosions and fatalities in the mind which led to its closure. There was also a lumber and shake mill on this land. They left us with some items which are now part of a small museum-the company sign, saw blades, wooden wheels, a box of cancelled checks written between 1920-1926.
One of my favorite things about the property is the 15 huge Western Red Cedar stumps! Local loggers have estimated the age of the old stumps plus the new trees that have grown up out of them to be approximately 800 years old.
Our visitors are always amazed when we tell them how we maintain our Garden with just 2-3 employees. I quite often explain that we do the weeding when there are no weeds present yet, by disturbing the soil on a weekly basis with a narrow rake. Our manicured and edged lawns are fertilized monthly during the summer to give them a weed free, moss free, lush turf.
Even though we are a privately funded family project, our Garden is open to the public for tours, parties, photo shoots, lunches, glamping, weddings and so much more! We’ve worked hard to make this “hidden gem” the nicest tourist attraction north of Seattle, WA.
For more information on Glen Echo Garden visit http://glenechogarden.com.