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"Tea and Trilliums," by Mill Creek Garden Club

Mill Creek Garden Club members and guests visit Cottage Lake Gardens in Woodinville. Photo courtesy of Mill Creek Garden Club.
Mill Creek Garden Club members and guests visit Cottage Lake Gardens in Woodinville. Photo courtesy of Mill Creek Garden Club.

By Lila Johnson, Mill Creek Garden Club PR Chair.

On a chilly April morning twenty Mill Creek Garden Club members and their guests hopped into their designated carpools and drove over to Cottage Lake Gardens in Woodinville. 

Dressed not for the tea party that awaited them, but wearing jeans, warm jackets and carrying umbrellas, the group was eager to tour the woodland garden noted for growing all 50 of the world’s trillium species! 

As they pulled up to the black wrought iron entry gate of this two-acre botanical garden, the clouds parted and the sunlight streamed through the tall trees—it was almost magical.  The sun was shining on another fabulous Garden Club excursion and the fairies were surely dancing somewhere in the garden!  

One of the joys of MCGC excursions is the opportunity to visit with fellow members you might not have met at the monthly meetings.  New friendships are forged through the love of gardening.

But first things first—a tea party!  Tea (or coffee) with pastries and fresh fruit were arranged on a serving table waiting to be scooped up on the antique Trillium-patterned china plates.  

With the lake in the background, the conversation was light with some talk of “how is your garden doing in all this rain?”  The host encouraged seconds at the tea table, so many obliged thinking they’d need sustenance for the walk ahead.  

After an informative, entertaining slideshow, the group ventured out into the garden with owner Susie Egan leading the way.  Susie’s passion for trilliums is infectious.   

With cameras in hand twenty gardeners “oohed and ahhed” over the beautiful plants as they wandered the winding paths through the fern-laden, flower-blooming, mossy garden—what could be better! 

And yes, Susie, pointed out that the fairies had indeed danced in the garden overnight; it had to be the gold fairy-dusted pathway leading to a tiny door at the base of a huge tree that gave them away.

The Garden Club women meandered around the bark-covered trails snapping photos, marveling at the beauty of nature and listening to Susie’s helpful commentary. 

A covered canopy greeted the group as the tour ended in a Gardeners’ Paradise—a plant sale.   Lots of trilliums, ferns, Lewisia, hosta’s, bleeding hearts and hellebores were loaded into the trunks of cars and there were smiling faces as members climbed back into cars to head home.

Friendly, fun people, delicious treats, fabulous hosts, beautiful garden, sunshine streaming through the trees and perhaps a sprinkle of fairy dust for good luck—it was a great day to be with Mill Creek Garden Club friends.

Did you know:  There is a Trillium Boulevard in Mill Creek, but are there any trilliums growing there?

Mill Creek Garden Club members and guests visit Cottage Lake Gardens in Woodinville. Photo courtesy of Mill Creek Garden Club.

Mill Creek Garden Club members and guests visit Cottage Lake Gardens in Woodinville. Photo courtesy of Mill Creek Garden Club.

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