Created By: Highline Botanical Gardens
The Seike family learned in 2004 that the Port of Seattle wanted to purchase the nursery. Eventually, the nursery structures, the home, and Japanese Garden on the property would be demolished. Toll, the middle Seike son who died in World War II in France, was memorialized with the miniature waterfall and mountain garden for the 1962 World's Fair. During World War II, the Seikes themselves were interned. When they returned to their nursery home, everything flourished as it had when they had left it. The garden was saved by SeaTac City Manager Craig Ward in 2005. The City Council and other local officials, including State Rep. Bob Hasegawa of Renton, worked together to gain Capital Grant funding. The Seike Garden was moved from the Nursery to the Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden. It was dedicated in 2006.
Seike garden, tucked away in the east corner of the property, is worth discovering and visiting throughout the year. The gravel path winds down the hill, past viewing spots and benches, to the base of this pond-and-mountain garden. By respecting fenced areas, you can help control soil erosion.
The stream and waterfall towering above the 1500-square-foot pond are crossed by many bridges, creating a sense of space and travel with scenic points tucked into every level. Explore the lower pond to find the stones that form a giant turtle. Shinichi Seike collected many of the plants, including a 100-year-old laceleaf Japanese maple. Saplings of red and black pine have been hand-pruned to magnificent trees.
Des Moines Way Nursery in SeaTac used to house this beautiful garden. In danger of being sold due to SeaTac Airport expansion, the project to save the garden is believed to be the largest relocation of a Japanese garden in the US. Injustice, displacement, and courage were the stories of the Seike family. King County Library System offers a DVD telling the story of Seike Japanese Garden (DVD-2008, DVD 712.509797).
The garden offers peace and contemplation. As a historical feature, it faithfully recreates designer Shintaro Okada's vision.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Highline Botanical Gardens Walking Tour