Ballard has a rich maritime history with one of the most iconic remnants being the Ballard Locks. It’s probably Seattle’s coolest park and while we love the Locks and the fish ladder there’s a part of it you might not know about. That is, the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Gardens.

These exquisite gardens were 43 years in the making and are maintained to this day with the park’s original direction in mind. While many parks gardens may seem the same, this one definitely isn’t, especially when you know a bit of its history.

Carl S. English was commissioned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1931 to transform the gravel landscape which was left behind by the Lock’s construction. While they had a grassy training field in mind, Carl had different plans. Instead, he created an English-style masterpiece garden which has resulted in a beloved Seattle garden with 500 plant species and 1,500 varieties of plants.

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His beautiful creation is one of the best gifts given to Seattle. And his hard work earned him the reputation of being one of the Northwest’s leading horticulturists. That’s a lot more info than you probably knew about the gardens huh? Well, now is as good a time as any to give them a visit. Luckily for you, the Ballard Locks just reopened to the public.

Keep in mind that tours are also available in non-pandemic times. So you can wait and get the details on all the history or head over now to see the garden and Locks during its prime time. If you end up checking them out be sure to let us know what you think. You can learn more by clicking below.

Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Gardens

Where: 3015 NW 54th Street
Hours: Daily 7 am-9 pm