The Garden Guide

Lakewold Gardens

The renowned Landscape Architect, Thomas Church, took cues from the formal architecture of the Georgian-style Wagner House and composed scenic vistas and his oft-noted "garden rooms" as a study in contrasts - grand vs. intimate, formal vs. naturalistic, classical vs. modern. Lakewold Gardens reflects a landmark moment in the History of Garden Design when modern ideas came head-to-head with tradition. Corydon and Eulalie Wagner, the former owners of Lakewold Gardens, have left a legacy of over 250 species of Rhododendrons, more than 30 varieties of Japanese Maples, and many unique trees, such as our grand Metasequoia or Dawn Redwood (one of the largest in Washington), and other shrubs and groundcovers from around the world. There is a rose-covered teahouse, Quatrefoil pool, Medieval Knot Garden, Fern Garden and Woodland Garden.

Head Gardener's Comment

Located in Lakewood, Washington, Lakewold offers landscape architecture by Thomas Church surrounded by rare and native plants, State Champion trees, over 900 rhododendrons, 30 Japanese maples and stunning statuary. A National Historic Landmark, Lakewold's Georgian-style mansion and historic architecture complete the 10 acres where visitors can step back in time to an elegant past or enjoy a relaxing moment to contemplate the future.

Photograph © Lakewold Gardens
Photograph © Kim van Rijn


In 1925 Major Everett Griggs and his wife, Grace, purchased the property and renamed it "Lakewold," a Middle English term meaning "lake-woods."
wagnerhouseIn 1938 the Griggs sold Lakewold to George Corydon and Eulalie Wagner. He was the son of a prominent Tacoma physician, the Vice President and Treasurer of the St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber company, as well as President of the C.W. Griggs Investment company and the Wilkeson Company, which was in coal production. She was the daughter of a prominent Seattle lumber family, the Merrill's, and is well remembered for her dedication and her contributions to the practice of landscape gardening, epitomized by Lakewold Gardens. Corydon and Eulalie both loved being outdoors in the garden, and neighbors and family enjoyed parties at Lakewold.
In 1958 Thomas Church, one of America's finest landscape architects, came to Lakewold on his first visit to the Pacific Northwest. Church returned regularly to suggest refinements to the garden design, stressing always the importance of drawing people into the garden.
Mrs. Wagner continued to live at Lakewold after the death of her husband in 1978. Then in 1987 she donated the entire estate to a new non-profit organization, The Friends of Lakewold, with the stipulation that an endowment fund be raised to assure the continuing care of the gardens. Lakewold Gardens was opened officially on May 7, 1989.

Plants of note

Over 900 Rhododendron plants, 60 Japanese Maples, and several State Champion Trees

12317 Gravelly Lake Drive SW, Lakewood, Washington, USA, WA 98499

October-March: Friday and Saturday 10am-4pm April-September: Wednesday-Sunday 10am-4pm

Adult $9; Senior, Student, Military: $7 per person; Children under 12: Free

Visit the Lakewold Gardens website

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