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After hibernating through winter, the Seattle Japanese Garden is ready to awaken for spring! Next weekend, the garden will celebrate its 2015 debut at the First Viewing: Official Garden Reopening ceremony. The event is on Sunday, March 1st from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. This is the first time the general public will be let inside the garden gates this year!

Join garden staff and community members in this special welcoming of nature and a Madison Park gem. First Viewing will begin with a Shinto blessing, a traditional Japanese ceremony since ancient times. The dramatic blessing will welcome the garden into a successful new year, orchestrated by Reverend Koichi Barrish of Grand Tsubaki Shrine in Granite Falls, WA.

Following the opening ceremony, there will be a reception for the work of last spring’s photography class taught at the Japanese Garden. Visitors can enjoy a cup of tea while observing the student ‘s photos in the Tateuchi Community Room, highlighting vibrant spring colors of the garden in full bloom.

Garden guides will be available for complimentary tours of the grounds during First Viewing. The 45-minute tours meet at the ticket booth at noon, 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm.

First Viewing admission is $6 for adults, $4 for youth ages 6-7/students with ID/disabled/seniors 65+, and free for kids under six years old.

Featured photo via Seattle Japanese Garden

What better way to express your love than over a glass of wine (or two)? This Saturday, pour your heart out at Madrona Wine Merchants Valentine’s Day tasting. Nothing says romance like red and white… wine, that is.

The Valentine’s Wine Tasting event begins at 2:00 p.m. on February 14th at Madrona Wine Merchants (1127 34th Avenue). Enjoy four special blends that have been selected especially for the occasion, and experience a journey of flavor with your valentine!

Featured blends:

  • 2012 Antech Émotion Rosé $15

What’s the day of love without a little emotion? The Émotion Rose is crisp and elegant with hints of strawberry and floral notes, a perfect sip to share with your valentine.

  • 2011 Chateau Les Hauts de Plaisance, Haut Medoc $15

This full-bodied, aromatic wine translates to “the heights of pleasure.” Take your valentine there with a taste of this blend’s complex balance of fruit, tannins, berries, coffee and chocolate.

  • 2012 Gabbas LilLové, Cannonau di Sardenga  $20

You’ll like this LilLové more than just a ‘lil. The wine boasts a subtle spice with red berry flavor and earthy tones from it’s extra long softening period of 30 days.

  • Terracruda, Sweet Temptation $12

No one can resist this temptation, as sweet as its name implies. The wine is made from a blend of wild cherries and sugar to create a delicate, aromatic blend perfect for pairing with chocolate and desserts.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings every Saturday and Sunday—there’s always something to sample! Indulge your palate for a romantic date on Valentine’s Day and set the mood before your dinner reservations.

Photo credit

Madison Park Events coming up in February:

Monday 2nd: Orchard Mason Bee Class
6:30-7:30 pm | Washington Park Arboretum
The orchard mason bee is a non-stinging native pollinator that is safe for your yard around kids and pets. Learn all about these hardworking insects from a King County Master Gardener and owner of Rent Mason Bees in this free workshop at the Arboretum.

Saturday 7th: Rose Pruning for the Home Gardener
10am – 12 pm | Washington Park Arboretum
Learn the correct way to prune and landscape rose bushes in this class at the arboretum. Fee is $20.

Saturday 14th: Valentine’s Day Dinners
Madison Park Restaurants
Stay local during the day of love for some delicious Valentine’s Day dinners served at local neighborhood restaurants in Madison Park.

Saturday 14th: Montlake Neighborhood Appreciation Day
Montlake Community Center
The Montlake Community Center is hosting a neighborhood appreciation day for locals, friends and neighbors. This event is free and includes cookies and coffee.

MPCC

It’s hard to believe January is coming to a close and it’s already time for February’s Madison Park Community Council meeting. Next Monday, February 2, join the council and your neighbors at 7:00 p.m. at the bath house in Madison Park to discuss these neighborhood issues:

  • Final design of the new 520 bridge west approach
  • Redevelopment of the Prospect Street waterfront street end
  • $90,000 grant approval for study of the Madison Street/McGilvra Boulevard intersection and safe crosswalks design
  • Additional topics