As of March 21, 2018, the Chase Garden has new owners, local gardeners who are passionate about the garden and committed to preserving the legacy of Ione and Emmott Chase. The Garden Conservancy has worked to preserve the garden since 1995 and continues to hold and monitor a conservation easement on the property, protecting the garden in perpetuity. The easement protects significant features of the architect-designed residence and the garden as created by the Chases, and requires opening the garden at least twice annually to the public. The Conservancy is also preserving the garden as part of its documentation program.
An outstanding example of Pacific Northwest modernist garden style with majestic views of Mt. Rainer, Chase Garden was created by passionate amateur gardeners Emmott and Ione Chase. The Garden Conservancy has been proud to share the garden with the public since 1998 and to save it for the enjoyment of future generations. We are eternally grateful to the many dedicated volunteers and staff with whom we have worked over the years.
The Chase Garden will be open to the public at least twice a year. The Garden Conservancy continues to honor our commitment to Emmott and Ione Chase to maintain and preserve their garden by holding and monitoring the conservation easement and documenting the garden.
Emmott and Ione Chase believed that local ownership and operation of Chase Garden was essential to its long-term preservation. When they bequeathed the property to us in 2010, they intended our ownership to be temporary and hoped that we would transfer the site to a local organization. Over the years we built collaborative partnerships, including helping to establish the Friends of Chase Garden organization.
The path to preservation is not without challenges. Although the Friends organization did not grow to be self-sustaining, we continued to explore options to transfer the garden to a local entity and contacted dozens of nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and government agencies in the region. We are pleased to have found friendly buyers, passionate local gardeners who will continue to maintain the garden, protect its conservation values, and make it available to the public on a limited basis.
Because the Garden Conservancy holds a conservation easement on the property, the unique beauty of Chase Garden is protected in perpetuity. We recently expanded the conservation easement to provide greater protection for the garden and will continue to monitor the easement annually. The easement will remain in effect regardless of who owns the property.
The Garden of Emmott and Ione Chase
Called “one of the ten most beautiful gardens in America,” the Chase Garden is a 4 ½-acre garden that artfully combines Japanese and midcentury design with the naturalistic look of a Pacific Northwest woodland landscape. Chase Garden is in Orting, Washington, located near Graham, about one hour south of Seattle and just a short drive from Tacoma.
Sitting on a bluff overlooking the grand vista of the Puyallup River Valley, forested Cascade foothills, and an unforgettable view of Mount Rainier, the Chase Garden is the perfect destination.
For over forty years, starting in the 1960’s, Emmott and Ione Chase built a creative interpretation of the natural landscape, with drifts of rock garden plants inspired by Mount Rainier’s storied “Paradise” wildflower fields.
In addition to native shrubs, carpets of trillium, fawn lilies, and vanilla leaf, in the woodland of second-growth Douglas fir trees, you will find an artful patchwork of unusual groundcovers and perennials against a backdrop of Japanese maples, colorful rhododendrons, and conifers.