Friday, July 4, 2014

Kubota Garden & The Real Adventure Man


One rainy June weekend, Justin and I took off to one of the Japanese gardens up in Seattle - the Kubota Garden which was founded by one (!) self-taught gardener and Japanese garden enthusiast, Fujitaro Kubota, in 1927. The long story short, as this visionary dreamt, his 20 acre garden eventually became a public garden, free for visitors and open every day, as a city park, till dusk.



I adore gardens and parks - they are some of my very favorite pastimes ever. In fact, when Anya gave me $20 as her Mother's Day present this year (a totally unexpected and very generous gesture), it was exactly how I decided to spend it - visiting some of my favorite paid gardens. We are so blessed with gardening culture here in the Pacific Northwest. I adore them all - small and large; themed or mixed; flowering, foliage or stumpery; public or private. I have about a bazillion photographs of gardens in all seasons in my archives. They are always inspiring, refreshing and welcoming.




Japanese gardens take a very special spot in my heart though. There is a strong connection with Japanese culture and the history of Japanese people here, and as a part of it, there are quite a few Japanese gardens in Seattle and vicinity (Seattle Japanese Garden is another large one - it's a part of the Arboretum which we visited a couple of times, but we haven't been to their Japanese garden yet; smaller ones in Bellevue Botanical Garden; amazing garden in Bloedel Reserve located on Bainbridge Island; the impressive Bonsai Collection in Federal Way; a cute little one in Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden in Burien near the airport ... those are just a few from the top of my head, a lot of them are free of charge). If you are a lucky visitor of Portland, Oregon, please see their Japanese garden which is considered to be the best example of a Japanese garden outside of Japan, truly magnificent (you can see photos of our visit in Winter 2013, with my parents, in my Russian blog here).



As I thought about what to wear for a stroll in this beautiful and peaceful garden, two things came to mind: something comfy and something minimalistic, not overly ornate, in honor of Japanese garden aesthetics. The silk blouse, one of two I found at Goodwill earlier this year was my first choice(another blouse and the story in my post Asian). The rest came into place easily. I did not even think that we would find such a perfect location for my red and blue outfit - the Heart Bridge.


But do you know who was the star of the garden that day? Justin was!
A couple of the cutest little girls, twin sisters of age 4 to 5 I would say, rushed towards him in the big open area, talking to each other: "Is he here?" - "Yep, here he is, you see? The Real Adventure Man!"


The Real Adventure Man - that is the perfect name for Justin. You pretty much any day will see him dressed like this (without the hat in the office), often in comfy Ecco boots, often with the camera in his hands, and almost never without a notebook (paper or computer). That is the way he dressed when I met him almost 10 years ago, and that is still his favorite way of dressing today. I have nothing to do with his preferences. Maybe just introduced him to a few new colors, that's all. But then, he introduced me to so many new things, including love of bright colors - that my little intervention doesn't even count. :) The Real Adventure Man in this family is definitely him. (I wonder, what those children meant by that?!) 


Tell me about yourself. Do you like to go out when it rains? Are you a lover of Japanese gardens? Does your partner picks his own style, or do you pick clothes for him? And who is the real adventure man in your family? :)

Silk blouse - thrifted at Goodwill for $5.99 (Chico's Design)
The rest - remixed from my closet.

All photos, as always, by Justin (except for his portrait of course!)

Linking up with 52 Pick-me -up: Minimalism (that's my sort of minimalistic these days, anyway :)


36 comments:

  1. What a beautiful garden! I absolutely love Japanese gardens! I've been to one in LA and there is one in Houston too (not so big though). My husband is responsible for his own style and clothes :)
    About adventures: we both like them :)
    You look so cute in this outfit! I like your colorful umbrella too! Have a wonderful weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Enjoy your weekend too, Oksana! Happy 4th of July! Hope you had plenty of colorful kabooms! :)

      Delete
  2. What a great story! I love gardens too. I think it's hard not to in this incredibly fecund part of the world. Of course, I walk in the rain... when my body will let me walk at all, that is. If one weren't willing to walk in the rain here, one would never walk.

    I must admit, I gave Beau a makeover when we'd been dating for a bit. He asked me to and I was so glad he did. He has beautiful thick, black hair -- and he was buzz cutting it with a 15 year old razor. He has deep blue eyes and high cheek bones -- and he was wearing glasses so small, the boxed his beauty both in and out of their frames. And his shoes. Well, let's just not discuss his shoes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You did a great job helping Beau, Charlotte! There is nothing wrong with it - when someone needs and asks for advice. He helps you in some ways too, right? :)

      I think Justin is unusual in that sense. Many men don't pay much attention to what they wear, but not him. He specifically chose adventurous style - he is very much into archeology, history, things like that... We both would like to work towards "cozy English gentleman" kind of style for him, but don't have a budget for it so far.

      So happy that you enjoyed the garden walk with me! :)

      Delete
  3. Wonderful! I wish I could be there ... I love Japanese gardens, have visited many books with photos, but still not real. For me unreachable :-(
    Only a tiny garden at a restaurant in our town was designed by a Vietnamese.
    The outfit is great and fits perfect (I like this even, if my outfit fits into the environment, it makes the day all over again especially nice -).
    Rain gardens makes the air very aromatic - rain does not spoil my mood ...
    Have a nice weekend :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you would really love it here, Mascha! Rain, gardens... plenty of it all! Maybe some day you will visit...

      Delete
  4. there is no bad weather - only the wrong clothes ;-)
    japanese gardens and all kind of gardens and parks actually are a beloved destination for our spare time. thank to the rich history in this area we can choose from a lot different options - baroque, rococo, english style, alpinums and others.....
    in our "family" i´m the adventurer. most of the time you can´t see it from the outside - but inside i´m like indiana jones, luis trenker and herbert rittlinger in one person :-) and sometimes i´m acting like that "in the great outdoors".......

    hugs!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally see you as an adventurous person, Beate! In many senses, outer and inner. I think you are a pioneer... you have that spirit.
      Hugs to you too :)

      Delete
  5. What gorgeous pictures, though of course the photos on your blog are always gorgeous! I love that title The Real Adventure Man. I think Justin needs a sign for the door of his office. LOL

    You look adorable in your Japanese minimalist outfit and what a great find that blouse is. Oh I love the photo of you peering out from behind the rock. You are so cute!!

    I love gardens, and as you know, miss my own deeply. I am fortunate to be able to spend time in my mum's lovely garden whenever I wish to. Since this is small town there aren't any public gardens to explore though a few of the parks have rhododendrons planted in them. They are very small parks though. We are more nature park oriented here. Cedars trees and ferns and that whole West Coast Rain Forest thing. Which is lovely, but I love gardens too. I suppose my favourite is always an English style garden, which is what I grew up with and I love the jumble of plants and flowers and roses. I do also love rhododendrons and Japanese maples and a very west coast twist on the English garden style is to include lots of those as well.

    Now, about dressing partners....when I was married my husband definitely liked me to go shopping with him for clothes. He wanted help selecting and someone to give final approval, though he still mostly had his own style and shopped from mainly one store. After we split up and he wanted to start dating he had a female friend who loves shopping and fashion take him to some stores in a larger city and pick out a new wardrobe for him of up to date items. She seems to have imposed more of her own taste on him than I would have, but she did a good job of making him look current.

    I hope you are having a lovely weekend and that you aren't getting the drizzle we are getting here.
    xoxoxoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great idea about the sign, Shawna! :)
      English garden somehow feels like such a great fit for you, I think!
      We had a cloudy 4th of July, but very sunny after that. And I was VERY close to Vancouver this weekend too. I wondered to myself, in what town Shawna lives? :)

      Delete
    2. I live in Comox which is on Vancouver Island. Maybe some day we will meet up in Vancouver; That would be so awesome! I'm not up to traveling to Vancouver right now but I really do hope to be by next year.
      xoxoxo

      Delete
    3. I actually meant to say "close to Vancouver Island", but I guess I was too tired when I wrote that... I remember that you live on the Island. :) We'll definitely get there some day, hopefully not too far in the future. I'd love to meet with you, no matter where. :)

      Delete
  6. What a gorgeous garden . . . unfortunately there are no Japanese gardens near where I live in Essex, England. I like the way you matched your outfit to your environment :-)

    Also the cropped red trousers look great on you, very nice.

    Louisa
    https://styleover60.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for such a warmhearted comment, Louisa! I will stop by your blog. :)

      Delete
  7. You look gorgeous in red and blue, Natalia, you suit bright colours so well, and the silk blouse is a beauty.
    Like you, I am a huge fan of parks and gardens. I wouldn't want an overly formal garden myself, I prefer a higgeldy-piggeldy cottage garden, but I can appreciate the workmanship and beauty of other styles. A well-organised kitchen garden is a joy too, it's not always about the flowers, though I do love them!
    Where you live probably has a similar climate to the UK, we get plenty of rain, so Brits are pretty used to carrying on regardless of the weather! As to adventuring - I don't think I am very adventurous really, not physically anyway. But I like to think I am curious and bold in other ways. Exploring can be done in the mind too, I think; plenty of people travel the world and do all sorts of daring things, but shy away from looking inwards.
    Simon's wardrobe is his own affair; if a grown man of 58 needs help getting dressed, there's something wrong with him! xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree about inner journeys, Curtise. :)

      Delete
  8. Wonderful pics and wonderful couple, ahhhhhhhhhhhh
    In love with your blouse.
    I hope you are ready for tomorrow´s Share-in-Style: denim ?
    Tons of loveeeeeeeeeeeeee
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sacramento! Photos are ready - just need a bit time to rest and write, it was a busy weekend. :)

      Delete
  9. What a gorgeous place! And I absolutely love the outfit! x

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yes, Justin does look like a real adventure man, I think it's such a sweet comment, he looks like an explorer! and you are divine as ever, I adore your outfit and LOVE your blouse, it's fabulous! I love the thought of a well defined and pruned garden but my reality is more messy, a place that offers adventures and mud! we all love the rain here, especially the warm summer storms which we stand in and Mr F's wardrobe has changed over the years but he does wear what he likes x x x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not a gardener either, at least not at this point of my life, Sandra. But I love visiting gardens. :)
      Thank you for your compliment to Justin - he was so happy to hear!! :)

      Delete
  11. Natalia this garden looks so beautiful and peaceful. You look fabulous in that silk blouse. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will take you for a nice stroll when you are here. :)

      Delete
  12. What stunning photos and a lovely peaceful looking garden. I do like Japanese gardens. So serene.

    Although my husband has his own French way of dressing I often style him. He likes it and so do I.

    Having lived in BC for a while you'd better like the rain or you'll never leave the house. It is raining here today, but very hot and muggy.

    I was more adventurous when I was younger, but I'm still up for almost anything. My husband is a good sport about most things as well.

    bisous
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the idea of styling Justin (English gentleman is what we both aim for in the future) - it's a fun game to play, you guys are great at it!

      Delete
  13. Forgot to mention...that blouse is gorgeous!

    bisous
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love the print on your blouse so much, you look wonderful in those eye popping colours in amongst the calm and tranquillity of the Japanese garden.
    Like Curtise I love visiting gardens, hot houses and parks and adore the formality of some of the planting although prefer something wild and natural in my own.
    I think Justin looks fantastic. He definitely stands out from the crowd.
    We'd never leave the house if us Brits didn't go out in the rain , it doesn't bother me one bit (unless its cold as well, that's when I'm really miserable).
    I'd never dream of dressing Jon, I love that he's got a mind of his own. Most modern women would be horrified by the idea of a man dressing them so why is the reverse considered acceptable? xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand what you say here, Vix - but I also think, that as with anything, there are many reasons why we can either help someone (men, women, kids...) style-wise, or just play together for fun. If style has been an afterthought for someone for years, but now this person is willing to change it - it's pretty common to ask for advice/input, isn't it? Or just look at it as a common playground, like Suzanne and Robert do when they style his outfits together. I think it could be so much fun! We haven't done it so far, but I can see how it is fun. :) But yes, I definitely much prefer it when people have a mind of their own, and no doubts both you and Jon do! :) xxxxx

      Delete
  15. Hi Natalia!

    That blouse is awesome, the print is wonderful!
    We have a japanese garden in Montreal as well at the Botanical Gardens
    We enjoy going at the gardens every year, it such a zen place in the heart of our city

    Hugs

    Arianexo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is amazing how a garden creates such a peaceful island in the midst of a busy city!
      It's always a pleasure to receive your comment, Ariane! No apologies please. Get better, have a rest. I will stop by your blog! xxx

      Delete
  16. so delightful garden, I would love to visit it!, and you look so pretty colorful, love how your pants match the red bridge and your fabulous shirt has such a properly print!
    I'm a huge fan of bothanical gardens, I never miss the opportunity to visit any of them when travelling. They're peaceful, relaxing and also very instructive!, love to learn something new about plants!
    besos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought that the print is just perfect for this garden :) Thank you, my dear! I imagine there are sooooo many gorgeous gardens in Europe...

      Delete
  17. What a beautiful post!! My boyfriend has a vest just like your husband's. He said I need one for when we go fishing. You look very lovely Natalia, and you should know the picture of you walking over the bridge is my very favorite…awesome composition.
    Carelia
    mysmallwardrobe.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well actually I have a vest like this one somewhere! I bought it when I connected with Justin and we started going on photo safari together. :)

      Delete
  18. I love those photos of you on the red bridge Natalia, your outfit works perfectly with the setting. I also love the story of the two girls who saw Justin in the park and called him Adventure man, he does look like an adventurer - I bet that made their day! xx

    ReplyDelete