The Amazing Olmstead-Smith Historical Gardeners
The year 2023 represents 30 years since the founding of the Olmstead-Smith Historical Gardeners volunteer group in 1993. We’re lucky to have founding gardener Dorothy Stanely share some information about the history of the park, the gardener’s group, and the beautiful garden at Olmstead Place Historical State Park in Ellensburg, Washington. Visits are by appointment. Here’s Dorothy’s contribution:
The gardens were in peril in the fall of 1993 when Olmstead-Smith Historical Gardeners was formed to preserve and maintain the garden. They consulted with a garden historian, and it was decided to use plants available prior to 1960. This was supported by the gardening notes of the sisters, markings in their catalogs, their collection of gardening books, and in articles they had written.
Olmstead-Smith Historical Gardeners also have collected abandoned roses and roses from old gardens in the Kittitas Valley. Additional roses fitting descriptions in the sister’s writings were planted.
The best time to see the original and other roses is around June 20 when summer starts. After you book an appointment and visit the park, don’t forget to hike the Altapes Creek Interpretive Trail to learn about the park’s history.
The interpretive signage was made possible through a grant provided through the generosity foundation donors, like you.
For more resources to plan your visit to this day-use park, use our virtual tour as well as the state parks website for current information and alerts.