Preservation Personals: Rediscover Nature at This Washington Bungalow and Garden
Few styles of houses are better equipped for enjoying the natural world than the modest, practical bungalow. But not many bungalows can also claim to have four-and-a-half acres of exquisitely designed historic gardens, and that’s what takes me to a whole new level.
Located just outside Orting, Washington, I date back to 1958, but my character did not fully emerge until 1962. That was the year when landscape architect Rex Zumwalt designed my sprawling, yet restrained, Midcentury Modern gardens. Zumwalt envisioned a garden that integrated seamlessly with the wilderness, featuring meandering paths and native plants. Working alongside my first owners, Ione and Emmott Chase, Zumwalt planted more than 1,000 Noble firs, pine trees, and other shrubs, meticulously selected and placed. His design also exhibited a distinct Japanese influence—some portions of my grounds are inspired by formal Japanese rock gardens.
I could go on and on about my gardens, but I contain plenty of charm in my own right. My tiled roofs and sliding doors further conjure a Japanese aesthetic, and my cedar cathedral ceilings add a special rustic touch. But my truly show-stopping feature is a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, constructed out of rocks from the nearby Puyallup River. It’s the perfect actualization of my designers’ vision for a property that draws its beauty from the natural world, from my four-and-a-half acres of gardens to the spectacular views of Mt. Rainier I offer right from my covered patio.
The Chases bequeathed me to the nonprofit Garden Conservancy in 2010, and I’ve been awaiting a new steward ever since. I hope my next owner shares their love of nature, and can help preserve my gardens for generations to come.
If that sounds like you, learn more about me here.