The “Dunnton Abbey Picnic and Garden Party” was a Success!

The centennial year fundraising picnic for the Seattle Dunn Gardens was a great success. The weather behaved, as much as Seattle weather is wont to do. No rain, no mist, no gusty winds. It stayed in the mid-to-low 70s (F) with intermittent high clouds, a bit of a breeze now and then, a tad humid at times, and sporadic outbreaks of sunshine.

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There were lots of attendees – some even came in garden party attire, which made it all the more enjoyable. As someone said, “It’s so nice to see people take the time to dress nicely for a change.”

There was a wonderful music from The Cornucopia Concert Band. They played a wide range of period music, with everything from Stephen Foster to John Phillip Souza to those fun 1920’s songs. Some of the numbers turned into impromptu singalongs – it was wonderful to see that so many people remember the 11th most popular hit from 1911: Let Me Call You Sweetheart, by the Peerless Quartet.

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The ambiance was helped immensely by the fact there were no hoards of electric (or electronic) gizmos. Not very many people were talking on cell phones. There was one electric pump to keep the garden organic “tea” fertilizer (for sale) circulating. And there were cameras and cell phones for photos. But that was it. The primary sounds were conversation, laughter, the band and the wind in the tree tops. It was heaven.

The local croquet club set up on the formal croquet lawn. A lot of people played for the first time and were surprised to find they liked the game…not nearly as dull as they had imagined. Rather exciting at times, judging from the squeals and shouts of accomplishment. Another area hosted the bocce court, though it was more sedately played. Sadly, I neglected to take photos of either. Sigh.

The antique automobiles came courtesy of LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, WA. Each was in pristine condition and had a “watcher” – necessary because, despite the signs, most folks’ natural reaction was reaching out to touch the wood and leather and engraved glass. Even wearing gloves did not spare me from a “Please, don’t touch!” reminder.

There were demonstrations of Edwardian-style flower arranging with the final settings auctioned off to the highest biddder.

And SITU-Seattle members came dressed in fashions ranging from 1911 to the mid-1920’s. Picnics were spread under the trees and a good time was had by all. 2015-08-08 12.23.33