Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Garden of John McWilliams and Tom Gorz

On a sunny Saturday at the beginning of July, I had the pleasure of visiting the garden of John McWilliams and Tom Gorz.

"We have worked on our small garden for more than 15 years.  The focus has been on the overall composition of pathways, borders, and dwelling spaces, as well as the details of individual plant structure, foliage, and bloom."

Lovely swaying grass welcomes visitors and beckons them to traverse the path.

The use of a variety of paving materials and curved lines seemed to expand the garden.

The front garden rises up on a large slope from the street below yet because of clever design reveals itself little by little with delights at every turn.

Sweet Alyssum erupting from interstices between rocks flanking the staircase shared the gift of their incense-like fragrance.

"Weeping forms of trees and dwarf shrubs are employed throughout. Existing paving and fencing has been removed and replaced with shrubs and perennials."

Winding past the front of the house and heading to the back garden.  

Isn't this a fun planter?

"This year, we have been regrading the rockery and sunken garden to create more space for plants.  In July, the front garden consists mostly of white flowers, ornamental grasses and evergreen shrubs, while the back garden displays vibrant orange and red blossoms."

What could be a better way to spend a summer day than enjoying a gorgeous garden and chatting with it's gardeners?
Thanks John and Tom for opening your garden for us all to enjoy!

Monday, August 21, 2017

In A Vase On Monday - It's All About the Base

Many thanks to the dedicated and talented Cathy from Rambling in the Garden, host of In a Vase on Monday. Do click here to see what others are plunking in a container today.

Sometimes on Sunday, I go out in search of flowers and then find a vessel for them; other times the vase dictates the contents.  This week, it's all about the vase, well really not a vase per se but a beautiful object meant  to hold flowers- It's all about the bass base.

This sandblasted glass piece, made by Jerry and Raye Perrett of Port Townsend makes me smile remembering an evening several years ago when my neighbor and friend, Sandy, invited me to be her guest at "The Night Tacoma Danced," a fundraiser for the Tacoma Art Museum.  The gala event featured artists from far and wide selling their work.  Sandy bought this piece and I remember admiring it sitting on her living room table on many visits to her home.  During her recent purge, this was one of the items up for grabs.

So, what could go in such a container?  Cattails were the first thing to come to mind but none grow in my garden and they tend to frown on people cutting things in the nearby park. three callas would be simple and lovely but mine are done blooming for the year.   I'm not entirely pleased with this arrangement of variegated Miscanthus 'Giganteus,' a plume of Macleaya cordata, Anemone hupehensis, and a tillandsia.

 Perhaps I'll remove those two floppy blades on the right.  


Oh well, since this will certainly make a, hopefully more satisfying, reappearance some Monday hence.

If you're in the path of the eclipse, here's a public service announcement taken from the Onstage Blog:

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Morning Walk in The Bresemann Forest

On Thursday Morning, after leaving one of the pups at our vet in Spanaway,  I decided to explore Bresemann Forest.  "This naturally wooded site is approximately 70 acres with a system of pedestrian nature trails.  The beautiful and secluded walking trail may have users thinking they are miles from the city as they stroll along Morey Creek."  I'd driven by this area for years without realizing that it was a public park.

In the parking lot of Spanaway Lake Park, across the street from the Bresemann Forest, was this vintage VW Bug.

With mostly vintage items on the luggage rack. 

I have a poor sense of direction and as traffic noise faded and trails split off in all directions, it felt a bit like being lost in the woods.

Who or what stripped the bark from this tree exposing the beautiful wood beneath?  

Do you see the house across the water?  Wouldn't it be grand to live there? 

Native Mahonia (Oregon Grape) 

Although I saw no other people walking the trail, there were signs of human carelessness.  Really, is it that hard to take your garbage out with you?

My favorite native tree, Arbutus menziesii (Madrona) doing its annual striptease act. 

Happy weekend all!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wendy Lagozzino's Garden

Back on the Northwest Perennial Alliance open garden trail on a sunny day at the beginning of June I visited the garden of Wendy Lagozzino.

"Welcome to the garden of a 117-year-old Queen Anne home."

From the parking strips in front of the house, I could tell that this was the garden of a fellow plant addict.

Even the top of the garage was covered with plants.

Wendy told me the name of this cool plant but I forgot.  Do you know it?  Thanks to Alison and Anna B. for identifying this as Phacelia tanacetifolia. 

The bumble bees were certainly enjoying it.

Look, that's Tropaeolum speciosum climbing through the shrubbery.

Rhododendron sporting tillandsias.

Carpenteria californica

"I transformed a muddy path into a stroll over mosaics and ground covers, planted in a recycled plastic grid."

What a great way to use Abutilon megapotamicum.

"I keep finding projects to make art for the garden that add to my already extensive collection of purchased art.  Is it too much?  Maybe, but I'm having fun anyway."

The ceiling of this entire bottom floor is bedecked with dried flowers.  It's difficult to tell from the pictures how large an expanse this is.

 Back outside to explore more of the garden.

Love this collage of found pieces.  Wouldn't it be fun to make one? 

I imagine that Wendy also comes home from walks with pockets full of interesting rocks, cones, seed pods, etc.

All too soon it was time to walk back out to the car. 

Thanks, Wendy, for opening your garden and basement for us all to enjoy!