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.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Visiting PowellsWood Garden

Speaking of garden visiting, I was lucky enough to enjoy the company of California garden blogger and photographer  Gerhard Bock a few weeks ago.  He recently published a very nice post about my garden here.  If you missed it on his blog and would like to see my garden through someone else's lens, click on over and check it out!  Thank you Gerhard for making my garden look so good and for the more than kind words!

A couple of weeks ago, Alison and I went on the Federal Way Symphony garden tour and Alison suggested that we visit Powellswood while we were in the area.  She'd visited before (see her post here.)  She always has the best ideas!

"A Northwest pleasure garden tucked away in a Federal Way neighborhood, the three acres of PowellsWood are nestled against another thirty-five acres of native successional forest."

Can you believe that this gorgeous lawn is the parking lot?

Descending into the garden.

"A series of exquisite hedges help define several distinct garden rooms graced with more than a thousand varieties of trees, shrubs and perennials. The woodland and shade gardens in particular demonstrate how private landowners can use natural land features to develop stunning landscapes. The garden’s perennial borders thrive, the fruit of an extensive soil conservation project."

Entry Garden.

"When Monte and Diane Powell bought this property in 1993, it had been used for years as a dumping ground.  The land was filled with piles of asphalt, concrete, old cars, used tires and other rubbish. Consequently, the soil was so sterile there were areas in which even weeds would not grow.
The first two years following the purchase of the land were spent rebuilding the soil so it would once more support healthy plant life."

Moving into the House Gardens.

Alison and I had arrived about an hour or so before a wedding and reception were to take place so this part of the garden looked a bit different than it would normally.

What a great party venue!

I think this is the "Spring Garden" but it's looking fabulous in the summer!

 Mr. Powell purchased this property in 1993 and mulch testing and soil improvement began. A land developer for years, Mr. Powell wanted to give back to the community and started this garden in his fifties.  He's still active and interested in the garden.

A curving staircase leads us by the rhododendron garden as we descent to the perennial border area.

The gorgeous perennial border area is on a much lower level and is breathtaking as it reveals itself after walking down through the rhododendron garden.

Notice that meticulously clipped hedge. 

at the end of the expansive lawn the beds nearly come together leaving a grass path to explore more shade garden beyond.

Huge and happy patch of rodgersia in the shade garden!

Water loving fuchsia and hydrangea near the pond area.  
 The shade garden, as the path meanders along, becomes more and more wild naturalistic.

I think these are the Cold Creek Shade garden beds, the last to be planted in 2007 - 2008.

The shade garden ends in a huge circle of sword fern and (not shown) a large raised platform beneath the cathedral of old trees where the wedding was to take place.

The path becomes a walking trail through the woods but we didn't take advantage of that but instead walked up on the other side of the woodland garden.

You can see the roof of the house where the reception was set up.

Now we're back up to the entry area on our way back to the parking lot.  

What a beautiful garden which, because of the multiple levels and inclusion of so many rooms, seems much larger than three acres!

"Walking paths, a meandering stream and pond blend gently into the forest and ravines of Redondo’s historic upper Cold Creek watershed. A conservatory-style Garden Room offers shelter when the elements threaten. Restore your soul in this peaceful, verdant retreat."

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Garden of Sherril Gerell

On this day when the temperature is predicted to be 92 (33c) in Tacoma, 100 (38c) in Portland, let's visit the  green and restful garden of Sherril Gerell. (high was 65 that day, overcast with a little breeze.)

Side path leading from the front of the house to the back garden.  

"My garden has been a work in progress. It's tucked back against a hill along the Maple Valley Highway."  Cool green thoughts...

Little surprises are tucked in.

As we come to the top of the hill, there is a beautiful field of Horsetail (Equisteum) a fascinating plant for anyone who doesn't have it on their property.  I've seriously thought of trying to introduce it to my garden to see if it would grow among the bamboo rots.  Wouldn't bamboo canes look marvelous emerging from a base of this?

The path kept going but the horsetail became more and more dense so I stopped here to photograph this beautiful snag.  Could you imagine having such a great focal point at the top of a hillside garden deposited by Ma Nature?

Round the other side of the house.


Fragrant oriental lily.
 Lots of natives are included in the terraces going up the hill.  Our native sword fern is such a beautiful plant that always thrills me. Crocosmia 'Lucifer' adds a punch of color as does the second glass flower we've seen so far.  I'll bet there's some Reeder influence here.

Coming down he other side of the house.  Notice the Horsetail - there's a stream under all of that.

Concrete elbow joint not far from the stream. 

These river rock edgers bring to mind a rustic (summer camp?) feel. Perfect for a suburban oasis!

I'm feeling cooler already.

"It is a woodland garden, full of ferns, hostas, rhododendrons and azaleas...I've enjoyed learning what I can grow in the shade."

Looking back on the other side.  I'd be so tempted to rescue the stream from the horsetail but it's probably doing a great job of filtering the water as it passes through.
Thank you, Sherril, for opening your lovely green garden for us to share in your learning and enjoy the cool green oasis!

Happy weekend everyone and try to keep cool!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Boris and Natasha Send Another Surprise

A while ago, Boris and Natasha's mom, Hoover Boo, who blogs here, asked for my address as she'd found something by the side of the road for my garden.  Boris and Natasha sent a package last summer as well and you can read about that one here.

Today, we  were taking our it's-too-hot-to-garden-now afternoon nap when the mail arrived.  Strider was in the kitchen recovering from anesthesia from his dental surgery so there were only the four of us and we were all very curious about the contents of an envelope from Boris and Natasha.

"Is it pie?" wonders Sara Sue, the youngest.  She always thinks that it'll be pie since Boris and Natasha have a reputation for liking pie (read post here.) and they live not far from Polly's Pies.

"It's too flat for pie"says Chocolate, "and Boris and Natasha like to eat that themselves!"

"Did someone say pie?"   No Rigby, and pie isn't good for dogs.  

Well, let's see what it is!

 Excitement builds as we unwrap the inner package.

 It's the good part of the name plate from a Toyota Tacoma!  Way cool!

Where shall we put it?  Perhaps hanging in the greenhouse, maybe part of a fun mosaic project.Wherever it goes it will be fab and make me think of Hoover Boo whenever I see it. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness Hoov!

There's time to think of how to use it later but now we should get back to our nap, okay?  I can't argue with that!