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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.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Winter Visit to The Old Goat Farm


You may recall my first visit to The Old Goat Farm last summer (here) at the height of the growing season. An email arrived in my inbox a couple of weeks ago announcing an unusual late winter  garden open there this year so I decided to go look at the garden to see what's happening there at this time of year. 
 


Certainly one of you smarter than I plant geeks will know the name of this woodlander.  For now, we'll just call her Penelope.  She sure was purty with her glossy foliage and shy white flowers.

One of a pair of these ferocious-looking beasts that flank a wide pathway. 

And looking somewhat less ferocious...


This must be one of my favorite corners of OGF because there is a picture of the same spot from the summer visit.  Interesting to compare the differences and similarities.




This dashing and friendly fellow led me around part of the garden.  I love the animals at OGF, they all seem so happy and well cared for!

Moss could be our state or regional flower.  It grows easily just about everywhere and gets especially green and lovely during our wet winters.  (Pacific Northwest Rain Festival October 1 - July 5)

The lawn is also full of moss which is so soft to walk upon and needs no mowing like that silly grass does. 


This garden juxtaposes formal elements with more naturalistic ones very well. 



Gabion altar to the goddess flora?

further into the shade, the grass vanishes entirely as moss prevails.  The irony of an ornamental grass in the pot in the center was not lost.



This shed at the edge of the garden makes so much sense.  Why drag tools all the way from the house when some can be stored out here.  Hope there's electricity as well for some hedge trimmers!

OGF is located in an area higher in elevation than my place which usually gets colder in the winter and a bit warmer in the summer.  My Schefflera taiwaniana got some freeze damage on the topmost tender new growth whereas this one seems untouched. 

Notice how nicely the  foliage of S.delavayifits so well with that of our native sword fern and salal.

Allowing moss to grow on deciduous trees turns them into evergreens!

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go...

Is that Dopey or Pinocchio hiding behind the forsythia?
 
 
Ooh, look at that almost-black hellebore!

All your eggs in one basket?  Oh dear.


Emerging foliage of a spirea looks like little yellow flowers.
 
 
There are lots of delightfully goofy fowl at OGF.  They'll get their own post sometime. 

These cordylines got to spend the coldest days of the winter in an unheated barn.  How nice to see such large specimens!

Love this functional and ornamental potting bench!


What treasures await inside that greenhouse?
 
The100 year old farmhouse was tinkered with at some point farily recently.   The turret was obviously added recently, the porch reconfigured, and I'm not sure about the balcony on the side.

There were lots of great plants available for sale but I didn't see Sciadopitys verticillata 'Ossorio's Gold' so I headed inside the barn to look at the stuff.

Lots of great mid century stuff.

Bird planters and vases a go go!

Then it was off to watch the show that the real birds were putting on round back. 

Emerging peony foliage.

On the way back to my car.

A gorgeous garden in the winter becomes a lush jungle of gorgeous foliage and flowers in just a few weeks.  For now, we'll enjoy the quieter charms of nearly spring!

Notice the Arum italicum planted near the black mondo grass.  In the fall, when the arum's bright orange seeds show up, this nice winter combo will become a knock-your-socks-off eye catcher!

That was last weekend.   Hey everyone, It's spring!  We made it!

33 comments:

  1. Fun visit, so much to see and especially nice the schefflera look so good!

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    1. I knew that would make you happy. Not that you're a schefflera addict or anything.

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  2. I enjoyed this very much, Thanks, Peter.

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    1. Glad you liked it Angie; it's a fun place to visit.

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  3. Such a great fun place! You really didn't buy any plants? We need to go to a couple of spring plant sales, definitely!

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    1. Believe it or not - Plantless in Puyallup!

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  4. Although I have to say that I like the summer pictures better, it's a pretty place even in the grip of winter. After viewing all that moss, I'm wondering if I can get some moss to grow on some of my garden statuary too.

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    1. If you lived here, moss would grow on everything. It really likes our wet winters and might need some extra water in LA.

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  5. Such a lovely place to visit, Peter! I love that green moss. Funny rabbits and dino and such a beautiful bird. Happy weekend, Peter!

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  6. I looked at all the summer pictures too and marveled at the spectacular layering of plants in the raised beds. I got a bit worried when you entered the barn though...a lot of desirables in there. I command you for being restrained :-)

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    1. I picked up one of the birds that had an opening perfect for a tillandsia and thought about buying it. O.K. I looked at several things but none of them passed the what-are-you-willing-to-get-rid-of-to-make-space-for-this test. Happy weekend and happy spring!

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  7. I think your motto should be "Have nursery? Will travel." You sure do get around.

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    1. I love plants, nurseries and gardens are where there is a diverse collection of them so..."Have nursery? Will travel." would be a perfect motto!

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  8. Since we still have snow on the ground, I love being part of your little garden visit. Somewhere under our snow, I too have lots of moss that covers the woodland edges of our orchard.

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    1. Always glad to have such good company, Karen! Your snow will melt soon!

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  9. I love all that moss, especially the rabbits and trees. Oh, and the dinosaur!

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    1. Fun, right? In the winter in the PNW, if you stand still long enough, moss will grow on you as well.

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  10. I think this garden had even more moss than we have! I enjoyed wandering round with you, yes, it's time to go garden visiting again!

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    1. It's an exciting time to go garden visiting when plants are waking up, the first blooms are showing off and gardens show their strong bones.

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  11. That peacock is just stunning. And love the moss over everything, and the little bird planters in the shed.

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  12. I like that gabion altar to the goddess flora! beautiful place!

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  13. The Scheffleras were nice surprises, and glad to see they're doing so well! Love moss covered trees and stones, they add that extra charm to a garden.

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    1. It's one of the nice things about living in a climate like yours and ours that moss grows effortlessly.

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  14. How clever of you to visit this time of year. I need to do more of that to beef up early season interest. We do have our share of moss.

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    1. It was nice of the guys to have an open this early so we could get a peek at the garden in late winter! There are people from drier parts of the world who would love to be able to grow moss like ours! How lucky we are.

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  15. Their farm in the winter is so soft and romantic! I enjoyed the images of mossy rocks and decor. I think it was a worthy trip as spring emerges. I enjoyed seeing all of the natives, very inspirational!

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    1. They do a great job of blending natives with exotics.

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  16. Ooooh, I just had a moss moment. Love it! The east coast is so funny about moss. Gardeners find a little patch of it and go gaga. I look at it and think, "that's it?"

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  17. Penelope is honest-to-goodness Cardamine enneaphylla (C. heptaphylla, or hybrids therewith, sometimes masquerades under that name).

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.