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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.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Winter Walk Off 2014

Each late winter, Les at A Tidewater Gardener hosts a winter walk off.  The rules are simple, leave your house on foot or bike and photograph what you see.  You can drive to a different location and wander around there taking pictures too.  No pictures of one's own  garden though.   It's a great way to enjoy some armchair tourism.  Last year I turned left out my front door, this year we turned right.  We are fortunate to live in an historic neighborhood with lots of interesting older homes so that's what I focused on this time. 
 


 I love spring with it's many flowering trees!  Soon it will be "pink snow" time again when the petals begin to blow in the wind as they fall.

Many of these homes were built in the late 1800's to early 1900's in this area of town known as "New Tacoma"   Large old camellias as large as trees are a common sight although more of them are kept smaller either on purpose or by snow/ice storms taking down tall branches every few years.

Happy looking kitty!

Hey, look a little library.  How cool is that?  Did we somehow walk to Portland, home of all things hip?  Nope, it's right here in Tacoma. 
 I hope I can remember where this was because I'd like to meet these people! 

They like to read, share books, and garden .  Bamboo, check, stock tank, check.  Maybe I could stop by with an agave pup or one of my extra yuccas and see if they can be influenced. 

Interesting front entry on another house.
 Pocket park with a big toy for little kids.  Once the electrical station that the city no longer needed was removed, the hood decided that it would be a good idea to make this little park which is maintained by volunteers.

Forsythia putting on its sunny show.
 Do these winged lions represent St. Mark?   St. Mark's lion is the symbol of the city of Venice, and maybe they are harkening to that  as they preside over the moat that looks from the front like it might surround the building.  (The one on the right is named "No Smoking."



It's a little odd to see this around a Victorian era apartment building complete with stained glass from that era.  Fun though.




This almost prarie style home is less common in our area than some other styles.

Beautiful  art nouveau style gate that is totally wrong for the tudor style of the house.  It should come and live in my garden instead.

What's the verdict period architectural experts?  Was the expanse of glass original to the house, an enclosed porch, or a later addition?  What a great light place that must be to grow plants!

 Stucco and flat roofs may seem impractical in our wet climate but the beauty of this style did not escape our ancestors.

A construction company has its sign displayed.  The landscaping was "installed"  This sloping garden would have excellent drainage and is crying out for a  xeric, spiky garden.  Loree?  Louis?

Down the hill a tad and we're now in a different hood.  Here is part of the Annie Wright Schools, a private Episcopal affiliated school, once for girls alone now is a coeducational day school for boys and girls through grade 8  and a boarding school for girls only grades 9 - 12.


 The daffodils are suddenly blooming everywhere and I regret not planting any in my own garden.  I get over it when there is no ripening foliage to deal with.

In an alley was this large window box.  Looks like the garden of a couple of  young children.  Sweet.

Across that same alley is this  outdoor play area. 

A beautifully kept garden and home!  Look at those phormiums that don't look like they missed a beat even after our freezes. 

Painted lady.

These homes are incredible but think of all that cleaning.  Yikes!

The star magnolias weren't out last week and suddenly, they've burst open all over town!


A little taste of the woods in a parking strip.

A camellia petal strewn walk.
 And home again just as it was getting dark.  This former synagogue, then apostolic faith church is for sale. The building has been well maintained and the copious stained glass has landscape scenes. The cross and crown are removable.  this would make a great house!  Not much of a garden but the parking lot that comes with the building could be removed to create one.  Anyone? 

Thanks, Les, for another year of the winter walk-off meme. 

39 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tour Peter! Your area looks so idyllic with so many beautiful properties full of character.

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    1. It's a fun neighborhood in which to take a stroll.

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  2. What beautiful houses! My favorite is the one on the hill with all the windows. Is the one next door to you still for sale?

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    1. The one next door is still for sale. Are you thinking of maybe moving to Tacoma instead of Portland?

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  3. A fascinating neighborhood--I love the period homes!

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    1. I'm also fond of looking at old homes so it's a fun area to walk.

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  4. I loved this post with all the wonderful homes within walking distance of you. Love the stump with all the moss. My neighbor's star Magnolia is not quite open yet, but it's close. I can see all the fat white buds getting ready. I still want a Magnolia, but I don't know where to put it.

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    1. We're lucky to be able to look at these every day. Star magnolias are so sweet with their fuzzy buds that resemble huge pussywillows and those gorgeous flowers. I bet you could fit one in in your tropical area.

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  5. I've always loved flat roofed stucco homes, even as a child. They were rare in Spokane (all that snow!) but there were still a few. Perhaps this was just an early indication of my desire for a sunny xeric garden style? As for that newly "landscaped" number...why oh why do people feel the need to scatter boulders like that and call it good? I hope they come back to finish the job.

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    1. When you and Andrew move up, I'll help you find one in Tacoma! I don't get the boulder scattering thing either. There were a few plants dotted about but it really needs some huge agaves like the ones you show in P town and a nice gravel mulch. A couple of palms, some yuccas...

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  6. Oh I love to see how the houses look like in your city. It is really interesting and there are many impressive houses. And so many different styles!! thanks for the walk!!

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    1. Always fun to have such good company on these walks, Lisa! Thanks for joining me.

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  7. I am wondering if that landscape was "installed" with "plant material". Thanks Peter for sharing your Walk-Off post. You may remember from last year how much I appreciated all the unusual architecture of Tacoma, and I like what you saw this year as well. That said, you could have simply showed the house with Camellias, and I would be happy.

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    1. Oh yes, definitely "plant material!" Thanks for hosting the party Les! Next year, I'll find someplace very different to walk!

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  8. You have a very interesting neighborhood - the home styles show much more diversity than any I've seen in my own area. I have to say that I dealt with my envy by telling myself, as you commented, that I wouldn't want to clean them. I might be able to put up with the cleaning chores, though, if I had a house with all the glass windows of the gray and white home.
    P.S. Thanks for you kind comments regarding Ming (and Max).

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    1. The house right next to me is for sale - lots of stained glass cool Victorian. I don't know how you would ever be able to leave your wonderful gardening climate.

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  9. I love the architecture of your neighborhood. It looks right out of an all-American movie, and I mean that as a high compliment.

    That little library is perfect. We've been wanting to build one just like that for a long time.

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    1. We're very fortunate to have picked up a derelict home in this area long before the huge housing bubble. Our own old house still needs a lot of work but it's no longer sinking into the ground and the roof doesn't leak so life is good.

      The little library idea is a cool one!

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  10. Wow, nice digs! I agree that gate belongs in your garden, not theirs. My neighborhood is so boring compared to yours.

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    1. Some days I dream of a nice rambler with vinyl siding and windows; a place that's not drafty and where it doesn't take 3 minutes for the hot water to be hot. There are pros and cons to living in an interesting neighborhood!

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  11. That was fun. What a wonderful neighborhood!

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  12. Thank you the tour, Peter!
    I love these well kept houses and this one you call 'incredible' reminds me the often seen cottages style here. What's an irony!
    Have a nice week!

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    1. Thank you, dear Nadezda! Interesting about the similarity in styles here and there. Have a nice week!

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  13. Lovely houses, I so like that building style – so different from London houses! Loved the burgundy front door :-) Thanks for the walk!

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    1. I'm also fond of this style. Our town is not as densely populated as London so there's a bit more space for this style of home. I've only visited your city once but fell in love with it!

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  14. I love those front porches that extends all the way around the front of the house, like in your first picture. The painted lady is very quirky, and I'd be curious to visit the inside too...
    By-the-Way: I see those tiny libraries in West Seattle. What a clever and neighborly idea.

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    1. I love the idea of the tiny libraries! Sometimes I go to www.redfin.com, and sneak a virtual peek inside historic homes for sale. It's a great way of seeing inside without leaving home.

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  15. You live in a beautiful neighborhood! I love the cedar in the stump.

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    1. It is a lovely neighborhood. Thanks for coming along on the tour.

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  16. Interesting houses. Is it a designated historical district? Sometimes that will dictate choice of plant material as well as paint colors. You can take an interesting walk whichever way you turn.

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    1. Most of the homes on this walk are in the North Slope Historic District. They don't care as much about paint colors or plant choices but rather are about the work of preserving the structures and their historical integrity (no vinyl siding/windows, etc.) Interstingly, the grandest ad most expensive historical homes in Tacoma are down a few streets in an area that resists having an historical overlay placed on their neighborhood because they don't want to be told what to do with their properties so butchering happens there somewhat frequently. So the working class folks in the historic neighborhoods struggle to meet the requirements while the richer (and more influential with the city council) folks in the truly grand homes can do as they wish. Tacoma is an interesting little town!

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  17. The old colorful houses were a treat with spring blooms. Thanks for the walk!

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    1. Always a joy to have you along, Sarah!

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  18. What a wonderful neighborhood you live in--that gate! That gate! Thanks for the tour.

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    1. It is a lovely place to explore on foot. Tacoma's reputation for shootings and gang activity is a little exaggerated; the police and community have done a good job of cleaning up much of that. But I wouldn't walk I the nearby park after dark!

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  19. There are some big beautiful houses in your neighborhood. And THE CAMELLIAS -- they are amazing.

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  20. Like the other houses, the gray house probably had a big wrap around porch -- I would vote the windows were added to enclose the porch afterwards. They look too good and period to be put in recently. The boulders strewn around the yard was interesting -- earthquake?
    Ray

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