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 29, 2013

Chinese Reconciliation Park and Garden

Tacoma's Chinese Reconciliation Park and Garden, a project in process, was begun to help reconcile the expulsion of all of Tacoma's Chinese citizens in 1885.  It's been on my radar to visit since the ting was erected.  I finally made it to the park and thought that something sobering and about reconciliation might be appropriate for Good Friday.

  Love these stone bowls with rocks and water!

Would it be in really poor taste to sneak in and pave this with yellow bricks?
 Phases one and two have been completed; phases three and four are awaiting funding.
 Although it is new and incomplete, it's a wonderful and sobering place to visit. 

The ting was donated by Tacoma's sister city Fuzhou, China.  Materials arrived and craftsmen from China erected the structure on site. 
It's quite striking and one entrance is guarded by carved-stone dragons.


 Wouldn't it be amazing to have a structure like this in the middle of one's garden?

There is a lot of very nice hardscape but I'm looking forward to seeing more of the plant part of the garden.  Right now, there's not a lot  going on horticulturally. 

I'm sure that will come with time but the park is still a cool place to visit.
These carved reliefs along with the interpretive signs remind us of the events and the purpose of the park.

This shot was totally accidental.  I didn't even notice the guy pointing until I looked at my pictures later in the day.
One more place that I've always wondered about checked off  the list.  Happy Easter on Sunday!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Beautifully Secure

In the last few years, this building has either been built or rehabbed.  I'm not sure which because, although it's not far from my home, I seldom passed this way until the year long closure of my regular freeway access point.  The discoveries I've made since trying different routes has me thinking of continuing to explore at commute time.  Usually the drive is about efficiencey of time rather than exploration.  I love the bright orange accents and the metal security screens covering the windows are inspired!  Much nicer than bars and their presence makes the building pop!

Gate at the bottom of the fire escape. 
 Fence panel
 I wonder what it would be like to see the silhouette of this through one's blinds every day?
 Is this an urban trend?  Do you have examples of this sort of thing where you live?
 The building is secure without looking like a prison.  I think it's grand!
 This lucky person gets both a lotus seed head and a peacock!
 I wonder how the lotus, peacock, and songbird (or is that a different kind of bird?) motifs were chosen.  They've been enlarged, reduced, combined, and inverted.  The continuity is very nice.
 What do you think? 

I was a little nervous taking pictures of people's windows but since you can't actually see in, I thought that folks wouldn't mind.

As I was walking back across the street where the car was parked, I heard a voice from above saying, "Hey dude, take my picture too!"  So I did.  Who am I, after all, to deny a voice from on high?
Peace out dudes and dudettes!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's Spring, Let's Get Bombed!

Yarn bombed that is. 
This is one way to grow flowers in concrete and make a temporary chain link fence look a little more interesting.  It'a also a way that those of you still beneath blankets of snow could enjoy some spring color.
 There was previously a building where the space below is.  Now it's just a drop off from the sidewalk to the lot beneath.  Also, beneath the sidewalk are remnants of basement rooms.  Interesting use of below ground space.  By the way, that large white building in the background once was the University Union Club, has been the home of a steak house (still has a commercial kitchen) and is a way cool old  building  that wouldn't require a ton of work.  Did I mention that there's a downstairs ballroom?   With the McMenamins opening later this year  not far from here, this would be a great location for a complimentary business of some sort. 
 Since the building was removed quite a while ago, this fence assembly has taken up part of the street to allow pedestrians to safely pass without falling off the cliff. 
 The yarn flowers are fun but I wonder if something will be rebuilt on the now vacant lot.
 A longer view.  Do those rectangles on the outside remind you of Tebetan prayer flags or of  Grandma's pot holder drawer?
Just in case you've missed the news lately or have yet to see signs of the changing season, this knitted sign is close to the entrance to let you know that it's SPRING!
 Across the street these giant Foo Dogs look somewhat amused by the yarn bombers' work.  Don't worry, these guys are appropriately behind bars.  Although, it looks as if some sort of escape was attempted.
Just to be on the safe side it's most likely best not to taunt them or try to give them treats!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March Random Smiles

I had the day off on Saturday!  Hooray, my first and only completely free day this month!  I got a lot done outside including mowing, edging, blowing debris from the sidewalks, potting up that podophyllum delavayi, limbing up a couple of trees and cutting down three more trees in the great tree removal of 2013 project.  Didn't take any pictures of that though. Instead, before I started working, I found some random things around the garden that made me smile.

Last year, I planted tiny artichoke plants because I love their foliage and think that the flowers are pretty cool too!  
 They've remained evergreen this winter and have put on a lot of growth recently.  Isn't that foliage gorgeous?
 Crassula arborescans, aka Silver Dollar Plant, that was found in a box store for a couple of bucks.  It won't always look quite like this but right now I'm enjoying those chubby little circles!

 I had to go to Lowe's to pick up some primroses to give to the para educators in my program  and this trio jumped into my cart somehow.  They're not hardy but succulents don't seem to mind being ignored most of the winter inside the house.  Woa man, look at the colors.

Sedum adolphii, Graptosedum 'California Sunset', and Pachyveria 'Royal Flush'

I had to buy one of them because of this pot.  Really, a backwards treble cleff? It was my duty to remove this from circulation!  The cutesy factor nearly outweighed the inaccuracy.

Both continue with these flowers on the staff with some randomly placed notes.   I like thinking of plants as garden music!

At $2.95 for 1.5 quart sized double  primroses in pretty pastel decorative pots, these would be great appreciation gifts for several folks at work.  You may remember my posting this pinky mauve one on the 15th.  When I went back, they only had 5 left.  However the store across town reported that they had 98 of them. Off I went.
The across-town store had no pink ones but they had this beautiful yellow/pink combination.
And this gorgeous cobalt and purple that reminds me of african violets.  This is such a beautifully saturated color!  I went with the blue for everyone.  At that price, I couldn't resist bringing a couple of each home.  They are currently on my back steps.  Once they're done blooming, they'll find a spot in the garden. 

This is an arisaema that I always forget about until it pops up each spring.  Having a bad memory makes for a garden full of surprises!
 I love me some pulmonaria.  They have these great flowers in early spring and glorious spotted foliage until frost.

Common as dirt but Skimmia in ploom perfumes the whole garden!
 Speaking of perfume, daphne odora earns it's name beautifully! 
 The non hardy fuchsia baskets have decided that they are hardy after all and have, for the second spring, decided to provide an encore performance.
 Much as I hate to post bad photographs of a part of the garden that needs quite a bit of work, I love seeing the carpet of camellia petals all over the ground.  This is a view from one of my kitchen windows. Time to run outside with the skimmer and clean the surface of the pond!

I hope that your garden is full of things that make you smile!