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, 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!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wednesday Vignette

Warm summer evening.

 Warm red hybiscus.

This doesn't usually bloom until the end of August or early September.

A warm spring and hotter than usual summer have caused faster-than-usual awakening from winter. I won't complain.

Fun buds!

Wednesday Vignette is hosted by blogging pal Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click here to see other garden bloggers' vignettes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Garden of Darcanne and John Nixon

"Large sun-filled corner lot high on Renton Hill.  Come see how we have rid ourselves of the constant maintenance of a wrap-around Photinia hedge and used the space (and time!) to tend to beds full of bulbs, perennials, and choice evergreens."

Dierama pulcherrimum aka Fairy Wand loves this garden!

Water Hyacinth in bloom.  So delicate and pretty but highly invasive in warmer climates.

Great lichen-covered bench.  The Nixons have an interest in exhibition chrysanthemums and there were pots of them scattered all over the place. Doesn't the foliage look happy and healthy?

A large, perhaps inherited, pear tree heavy with fruit.

Fun collection of potted plants. 

Hydrangea time is in full swing.  Love those deep colors!

"Secret 'rain forest' garden tucked in on the North side for deep shade loving  plants."

"Fruit trees, berry garden and asparagus bed illustrate how easy it is to add edibles to the mix. Every season is a surprise here!"

Pots of orange ornamental grass (Anemanthele lessoniana?) punctuate the garden.

Dierama pulcherrimum seed pods make the most wonderful noise if brushed or blown by wind.

Thanks Darcanne and John for opening your garden!  I hope you enjoyed the experience as much as your visitors did!

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Garden of Karen and Larry Decker

Question:  If a garden is tended by two Deckers, does that make it a double Decker garden? (Sincere apologies to Karen and Larry who are undoubtedly tired of this joke.)

Alison and I first visited this garden two years ago also on a Northwest Perennial Alliance tour. You can see that post here.

"Our half-acre property has seen dramatic changes during the last 13 years.  In 2001, we began by building a deck, a greenhouse, a garden shed, a pond, a creek, and fences all around to keep the deer out.  In 2003, after a large cottonwood tre fell and damaged our house and landscape, the ral changes began."

Lovely Black-Eyed Susans (rudbeckia) but aren't they a little early this year?

"After rebuilding the house, we conentrated on replacing most of the lawn with theme gardens and water features. The focus has been to feature year-round interest with blooming trees, Japanese maples, hydrangeas, hostas, ferns, dahlias and lilies."

This hydrangea and Monarda combination is outstanding and could easily be copied.
 Monarda and hypericum berries look swell together too!

Beginning of the "tropical garden"

So many paths to take.

Love that dark maroon dahlia!

The garden is densely planted and great discoveries are to be found around every corner.

Is this seating area new?

Garden shed.

Nice grouping of hosta in the shade.  

Looking back at the bridge. 

This lily is perfect against the red background!

Garden bench made with plates with a florid pattern equal to that of the garden!

There are so many nice places to sit in this garden that one wishes to linger, maybe even read a book.

Alison spotted this great combination of tri-colored beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Tricolor') berberis,and Persicaria 'Painter's Palette.'

One of the most nicest  things about visiting this garden is walking back to the house/deck, sipping lemonade, eating cookies that Larry baked, and enjoying the company of the delightful Deckers.
thank you Karen and Larry for opening your garden once again and for the hospitality.  I wish we'd had time to stay longer!