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, June 30, 2017

The Garden of Alison and Andrew Johnson

On June third, I had the pleasure of touring Alison and Andrew Johnson's Garden in Redmond, a Northwest Perennial Alliance open garden.

Let's hope this alarm doesn't go off!

"Originally from England and a Master Gardener, my garden has large borders of perennials and shrubs in the English Cottage garden style."

"I try to emulate the perennial borders of English country gardens but get distracted so I have herbs in with the roses and apple trees in the borders, and bananas next to the foxgloves."

Love this chair!  

"We have been here for 11 years. It was just lawn and conifers when we moved in and each year we chip away at the lawn making the borders deeper."

"The central feature is a little cottage which is actually a chicken coop!" With leaded glass windows no less!

"Behind the chicken cottatage is a fenced vegetable garden."

"We are lucky enough to have Rutherford Creek run through our property and this part of the garden is kept blackberry free but is left natural.

"I have a greenhouse where I try to grow a lot of my own perennials from seed and from cuttings."

"In the kitchen garden garden west of the property is where the honey bees live."

This kind of hive, a top bar, was new to me.  Andrew slid back the wood slat revealing a window through one can observe the bees at work inside the hive.  It was fascinating to observe.

Thanks Alison and Andrew for opening your gorgeous garden for us all to enjoy!  
Happy weekend everyone.  I hope yours is filled with lots of garden fun!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Five Years And Two Days Later

On June 27, 2012, I decided to give this blogging thing a try.  Five years of posting at least five days a week - 1,336 posts later and I'm still enjoying being part of this wonderful, talented, intelligent, supportive community of gardeners. The best part of doing this is the incredible people I've met in person or online that would have never crossed my path otherwise.  I've learned so much from  and been inspired by you.  Weather you visit and comment every day or just drop by once in a while and never say a word, thank you for sharing this adventure with me!  It's been a grand five years.

Lately I've been visiting a lot of gardens and nurseries and have a great backlog of images in my camera to post but today I've decided to share some pictures of my own garden taken for myself to make a checklist of things to do in the next few weeks before my garden open on July 22. Sorry, it was starting to get a little dusky so the light isn't great.  Please feel free to make suggestions. (Moving isn't an option.)  

Part of one of the hell strips. 

These were taken a week or so ago and now the Romneya coulteri  have begun blooming. 

 Did something decide to die out there?  No, it's just Dracunculus vulgaris blooming.  

More of the hell strip. 

Do you suppose I should cut those brown fronds from beneath the sword fern built up over years or just continue to leave them as natural mulch?

It's a long sidewalk.

 Back out the other end .

The front hell strip.

I suppose it would be a good thing to trim back that English Laurel a bit and maybe cut the volunteer columbines growing between the brick path.   

Side steps up to the back yard. 

View from the top of the side steps.

Yes, I will remove the hoses from paths.

Plants encroaching over half of the path.  Oh well. I've already weeded between the bricks. 

the old old man and the "C."  Must straighten out that "C"

I sure hope that people don't mind walking through Petasites foliage. 

Should I paint the side of the garage Majorelle Blue, terra cotta, or just leave it as is so it kind of fades into the background?

The warm days really helped the last of the colchicum foliage in this bed ripen off.  Since this picture was taken the dried foliage has  been removed and a fresh layer of manure has been applied.  Googly eyes now fill the gaping gash at the top of the topiary. 

 Deutzia is now dong blooming and has been trimmed back away from the palm.

This space has been rearranged (yes, that black plastic pot sitting in the middle of everything  is gone.) and the debris removed so one can actually see brick again.

Still need to tidy up the pot ghetto, maybe even plant a few things. 

Messy Deutzia!

 Meanwhile inside the greenhouse.

 The haze of neem oil from winter spraying has been cleaned off of  the glass table and mirrors. Really looks gross in this picture.

Let's hope no one from Gnome amnesty stops by. 

Should I remove that coat of algae on the floor or leave it? 

Summer's work continues but I can happily report that this temporary potting area is now clear. Okay, there are still buckets but now they're full of bamboo litter which will be falling constantly until autumn.
If you made it through all of these pictures you are a truly patient person!  
Happy gardening everyone!