Monday, June 30, 2008

Green Lake gardens

I was at Green Lake on Monday for a story I'm writing for Seattle's Child Magazine. I had a chance to stroll around the lake and capture some of the sweet gardens in the area.

There isn't space for such a path at our home but I'd like to recreate this lovely space on a smaller scale. It winds away from the lakeside path and back into a secluded spot that provides welcome shade on a hot summer day.
Another stop along the 2.8-mile path offers a place to rest against a backdrop of ferns, Dusty Miller and Daisies.

The army of lily pads is quite impressive. I only started walking Green Lake after having the little guy so I've missed this gorgeous display until now.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Good to be back

We traveled to Missoula, Mont., to take my niece to orientation at my alma mater, the University of Montana. It was a short trip but we took time to revisit some of our favorite spots that provide a quick fix just outside the Garden City.

Missoula is located in a glacial valley featuring five mountain ranges and the Clark Fork, Bitterroot and Blackfoot rivers. Pattee Canyon is a quick and dirty getaway, less than 10 minutes outside the city. This early in the summer, it was still lush and green.
The Kim Williams Nature area includes an easy trail that draws hikers and cyclists to its winding path wedged between the Clark Fork and Mount Sentinel. The trail is easily accessible from campus and was a favorite jaunt of ours. We brought the little guy to enjoy the surroundings. I had almost forgotten how much I love this area, and marvel at the simple beauty of its landscape.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer's here

Things have really started opening up as temperatures increase. We'll be leaving for Missoula, Mont., and I wanted to get some shots of what's happening in the garden.
The Mock Orange is in full bloom, filling the air with its sweet aroma. I adore this plant/tree/shrub but never know what to do with it. It becomes so gangly this time of year, despite being cut back each season. I'm not sure if it wants to be a tree or a shrub and I don't think it knows either.

On the subject of "trees," one of my Japanese Maples fell victim to lack of attention and our Lab/Chow.
It remained in its nursery pot far too long and suffered severe heat stroke. The poor thing hung on and even put on new leaves near its base in a final gasp for life. I plunked it in the ground just beneath our large rhododendrons and it is perking up.
But look closely and you'll see where garden helper Winston felt the need to do some pruning. He left a jagged spear of what used to be the main trunk. The Maple is wounded but it's carrying on.

More Allium genus are sprouting up around the yard, planted a couple seasons ago but finally showing signs of flowering. The butter yellow color of the Yarrow is finally starting to bleed through, offering a cheerful greeting when you open the front door.

The vegetable garden is holding up as well. I spotted the beginning of peppers and flowers on both the tomato plants. The peas, in all their tangles glory, have also starting flowering. That's a promise of some pods when we return.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Garden Dwellers

A few closeups of the more minute wildlife taking refuge in the garden. Some good, others not so good.
Save for the ladybugs that are trying their best to ride herd on the pests attacking my Mock Orange, I have no idea about the other garden guests. I'm used to the little black garden spiders but this little fellow was quite chameleon like as he hung out on an Oriental Lily.

A green worm, perhaps? Munching away on the broccoli, turning it into swiss cheese. Not a welcome guest.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Passing Time

Another flower, an oriental poppy, spent before I had a chance to fully enjoy its beauty. Funny how we're so busy that we seldom have time to enjoy those precious moments that often bring us the most joy and peace.

It's been two weeks since I last posted anything. Until recently weather was the culprit keeping me indoors, but we've had lovely warm sunshine these last few days and my only excuse is work and errands.

My way to and from the car I've caught glimpses of how life carries on in my yard, whether I help it along or not. More than one night has crept up with my only gardening for the day coming in the form of a cursory look through a magazine or book.

Today, my birthday, I finally escaped this morning for a closer look at how things are coming along. There's still some plants, like "Autumn Joy" Sedum and the Mophead Hydrangea, that have yet to bloom.
I often find myself becoming impatient for the garden to burst forth with color, only to find I've missed most of it due to other obligations. Funny how a space so close can feel so far away at times.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Night garden

I've decided there needs to be more white or light shades of plants in our garden, especially the backyard. This is usually the area I see at night and it's entirely too dark back there.
The need for a night garden comes from my realization that I am just not getting to enjoy the garden that much during the day. Work, playdates and appointments quickly fill the calendar and before I know it plants are overgrown, grass has crept into flower beds and another season is almost gone.