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.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Fall Color Bonus

The Fall Color Tour to benefit the Chase Garden takes place this weekend and is open to all.  Spoiler alert - There are a few unadvertised gardens that will also be open this Saturday.  First is an inherited garden full of mature specimens.  The current owners, Bob and Kristi, are not gardeners but respect the vision of those from whom they bought the place and are preserving the garden beautifully.

The views from these gardens are breathtaking but come with  garden woes of  hostas  (roses, evergreens, etc.) vanishing into deer tummies in an instant, most likely just before a scheduled garden open, and hill stabilization (mudslides, you know.)

Scott's garden, which is right next to Lavonne's  is meticulously tended.  

Not a single leaf on the ground.  So clean was this garden that when we walked down from the back deck I felt compelled to pick up the couple of leaves that my shoes left behind.

The neighborhood deer have not found this hosta yet.  I understand that gardeners spray hot pepper sauce, bitter apple, and a variety of things, unpleasant to deer, on susceptible plants but don't know if that's what Scott did to keep this beauty from being someone's salad. Notice the fresh zinnia and dahlia.  

Reminiscent in form of an African Thorn Acacia (Vachellia tortilis) this Acer shows great pruning technique.

The juxtaposition of controlled and coiffed gardens with the wild abandon of nature makes these spaces especially interesting.
Thanks again Camille for being my tour guide and thanks Bob, Kristi, and Scott for allowing us to tromp through your beautiful gardens!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wednesday Vignette: Checkmate

While walking with Camille in a well-coiffed neighborhood, I noticed this interesting pruning job. Interesting.  Camille, when first seeing these throughout the neighborhood, thought that they looked like chess pieces.  Why would so many people do this?  The answer is that people don't; deer do. Interesting effect.

I sometimes forget how lucky I am not to have deer in my garden on a regular basis. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fall Color Garden Tour: Lavonne's Garden

Over the weekend, I got to see Camille's exquisite garden in person (more pictures to follow) and afterward, the gracious gardener walked with me through other gardens on the tour. Lavonne's garden was a short walk.  How fortunate to live in a neighborhood of passionate gardeners!  

Lavonne is a master of pruning Japanese Maples.  

Although Acers are often the show stoppers, don't think for a minute that they supply all of the color in these gardens.

Some are still green!

Lavonne was sure to warn me not to touch the Gunnera as it's so spiny.  I like the sand-paper texture of the leaves but others don't.

Acer palmatum 'Koto no ito' (strings of a harp) is one of the few whose name I remember as I lusted after it for years before I got my own. Now it vies with A.palmatum 'Fairy Hair' for the stringiest-leaved maple.

Like several of the gardens on the tour, Lavonne's is on a hillside and there is wonderful rock work, including many curving flights of stairs which replaced the straight shots of railroad tie steps which were inherited with the property.

Beautiful views at every turn framed by trees wearing their autumn best.  Here a pair of Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweet Gums) frames blue sky.

Skillful pruning has created what appears almost like an undersea scene complete with undulating and exotic creatures.

There is a stream that meanders down the hill, over rocks, creating small pools, one with a stone bridge and ending at the large koi pond below which is covered for the season to catch the falling leaves.

Here's the aforementioned rock bridge.

A stone bench from which to appreciate the sounds of water and birds and one can even spot those giant four-legged slugs (deer.)

This is half of the largest expanse of Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra') I've ever encountered.

How vibrant are the maples right now?  Compare the fuchsia  boom to the maple foliage. The popular Albert Camus quote “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower,” comes to mind each year as the trees scream warm colors at the moody gray northwest sky.

More grand examples of pruning.  One day I hope to learn how to do this.

This is a mature garden, full of treasures large and small. 

Thank you, Lavonne for allowing me to preview your beautiful garden which will be open to the public on the Fall Color Garden Tour to benefit the Chase Garden.  The tour is preceded by a presentation by Julia Graham, whose garden is also on the tour.  The presentation is limited to fifteen people due to the size of the space at Chase but the tour is open to as many people as want to experience these wonders in person.  Admission to the tour only is five dollars per garden per adult. Children are free so bring the whole family to appreciate the sights, sounds, and fragrances of autumn.

Monday, October 24, 2016

In A Vase on Monday.

I got home later than usual on Sunday so this week's arrangement is a quick-grab-something-before-it-gets-dark  affair.  On the kitchen shelf was an amethyst glass vase containing a couple of buds of 'Fragrant Cloud' Rose that broke off when a branch hit them.  To that I added some fallen berries from Aralia spinosa or perhaps Aralia ealata.  Not sure which it is but it was a volunteer and I enjoy it so it gets to stay.

Because of the color of the vase, Callicarpa berries needed to be added and while I was out in the parking strip, I grabbed a stalk of miscanthus that was falling onto the sidewalk.

Doesn't look like much as an arrangement but it's fun to have the elements inside to enjoy.  Trying to add something more, a Heuchera 'Forever Purple' was dragged from the pot ghetto but somehow a black plastic gallon pot doesn't really add much.

A little orange viola in a vase is a better choice but probably will stay outside and just the vase, as is will come into the kitchen.

Still not a great arrangement.  Oh well, you've heard "Beauty School Dropout."  Just Substitute the word florist for beauty and you've got me!

In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Click here to see her arrangement and those of other participants this week.