U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Or should I say speechless? My flowers today are for all Blotanists. Thanks again for your support!

Monday, September 28, 2009


I am a bee

Just me, a bee

That never takes a shower

Just a bee

A bee

That sits under a flower
(Denis, 4th Grade)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Beyond The Tour Gardens

Gardens from garden tours are beautiful, sometimes stunning, and always full of ideas for our own gardens. But what about the usual gardens, those that we see along the road, that are not intended to participate in any kind of tours? I see them everywhere while traveling in Washington state and beyond.
We like to go to Port Townsend at the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula.
What a beautiful border on the picture below:

This fence and the plants in front of it were shown in my post Fanciful Fences .
It was in early spring:

What a change summer brought!

I needed to stop in front of this house!

Charming, charming, charming...

It would be just a pile of dirt without the poppies growing on it and an old truck nearby:

These are more images from Port Townsend, Washington's Victorian seaport:

This clematis is a showstopper in Port Gamble, WA.

Gardens are like an additional bonus to the striking natural beauty of Washington state's San Juan Islands.
I found this display of container plants to be simple, but captivating:

Cosmos, just cosmos, but what a border the owners of this island farm created with it!

In front of the little shop in Friday Harbor:

Roche Harbor has the cutest little garden in front of the historic Hotel De Haro:

The following are pictures from Alaska.
This residence is unique, but the little flower boxes and pots were the things that made me to stop and smile.

Through the windshield, I could see a gentleman working on his computer. He certainly got used to the view in front of him:

Isn't it a neat idea, to use nine wagons to display container plants? I think it is great!

Washington or Alaska, Hawaii or Minnesota, gardeners make this world a better place.
One garden at a time.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Story Of The Dirty Sneakers

Stop And Smell The Flower was the post showing our muddy shoes.

There is a little story behind that picture.
It was during our Kauai (Hawaii) trip in August. Four of us went on a kayaking trip. We knew there would be a hiking portion, too. Just a short hike to a waterfall. How nice, we thought! A light relaxing walk! Here we go!

After a picturesque ride, we stopped, left our kayaks and crossed the river. Nice crossing, water reaching our KNEES. Nice! Adventure! Here we walk.

It had rained the night before. It's muddy. It's very slippery. Mud reaches our ankles.
Tree roots don't allow us to look around much.

Don't trip! Don't fall! Hold this rope, says the guide. Please, don't fall!
It looks like we got more than we signed up for. The walk doesn't look short and relaxing.
Finally, a waterfall. Beautiful.

Hey, there is a wild chicken here! (I told about the wild Kauai chickens here Chicken Secrets )
On the way back, it starts raining. This is a TROPICAL rain. By the time we get to the kayaks, the water in the river reaches my neck. There are two boys with us. The shorter one goes on my back. Thanks to those who put the rope here! If not for it, we could be swept away by the rushing water. I feel like Indiana Jones. Adventure!

Kim and Victoria, you are going to Kauai soon. Don't miss this one!

OK. Reach the kayaks. Get in. Start paddling. AAAH!!!! A log is in front!

BAM! FLIP! SPLASH! Under the water! Hold the oar!!!!!!

- Are you OK? asks a nice young couple from our group. Yes.

AAAAH!!! They flip! It's getting interesting here! Ugh... Paddling...

AAAAAH!!!! What now? My camera! It's in the pocket on the back of my seat. So, it was underwater when we flipped! I hear funeral music playing for my Kodak. Good thing I didn't take my new Olympus. I reach it, it's in the ziploc bag. Horray! Horray to ziploc bags!

The camera is dry!

The trip is over. Yes, we got more than we signed up for.

And I am still haunted by a question:

How was my HAT still on my head when I emerged from the water?
***Copyright TatyanaS

humor art

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Who Stole The Show In My Garden?

In my garden this year a Poppy stole the show. The only other year when I had such a prominent display of poppies was 2005.

That's when I took the picture of our pup sniffing poppies which highlights my blog. The poppy seeds were scattered on the perennial bed in 2004, the very first year of my garden. The plants self-seeded, and this is what I got:

The lesson I learned that year: if not thinned, gray mold and root rot start. However, if you thin them too well, there won't be such a mass of color!
These red poppies would seed again, but I pulled out the plants before going on a long trip.
This year, in June, purple oriental poppies screamed for attention.

It might be "Manhattan", but the color on the label is dark-rose.

I also had an Oriental poppy that stopped blooming after I moved it to a different location. It emerges every year, has nice foliage, but no flowers. I'll move it to the previous spot and see if it will thank me for that.
Later, came these watermelon red flowers. These are the seeds I sent to some blotanists together with the foxglove seeds.

These poppies were on My Picture Of The Day " Three Stages Of Life":

I got the seeds for this variety from an Orcas Island gardener.

FYI, Orcas Island is one of the major San-Juan Islands located between Washington and Canada. In 2007, we traveled there and got lucky since it was time for their annual garden tour! I talked to the owner/gardener, and he was kind to send me some seeds!

I like plants with a story behind them. They bring warm and grateful memories of the people who shared part of their gardens with me.
These are some pictures from our Orcas Island garden tour:

Do you know what is this plant with large variegated, almost white, leaves in the center of the picture below?

This is variagated horseradish. I tried to find this plant in nurseries and garden centers, but most of the people have never heard of it. Well, maybe it's good that I didn't find it, since horseradish left undisturbed in the garden spreads via underground shoots and can become invasive.

I love these tall poppies with pink flowers . Aren't they lovely?

Growing poppies, I try to remember the following:

- they don't like to be overwatered;-soil should be well-drained;

- seedlings don't like to be transplanted;

- in severe winters, plants should be protected with mulch in fall;

- plants go dormant in late summer, so markers are useful to avoid disturbing area;

- it is recommended to combine poppies with plants like Gypsophila paniculata to conceal the dying foliage in summer;

- full sun or light shade is preferred;
- the seeds of the poppy have great nutritive value.

I hope the seeds of the plants from Orcas Island will do well in your gardens,

and you can share them with your friends!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Inspiration **

When I need fresh ideas for my garden, I look through my photo file, starting with garden tour pictures. They are inspiring!

Among the pictures, I especially love those with not only great plants and plant combinations, but gorgeous views.

Location, location, location...

Except for the above two, all pictures are from this summer's local tour.

Our local garden tour supports an Adult Basic Education program.This program has provided literacy ans basic skills education to local residents since 1989. The program offers one-on-one, small group and classroom tutoring. All tutors are trained volunteers. More than 300 students per year are served by this program. Many students who needs basic skills or ESL education cannot afford to pay for private tutoring. This progam is a link which they need to advance toward their personal, family and work-related goals.
The garden tour has more than 150 volunteers.

The owners of this garden chose plants which are able to deal with sun, shade,wind and salt. Among their favorites are hebes, grasses, srurge, antique and tea roses, flax and bamboo.

Whimsical art by local artists gives this garden an extra charm.

I am so grateful to the gardeners allowing us to browse their gardens and take pictures.
It's such a great event!

Look at these plant markers made from old knives! What a beautiful second life for used cutlery.

Local artists painted Adirondack chairs for the tour drawing. Laura Jacobson did a wonderful job with this one, didn't she?
I didn't win it, but can enjoy its picture any time I want!

Some other photographs from our local garden tours can be seen here Fanciful Fences and here Dress Up That Wall!

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