MySecretGarden

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

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

DRIFTWOOD











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***Copyright TatyanaS

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Time To Water

It's time to water the garden.




Who will do the job?
Froggy will!
He already filled the watering cans!

"Wait! Did you already take the picture?

Didn't you see I was naked?! Let me put my gardening outfit!"


Here we go!
P.S.The plant is Serbian Bellflower (Campanula poscharskyana Blue Waterfall).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rain Forest Magic



What could be better than gardens created by nature itself? This month, we visited Olympic National Park on the Olympic Peninsula (my two previous posts have pictures taken there). They call it one of the most enchanting and diverse regions on Earth.
The two rain forests were so majestic, I want to see them again and again.




They are located in the valleys of the Hoh, Quinault and Queets rivers and are part of the ecosystem stretching along the coast from Alaska to Oregon.





The temperate rain forests only occur in a few isolated regions around the world.
Obviously, rain forests have lots of rain and fog. Precipitation in our forests ranges from 140 to 167 inches, 12 to 14 feet a year.







The temperatures are moderate: dropping below freezing and going higher than 80 degrees F is very rare. Mountains on the east protect the area from severe weather extremes.
It was impossible to find a spot not taken by a plant.





Ferns of different types made me think of dinosaur times.







Mosses and lichens were everywhere.






The blooms which I saw were predominantly of white color.





Western red-cedar, Sitka spruce, Western hemlock, Douglas-fir... Large old-growth trees were of enormous proportions. Some conifers are more than 200 feet tall.



Many Douglas-firs are estimated to be around 400 years old. Along the trail that we took, there were groves of Douglas-fir that range from 250-550 years old with some AS OLD AS 900 YEARS! Ecologists believe that this Douglas-fir grove originated in an opening created by a massive forest fire. Once established, Douglas-fir are long-lived but unable to regenerate in the deep shade and intense competition of the abandant rain forest vegetation.





What was the most exciting for me? The forests are only several hours driving time from us! It's basically in our backyard!


Well, almost in our backyard!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Make a Call! My Picture Of The Day

Only in Washington State!
Or should I name this picture Call of Nature?


Do you have other suggestions?
You do have other names, and here they are:
Muddy Boot Dreams :
Terrestrial ET please call home.
Helen :
A rolling phone gathers no moss... or does it?
Sorry, I mist your call?
That's taking the green roof concept a little too far?
SNJGardener :
I guess there's no cell phone coverage?
Any other suggestions?
Kim and Victoria :
Phone courtesy of "Ma Nature" (not Ma Bell.)
Jamie and Randy said:
In a couple more decades they will all look like that and kids won't even know what they were used for.
Karen :
... Gives new meaning to the term "mossback"!
Maria Berg said:
...Fun and I believe there are no cellphones?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Yesterday. My Picture Of The Day


Pacific Northwest.

Sky.

Ocean.

Birds.

Sand.

Yesterday.

I want to be there again. Now.


A click on the picture allows to see more sky, ocean and sand.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

It's Foxglove Time!


It's Foxglove time again!
As I told in my March post, Foxglove, The Beautiful, I never planted it in my garden. It came itself and made a home here. It is June, and Foxglove steals the show.
It looks good standing alone:



and it looks good in a group:


It adds color to a kitchen garden:



And it adds color to the area behind the house that I didn't figure out what to do with yet:

It looks good with a white background :

Pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them

And it looks good with a green background:


It shows well on the pictures taken in a bright day:



And it shows well on the pictures taken on a cloudy day:



It looks good from afar:



And it looks good close:



It looks good when the flowers just start opening, starting from the lowest:



and it looks wonderful when the flowers are fully open:



It looks good in a formal setting:



And it looks good in a casual setting (what can be more casual than a vegetable bed!):


It looks not that bad even on my not so good picture:


I don't know what I would do without a Foxglove in my garden. It amazes me how this plant places itself here and there creating a stunning vertical effect. It brings an element of surprise each year making this wonderful season even more exciting.
Thank you, Mister Foxglove!

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Butchart Inspiration


Every time we go to Vancouver Island, Canada, we visit Butchart Gardens located just north of Victoria, B.C. By the way, Victoria, which is the capital of British Columbia, is a special place for us since we got engaged there.

All pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them
For me, not only are the gardens themselves amazing, but also their history is too.
The idea of transforming an exhausted limestone quarry into a garden is fascinating in and of itself. Jennie Butchart is the person behind the project of converting the 50- acre quarry into the world famous gardens that started in 1904.
The Sunken Garden.
This is where the abandoned quarry was located. It took tons of top soil brought by horse and cart to cover its floor.

The structure seen on the above picture, taken from the Sunken Garden lookout, is the only surviving portion of Robert Butchart's cement factory. It's the kiln's chimney. Interesting fact: The plant stopped producing cement in 1916, but continued to make tiles and flower pots as late as 1950.
The Sunken Garden was inspired by a casual dare from a Butchart friend. I read that after hearing the remark that "even you would be unable to get anything to grow there," Mrs. Butchart was intrigued with the challenge to transform the tremendous, ugly site into a wonderful garden.


The colorful flower beds, borders and lush lawns exist today in shape and form as Mrs. Butchart designed them.
The Italian Garden was created by 1908.

This garden is the most formal of all the gardens and has the shape of a Florentine cross.

The Mermaid and Fish Fountain feed the cross-shaped lily pond which dominates this garden.

The lily pond is surrounded by flower beds with spectacular blooms.






The Ross fountain was built in 1964 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Butchart Gardens.

It shoots an array of changing water patterns that rise up to 70 feet.
The Japanese Gardens are exquisite:






The English-style Rose Garden is bursting with all shades of red, pink, purple and blue. Charming rose arches, towering delphiniums, sweet peas and peonies take your breath away.






Roses, most of them Hybrid Teas, are marked with the country of origin and the year selected by the American Rose Society.

Climbers, ramblers, standards... Their fragrances fill the air.

We've been to Butchart Gardens only in summer, but the gardens stay beautiful all year round. From March through October, over one million bedding plants in about 700 varieties are used to create patterns of non-stop color.

This is the great site to visit and learn more: The Butchart Gardens
Some facts from that site:
Rainfall 76 cm (30 inches) plus. Most of this rainfall occurs between November and March. Temperature extremes range from a maximum high (rare) of 36 degrees C/97 degrees F to a maximum low (again extremely rare) of minus 10°C/14°F. A typical summer daytime temperature is from 22 - 26°C/ 72 - 79°F and winter daytime temperatures typically 5 - 10°C/41 - 50°F.



I always feel lucky to be a part of almost a million people visiting these magnificent gardens each year.

***Copyright 2009 TatyanaS

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