MySecretGarden

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

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Whimsical Rustic Garden

I invite you to treat yourself with a visit to a delightful, playful garden in beautiful Homer, Alaska.

P1010218

Artist Suzanne Alvarez created a place where you can feel yourself as a child in a fairyland.

P1010152

Garden decorations, stepping stones, leaves and plaques welcome you and make it difficult to go home without at least one of them.

P1010153

Two impressive rock gardens and a little pond are just a beginning.

P1010154

P1010151

There are treasures on every step. A propeller, driftwood, old garden and fishing tools and even musical instruments…

P1010155

P1010156

You know the water is close when you see a life saving ring. But, what is that ball made from?

P1010157

Pieces of driftwood! I’ve never seen anything like that.

P1010158

Here it is!

P1010160

There are nooks and crannies everywhere, and they attract us like magnets.

P1010161

Rustic garden chairs are awesome! Think next time when you want to get rid of your old boots!

P1010164

P1010167

P1010168

Do you have a stump in your garden? Is it ‘bold’? Look at this charmer!

P1010206

An Alaskan garden wouldn’t be finished without moose antlers:

P1010169

The ‘kitchen girl’, with fork-eyelashes and spoon-earrings, charmed everyone.

P1010172

Suzanne’s cast leaves are resting among grasses, lush ferns and perennials.

P1010173

The variety of ferns growing in Alaska is surprising. Among them, there are Oak Fern, Deer Fern, Northern Beech Fern, Lady Fern, Maidenhair Fern, Licorice Fern, Green Spleenwort and Maidenhair Spleenwort Fern.

P1010174

Kids love this place!

P1010176

P1010177

P1010179

P1010180

Ah! What a view!

P1010183

Are we allowed to go to the beach? Yes, we are! It’s an additional treat!

P1010187

Walking down the steep stairway lined with apple trees:

P1010191

Who is peeking between the stairs? Is it baneberry?

P1010205

P1010193

Clean fresh air. No noise, just gentle lapping of waves. A lot of driftwood to sit on.

P1010194

P1010198

This grass looks like Beach Rye. Correct me if I am wrong. It is tall, about 6 feet, pretty coarse and grows on gravel.

P1010199

Time to go back.

P1010197

P1010202

Do you like an old wood, so warm and pleasant to touch? And that view… It’s a long walk, because you want to stop and look back again and again.

P1010204

One more look at the magic ball:

P1010210

I want to come back one day…

P1010214

If you find yourself in Homer during the summer, check if the local garden club has its garden tour. You won’t regret it!

P1010217

Thank you Suzanne and Rene for allowing us to tour your fantastic woodland paradise!

P1010219

***

Copyright 2011 TatyanaS

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sprucing Up a Vegetable Garden -3

Layout of a vegetable garden, type, shape and size of raised beds, type of mulch around them, support for climbing plants, containers for growing vegetables, ways to make vegetable gardens not only practical but also attractive and other aspects of vegetable gardening - this is what "Sprucing Up a Vegetable Garden" is about.
These three pictures prove that wooden boxes for growing vegetables can be attractive elements not only in a garden itself but on a deck too.


*

*
Wooden half-barrels, as in the next picture, make good vegetable planters. Miniature (compact, midget, dwarf) varieties of many types of vegetables are available nowdays (see a list of them here). Good information about growing veggies in containers can be found here .

*
Thick bamboo stakes are used to make a TeePee in this garden. Sprucing Up a Vegetable Garden-2 has more pictures with different types of supports for climbing plants .
*

*
Below, there are vegetable gardens in Alaska belonging to the members of the Homer Garden Club. My hat is off to you, the northenmost gardeners in the U.S.!
I've never seen potatoes growing on a terraced slope:
.

*
I noticed Nasturtiums as companion plants interplanted with vegetables in many gardens in Homer. I use nasturtiums in my vegetable garden too. Mine spread wildly, and need to be pinched to prevent them from taking over the whole garden. I might switch to more compact varieties of nasturtiums.
*




*
I use yellow, orange and red nasturtium flowers in salads and for decorating plates.
*

*
I always watch what is used as mulch in a garden especially around raised beds. Gravel? Wood (bark nuggets, chips)? Any mulch will help to prevent soil erosion and moisture loss, supress weeds, cool or warm the soil and encourage the worm population. What is your favorite material? Do you always put it 3 inches (7 1/2 cm) deep as they recommend?
*

*
In one of the gardens shown here, they use small river rocks and crushed rock. I like such a look. Gravel and rock seem to be more practical on slopes since they are not washed away as easily as wood mulch. I also like hay/straw as mulch, although they decompost fast and need to be replenished often. Saying that, I should admit that I stopped using it after one of my neighbors expressed a concern about straw attracting mice. It's true, rodents love this material as well as slugs which we have here, in the Pacific Northwest, in abundance. But, it was not them who turned me away from straw mulch but garden snakes. I have them in my garden anyway, but I don't like to step on them after they have found a refuge under hay or straw.
*

*
Some pros and cons of different types of mulches can be found here.
In the next picture - supporting raised beds with boards which are not made into frames. It should be convenient for changing the size and configurations of the beds.
*

*
Wooden boards for practicality, plates for decoration - nice, nice, nice:

*
If in Homer, Alaska, a moose is often a garden visitor, in Washington state, a deer should be kept from the gardens. A fence is the most reliable way to do it:
.

*

*
It is expected for a vegetable garden belonging to a designer to be ... well, artistic!
.

*
Jody's husband made these raised beds based on her own design.
.

*

*
Below is the most decorative peas' support which I've ever seen:
.

*
The following two pictures are from Peggy's garden. She, by the way, also has an exquisite flower garden deserving to be featured in a separate post.
.

*
I love the mosaic urn in the middle of the bed. It can be seen in the picture in the very first "Sprucing Up a Vegetable Garden". "
.

*
I hope these pictures from the gardens generously opened to the public by their owners can help you make some decisions regarding your own gardens. There are numerous articles on the Internet about vegetable gardening. But sometimes seeing real gardens of ordinary people help us a great deal, don't you think so?

***Copyright 2011 TatyanaS

Search This Blog

Loading...

Follow by Email

Share it

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

I'M GLAD TO SEE YOU!

Copyright 2009-2014 TatyanaS, MySecretGarden Blog



My New Plants Fundraising!

-->