MySecretGarden

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

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Views of July Garden... Plus Salmon Dinner


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"This is more a specimen garden then the type that is usually offered by landscapers"- said my friend looking at the front flowerbed. I couldn't agree more. The company which presented its design plan to us in 2004 for this bed included several types of plants, and for each type, the number of plants were in tens and dozens. I am sure the bed would look more beautiful, more professional and more... can I use the word 'groomed'? But, what would I do, for example, with 20 Stella D'Oro daylilies? I planted 5 of them and already divided them a couple of times. Anyway, we didn't accept that plan. I started to plant what I liked, adding several plants each year. The picture above shows a side view of that bed. It changes appearance from month to month, and yes, this is a specimen garden - each type represented only by one or two plants. On the right side of the picture, there is another front bed, under two huge fir trees. The paved walk between these two beds leads to the central entrance. Logically, the two beds should include the same plants. Factually, they are different.
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The bed under the trees, which I call The Island, is challenging for most of the plants due to a thick mat of tree roots. Thus, planting there is a constant experiment. Some plants survive, some have stagnant growth, and some don't make it. Above, there are some survivors - daisies, Japanese maple, Sungold Threadbranch cypress, hydrangea in a pot.
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Above is the part of the backyard seen from the cul-de-sac, vegetable/perennial garden. It also changes its look every couple of weeks.
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There are no complaints about this cozy corner: the grapes climbing a gazebo, ilex hedge and variegated yucca:
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We used to go to the back garden through this metal arbor, but this year, it got blocked by the Tree Mallow. I think it stretches its branches toward the sun:
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Another view of the right side of the front garden:
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Part of the front garden with the ilex hedge, Japanese aralia, campanula and daisies, tree mallow and climbing rose in the background:
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Back porch with the Terrace (vegetable/perennial) garden in the background. I hope these two palm trees will grow slow, and I won't need to replant them any time soon. To not accelerate their growth, I lightly feed them only once or twice a year with low-nitrogen fertilizer.
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Part of the Terrace (vegetable/perennial) garden. This is where yellow and orange calendula and nasturtium clash with a deep-red Mister Lincoln rose. Calendula and nasturtium were planted as vegetable companions here, and the roses just didn't have another spot. They were given to me as a gift, and I didn't find another place for them. It's OK when the roses bloom, but it gets ugly when yellow and orange-colored blooms appear nearby. Someone needs to go...
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Tomato plants look great - green and healthy, but... where are those red thingies that are supposed to hang on them? Except for the Sun Gold, there are not many tomatoes seen. A few green ones, but that's it. Typically, our tomato season starts at the end of July. Well, this summer is obviously not typical.
Below is the view of the back garden: 'Accidental' bed, kitchen garden and the back porch:
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I missed one-third of July in my garden. What was the trade-off? Several beautiful, inspiring gardens in the Homer, Alaska garden tour and 125 pounds of sockeye salmon fillets.
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This was the view of the Kenai River from our motel:

And this is near one of the fishing spots:
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Below, is the meal where 99% of the ingredients are our own. Only the onions were bought.
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Copyright 2010 TatyanaS

28 comments:

  1. what a wonderfully large and blooming garden you have. I particularly like that delicate blue tinged hydrangea and the terrace looks so inviting. Bet that salmon dinner tasted fresh

    Laurax

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  2. Beautiful gardens Tatyana. I love your terrace area. I don't think anyone is having a 'normal' year.

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  3. Looks beautiful, salmon dinner looks delicious, take care, Gina

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  4. Tatyana, Your photos are dreamy and gorgeous, as is your Tree Mallow. It would take awhile to walk thru your garden with all the variety of plants. I love that style of gardening. Interesting forms and textures everywhere! Your terrace is stunning and so inviting and the salmon dinner ... well my mouth is watering! Great post! ;>)

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  5. Your meal looks delicious, 125 lbs of salmon? But having visited Alaska after my first taste of fresh wild salmon I knew I would never be able to eat the grocery store stuff again. Your gardens are beautiful and I'm impressed they look so good and you've been traveling so much.

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  6. What striking colours and combinations. I'm a vegetarian so won't look at the last bit.

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  7. Hello Tatyana,

    I enjoy it so much when you share pictures of your travels. I do love Alaska, but have only visited once....I definitely need to go back again.

    I too have faced both trials and tribulations when planting underneath trees. I think you list of plants that have succeeded underneath your trees will prove very helpful to other gardeners :-)

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  8. You have a garden worthy of royalty. You must have a few gardeners to keep it looking great.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  9. I love your patio with potted palms, a little oasis in the PNW! 125lbs of sockeye is impressive! I'm envious, both of the fish, and the Alaska trip!

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  10. Your garden is beautiful and that last picture made me hungry! Carla

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  11. Love to see such a beautiful "specimen" garden. I might steal that term in the future, as it perfectly describes my gardening style. I am so proud of myself if I can ever buy more than two of the same plant, same cultivar. It is so difficult for me. Your salmon dish is beautiful. What a wonderful thing to have provided it all yourself!

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  12. A delightfully beautiful garden and yummy post, Tatyana! Welcome home ... sockeye is in the markets here now too, not like yours but will have to do :)

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  13. That meal looks fantastic!

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  14. I am salivating over your garden and that salmon. Delectable!

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  15. I think you are just going to have to get past the clashing- Mr. Lincoln is my all-time favorite rose, and it was a gift to you!! Everything looks fabulous!

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  16. I'm in awe - your gardens are beautiful and that salmon - wow.

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  17. Hi Tatyana, Your garden is big yet cozy looking. I like it.

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  18. Well, it might not be a normal summer, but your garden is looking splendid. I had to snicker about the design plan that had been submitted to you--especially the Stella D'oro daylily. You would SWEAR there are only a dozen or so daylily types out there, instead of hundreds and thousands! Your garden is perfect the way you've created it.

    And I have a craving for salmon, now. Never mind that I had freshly caught flounder (sole) for supper. I want salmon now! :-)

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  19. Your garden is looking wonderful despite your absence. That salmon looks delicious!

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  20. You have a very wide garden and is so very full of healthy plants. It is wonderful to have dinner in the garden with all those flowers all around. And i love that salmon too. Hmmm, now i have to eat too. Thanks Tatyana!

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  21. I just love those fishing shots. There's something very brooding about the grey sky behind the dark green of the trees.

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  22. Your gardens are beautiful - I also go through dwarf problems from plants living so near fir trees. We logged this place 3 times so ya know there are many roots everywhere and they do have an amazing effect on our flowers.
    The salmon dinner looks wonderful (for others). I'm not much of a salmon eater I guess cause we had lots of it growing up with parents who fished for our dinner a lot! But Bob's smoked salmon is to die for not dry gag ya but moist and wonderful. Even the old timers say they've never had anything better which makes him feel really good!

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  23. It looks like you had a great time but I bet it's nice to be home. You know what Dorthy said. There's no place like home.

    The yard is looking good but I bet your luggage smells like fish :)

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  24. Tatyana, thank you for the tour of your lovely garden! As for the Kenai, I do believe we stood at the same place last year when we were there. ;) Great catch! We have talked about returning to that beautiful place.

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  25. Those are wonderful photos Tatyana - I have 2 stella d'ors and I think now that 2 is too much as they really need divided and the foliage just seems to collapse - glad you took over the garden design yourself - it sure looks good.

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  26. What a beautiful garden you have! i liked the daisies which flower even under a tree.Have a happy weekend!And thanks for visiting my blog.

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  27. I enjoyed seeing your gardens again. My tomatoes are late, too. I am picking the grape tomatoes from the volunteer plants.

    I wouldn't have followed that landscape plan, either. I seem to be a collector of plants, and can't follow a plan, anyway. I tend to be hodge podge. I have been noticing some mass plantings in other places, and am deciding I like them, though.

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