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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Old Barn. My Picture of the Day

Copyright 2011 TatyanaS

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tulips Galore. Part 1

We are so fortunate to be able to visit the annual Tulip Festival in the Skagit Valley in Washington state! This year, it was held for the 28th time. Multicolorful  fields of tulips are mesmerizing!

To see more varieties, we visited the RoozenGaarde display garden (3.5 acres filled with almost a quarter of a million of spring-flowering bulbs).
Where else to enjoy the tulips if not in the garden of the largest tulip bulb grower in the U.S.! By the way, the Roozen family business is the largest in the world in growing tulips, irises and daffodils.

What struck me the most was the variety: the mix of colors, forms, shapes and sizes.
Cup-, bowl-, goblet-, star-shaped... Single and double...
One-color and multi-colored...
Clicking on the pictures will make them BIG
Subdued in color and bright and bold...

Highlighted by the sun and glowing...
Tulip razmataz...
Pure, innocently white:
I loved these flowers a lot:
especially when they were blown by the wind:
These stars made me smile:
What a contrast with classic cup-like blooms!
Aren't they a bit childish?

Daffodils  had finished their show in the fields, but not here, in the display garden.
The orange color is not among my favorites, I liked these:

I also liked the lemon-yellow color on the top of the next picture:

And, again, the fields:
The old, moss-covered building looks great in such a surrounding:
One thousand acres of blooming fields belong to the RoozenGaarde company, but there are others... The scene is unbelievably beautiful. 
Add the mountains, some of them snow-capped.... Spectacular!
The next photo is one of my favorites from this trip.
To see the names of the tulips, go to the RoozenGaarde catalogue.
To be continued with more pictures.
My previous years' posts about this Festival:
***Copyright 2011 TatyanaS

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April Buds and Blooms

 Solomon Seal
Black Currant
Rock Cress
***Copyright 2011 TatyanaS

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Shade Garden Duet

My small and relatively young shade garden is awakening. These are two of my favorites.
Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'
Named for the Swiss botanist Samuel Brunner (1790-1844).
 Common name - Siberian Bugloss.

 True blue flowers resemble those of Forget-me-not. This is where its other name comes from: False Forget-me-not. I find Brunnera's flowers striking. Their color reminds me of a Blue Poppy.  Alternate leaves help to catch light in a shady spot. They  are attractive in several regards: heart shape, silvery color, green veins. Very showy! What is interesting about them is that I can almost see them getting bigger.
What attracts me to this plant: easy to grow, low maintenance, cold hardy, both shade and sun tolerant, long bloom, color of flowers is rare, both foliage and flowers are pretty, deer resistant, no pests.
I hope it will spread in my garden!

General information:
Sun Exposure
  Partial Shade
  Full Shade

Soil Type

Soil pH

Soil Moisture

Care Level
Flower Colour
  Light Blue

Blooming Time
  Mid Spring
  Late Spring

Foliage Color
  Light Green

Plant Uses & Characteristics
  Accent: Good Texture/Form
  Alpine & Rock
  Cut Flower
  Deer Resistant
  Rabbit Resistant
  Ground Cover

Flower Head Size

   30-40 cm
   12-16 inches

   30-45 cm
   12-18 inches

Growth Rate

Credits: The New Perennial club

Trillium kurabayashi 'Giant Red'
Common name - Giant purple wakerobin
The species is named in honor of a Japanese botanist, Masataka Kurabayashi, who specialized in Trillium. Plants have slightly mottled leaves and robust, broad petalled, upright flowers of deep purple-red color, which are considered to be among the best of the stemless species.
I hope this plant can spread in my garden too!
Credit: A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants
***Copyright 2011 TatyanaS

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Recently, I attended a meeting with our famous and much-loved Northwest garden guru Ciscoe Morris. There are many garden gurus of course. Ciscoe is not only knowledgeable and experienced, but very-very entertaining. We love him! Here are just several of his tips that I need to follow in my garden.
1. Dandelions - to eliminate, apply undiluted vinegar. Use only on hot sunny days. Overseed the spot when a dandelion dies (amen).
2. Tulips in containers. After flowers are wilted, remove only a spent bloom, not a stem. Let stem and foliage die, then dig out and store bulbs, replant in spring.
3. Unwanted blackberry bushes: Mow. Mow. Mow. Bushes will get exhausted, tired and die.
4. Hellebore. Don't forget to remove ugly dark leaves in winter.
5. Slugs. Use only Sluggo. Safe.
6. Euphorbia. Be careful working with it. Harmful for skin and eyes.
7. What makes a garden great? Contrast!
8. What to do with winter-exhausted, long-legged Heuchera? Cut back to an 1/8 inch above the ground. Try to plant cuttings, it can work!
9. Prune Japanese maples in June (not in spring as I did).
10. Slugs don't eat dry pellets. If it's too dry outside, wet the pellets.
There were many other subjects discussed. For example:
 -How did all these snails get to the state of Washington (from France, of course!);
-What are the easiest vegetables to grow (broccoli, lettuce, etc.);
-What disease resistant helleborus to plant (try Pink Frost);

photo: Hort Printers
-What plant will chase a deer away (try Fritillaria imperialis);
Fritillaria imperialis. Photo Wikipedia, by Sir James
 -What shrubs does Ciscoe love? (One of his favorites - Grevillea victoriae from Australia, it blooms all winter!);
Grevillea. Photo: The Desert Northwest
-For better pollination, plant a California lilac near a vegetable garden.
Blooming California lilac in my June garden
Want to know what I liked the most in Ciscoe's presentation? Attention, all the Pacific Northwest gardeners! Are you tired from the rain? Are you soaked and depressed? It 'll make you feel better! Here it is: We have a Mediterranian climate here!
 I want to read his book Ask Ciscoe: Oh, la, la! Your Gardening Questions Answered , especially after he told that reading it for 15-minutes will help you to fall asleep. This is what I need!
Oh-la-la! - is Ciscoe's signature expression. He told us a hillarious story about how it became his favorite. But, I won't retell it here out of respect for his right to tell this story. So, if you are curious, attend a meeting with him if he is in your area.
*** Copyright 2011 TatyanaS

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rhododendron in the Morning. Wordless Wednesday

For more wordless pictures go here: Wordless Wednesday
***Copyright 2011 TatyanaS

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

" I see the Earth... "

Let's forget for a moment that we are of different nationalities. Let's, for a moment, just think that we are all humans.
We are creatures living on the planet Earth. We are different in millions of ways, but there is one thing that unites us. This thing is the place of our existence. We are all Earth inhabitants. I want to celebrate an event that relates to all of us. Fifty years ago TODAY, one of us did what millions of others dreamed about for ages. He did what no one else will ever be able to repeat. He was the first human who left our mother-planet. Yuri Gagarin, a 27-year old man, surrendered himself to the wisdom and knowledge of the human race and ventured into space to check if humans can survive beyond the Earth. Many cosmonauts and astronauts subsequently went into space. They are all heroes. But how did it feel - to be absolutely the first? How did it feel - to do something that no one had ever done before? How did it feel - to leave the Earth without knowing for sure if he would ever come back? I ask you to take a moment and think about that man.
He was Your Brother, and he did it for us all.



Give him a hug with your heart.
Yuri Gagarin 1934 -1968.

***Copyright 2011 TatyanaS

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