Welcome

Hokkeji Lantern
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

Our new Hokkeji Lantern welcomes our guests into Heatherwood’s Japanese garden. To the left beyond the path (not visible) is a young Acer grisum (paperbark maple). In time, its branches will extend over the path to project the Hokkeji. To the right and behind is a newly-planted pink red-bud. Over time, its branches will extend over the Hokkeji as well. The combination of the two trees and lantern will provide a concealed glimpse of the Japanese garden. Once through the entry, the garden will open up to a pathway rising up the hill to overlook the garden and to another path leading to a hidden waterfall.

As I squint my eyes, I see my imagined vision of what will be in the years ahead.

Rock Garden

Rock Garden From Below
Heatherwood, Summer

This image is taken from the lawn below the view area discussed in my previous post. The rock garden’s southern exposure creates a stage to display a mixture of texture, color, and shapes. Specimen conifers are highlighted by colorful perennials and ground cover. Scattered grasses provide additional textural interest. The various rocks link into the rocks scattered on the hillsides above.

Rock Garden Snapshot

“Rock Garden Infancy”
Heatherwood, Summer

This image is the winding path down from our upper viewing area through the rock garden to the lawn below. We are attempting to create an “alpine-type” rock garden on the slope between two of our lawn areas. It will take several years to fill in to where the plants cover the bark and flow over the edge of the path. The path itself is a winding s-curve through the garden. The evergreens are dwarf versions. Ground cover is placed to fill in around the evergreens and other shrubs.

The rock garden is in its infancy. Last year it was just a sloping, difficult to mow lawn. All it needs now is time, patience, and a little care to mature.

Getting Out!

Japanese Garden
Yakima Area Arboretum, Washington

I just couldn’t stand it any longer. I had to get out to a safe place and do a little photography. It was early afternoon with a bright blue sky. It wasn’t the best time for color photography, but it was a great time for shadows and black & white, infrared images. My sherpa and I trekked out in my wheel chair, sherpa pushing, and I with my camera in hand. The arboretum was not crowded, so it was easy to keep our “social distance.”

Sherpa was wonderful, moving me to just the right spots for me to create a few images. We saw this lone bench in the shade. The scenery was great and no-one was around. It was a good place to take a break. Thank you sherpa for a great excursion.

Nature’s Little Wonders – 6

“Ouch”
Yakima Arboretum, Washington

“When you see red, shoot” … especially in the garden. The leathery red leaves of this Oregon grape popped out from the background. The Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) is a multi-season star of the garden. Its dark green leaves provide a strong contrast with its bright yellow spring blooms. These turn into blue berries in the late summer/fall. In the winter, the leaves turn to various shades of orange, burgundy, and red.

We have planted several mahonia among the pines and spruces of our conifer grove to provided a multi-season complimentary contrast.

Nature’s Little Wonders – 5

“Squiggly”
Yakima Arboretum, Washington

The squiggly branches of this tree shrub would catch anyone’s interest. My challenge creating this image was to compose it to achieve a balance within the image and to have a light background to highlight the curly branches.

Heatherwood does not have one of these … yet. It is another opportunity to make an interesting addition.

Nature’s Little Wonders – 3

Oakleaf Hydrangea
Yakima Arboretum, Washington

The glow of this back/side lit expired hydrangea bloom stopped me in my tracks. It was like if it was a bright red stop sign signaling me to stop and pay attention to what it had to offer. Each fall, I face a hard decision to deadhead the spent blooms for a better bloom next year, or let them be to provide special winter interest. We solved the problem this spring by planting several additional plants in the lower part of the garden.

Happy Fourth of July

Iwo Jima Memorial
Arlington, Virginia

This Fourth of July will be different that any other. The Fourth of July has always been a special time when I’ve celebrated with family and friends. I remember growing up and having family get-togethers at Sportsman’s Park in Yakima and watching fireworks at the Selah Park. I’ve been lucky enough to spend the Fourth in Washington, DC four times. I’ve watched fireworks over the Capitol Mall … what a glorious experience. Our University of Washington college group (the Whizzies) have gotten together for the Fourth every year since the the mid 80’s. For the past 30+ years we have joined together at Sunriver Resort in Oregon. We have watched the Whizzy children grow up and have children of their own. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed all our lives but not our spirit. Though we will not physically get together, we will have a collective Zoom event to celebrate the Holiday and our friendship.

In these difficult times, let’s all take the time to reflect on what this special holiday represents. It is a time to be grateful for what others have given to insure our independence and freedom. It is a time to give back to our Country and peoples and to make our Nation stronger.

Happy Fourth of July!

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