I usually start my day writing in my office when it is dark outside. I take time, sometimes listen to music, and think about what is most important to me. The sun slowly rises above the surrounding hills, then lights up our Heatherwood yard. I turn around from my desk, sit back, relax, and gaze at the beauty of the scene in front of me. I get charged, get a quick bite to eat, then grab my camera to go out and become one with nature. What a great way to start the day right!
Our Heatherwood Japanese garden is peppered with all the colors of the rainbow. We have them all; yellow, green, red, orange, magenta, and purple. We are just missing blue. We are rapidly loosing the color with the rain and wind we recently been having. One day a tree or shrub is at its peak, the next day the leaves are on the ground leaving bare branches. The garden is changing color so quickly that I have a hard time keeping up with my photographs.
This image was created about twenty feet from the image in yesterday’s post. Instead of focusing on a single hydrangea looking through the garden, I stepped back and framed the historic Selah-Naches irrigation flume with the cherry trees and the row of hydrangeas. Borrowed scenes always add interest and enjoyment to our garden.
This fall will probably be the last time that the historic flume will be seen from our garden. It is scheduled to be replaced with a pipe line this winter. Progress is painful!
Some views in our Heatherwood garden provide a glance through the garden to a borrowed scene of the surrounding hills. Other views, like the one above, provide a “stop dead” vignette of a specimen plant surrounded by companions and a deep background of color and contrasts. The ‘Lime Light’ panicle hydrangea is clearly the star of this image. In the summer, the blooms emerge bright white with a little lime green tinge. As the summer progresses they become even brighter white. In the late summer/early fall, they start to turn slightly pink. Later in the fall, the blooms turn brown and the leaves change into their fall color. Then in late autumn, the leaves fall, leaving the bare stems topped with spent blooms which provide a structural interest for the winter.
The companion plants provide depth and a stage for the star. The color and varying textures of the rudbeckia, Russian sage, yellow twig dogwood, and other perennials provide the frame. The grasses, various shrubs, and trees complete the background adding depth to the vignette.
As we walk through the garden, new and different scenes appear daily.
Developing a garden is an evolution of ideas and time. Our Japanese-influenced garden started with my first planting of a Bloodgood Japanese maple in 2016. Additional trees and shrubs were added as I created a small section of garden next to the house in 2017 and 2018. In 2019, my ideas expanded to create a large Japanese style garden on the north section of our property. The concept of Heatherwood began. We converted a grassy slope into a large rock garden, complete with a pond, stream, and waterfall. Monsterous excavators reshaped the landscape. We planted the foundation trees and conifer shrubs for the garden. The foundation was complete, but there were many open areas to be finished. The work had just begun. In 2020, we added several ground covers around the garden pathways. This year we continued with the ground covers, additional border and shade trees, along with many evergreen and deciduous shrubs intended to fill in space and create a little contrast and multi-seasonal interest.
This little red twig dogwood was planted this spring. It looks small now, but when mature, it will reach 5-6 feet tall and wide. In the spring and summer it has light green foliage contrasting with the darker green conifers. In autumn, it is turning into yellow and red shades. In winter, its red stems create a beautiful contrast, especially when the ground is covered with snow.
The garden will continue to evolve. Each year we will add ground covers and additional fill-in plants. As the shade trees grow, we will replace sun loving specimens with shade specimens. Rhododendrons and azaleas are in the plan once we have enough shade to protect them. Developing the garden will be a never ending activity of joy.
Fall color is breaking out fast here in Eastern Washington. This year it seems like the color has broken out earlier than past years. The temperatures have dropped down into the 50’s from the hot 100+ degree days we experienced this summer. Every day I notice something new transitioning into its autumn shade. Heatherwood is a beautiful place to be this time of year.
It is time to go out and get to work finishing off our fall planting.