Category Archives: Details

Red & Pink

“Cherokee Daybreak Dogwood”
Heatherwood Autumn

Several of our flowering dogwoods have transitioned to their full autumn glory. This species is one of my favorite. Its variegated leaves are gorgeous. In the spring breaks out in light pink with white edges. It transitions to green with white edges in the summer. Then in the fall it bursts out in deep magenta with pink edges. It is a brilliant star in Heatherwood’s Japanese garden.

Under the Branches

“Signature Japanese Maple”
Portland Japanese Garden

Every time I visit the Portland Japanese Garden, I stop by and look under the branches of the signature Japanese maple that overlooks the main pond area. I get a completely different abstract view of the garden looking through the branches and leaves.

This star attraction is meticulously pruned to create the maple’s beautiful structure. The environment in the Portland garden is perfect for Japanese maples and their delicate pruned structure. In our Central Washington Heatherwood garden, we don’t the same luxury. Because of the harsh direct sunlight, we need to keep a heavy layer of leaves on the maples to protect them. We can still have a similar overall shape, but not the delicate loose layering of maples in a less harsh environment.

Heart and Soul

“Forest Pansy Redbud Leaf”
Heatherwood Woodland

Many times as I walk through our garden, I just let my imagination wander. I am not looking for anything in particular. But when something catches my eye, I stop and explore with my mind and soul. Many times, after pausing for a few moments, I just move on. Sometimes I become captured and just let my mind wander.

I saw this pretty bright new leaf on the tip of a branch. My eyes followed it up along the branch as it led up to the trunk of the tree. The heart seemed to be beating as it softly fluttered in the breeze. I imagined it feeding its blood along the branches to the other leaves and softly back up to the soul of the tree. It is wonderful what imagination can do! Look around, look up to the clouds, and dream. It is a wonderful way to enjoy a moment!

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A Gift From Nature

“Red Tip Norway Spruce”
Heatherwood Spring

Nature constantly gives me little gifts of joy each day. As I walk slowly through our garden, my mind and eyes wander. Then all of a sudden something pops out and says, “Look at me, look at me!” Yesterday, I was walking through the garden looking for little vignettes of contrasting color and texture. Then all of a sudden these little red tips from a Norway spruce stood up and hollered, “Here I am, forget about all that other stuff and pay attention to me.” I did and used all that other color and textures as a soft background.

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Macro Stroll

“Japanese Maple Leaf on Phlox”
Heatherwood Winter

I enjoy the little things in the garden. A couple of days ago, I took a short stroll with my macro lens just looking for little things of contrast and interest. I looked down and noticed a single Japanese maple leaf from last year lying across the new growth of the a mound of phlox ground cover. The tips of the maple leaf accentuated the tips of the old and new growth of the phlox.

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Adios Until Next Fall!

“Last Year’s Grasses”
Heatherwood Meadow

By the time this post is published, this clump of grasses will be gone. They are saying goodbye until next autumn. We have held off cutting the grasses down through the winter. They have provided seeds for the birds and interesting visual textures for us to enjoy. We enjoy watching them flow through the winter winds as well as visualizing the interesting shapes they form when laden with snow.

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Shadows Beget Hope

“First Crocus”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

After the shadow of record-setting freezing temperatures, our first crocuses start to emerge. They provide hope that spring is just around the corner. In a similar fashion, I contemplate and pray that our world’s humanity will overcome the shadow that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is causing.

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Purple & Green

“Blue Rug Juniper and Woolly Thyme”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

Many times I walk through our garden with my camera focusing on a simple objective. Contrasting colors and textures in our winter garden was my photographic theme during this day’s garden stroll. I consider our Heatherwood garden as one big experiment. This little vignette is the result of two seasons growth of a creeping juniper and a soft-textured thyme. It provides a tight contrasting ground cover in our Japanese influenced garden. More thyme has been ordered for this year’s planting project to provide additional interesting ground cover for the garden.

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Seed Pod or Weapon?

“Nature’s Flail”
Heatherwood Liquidambar

Little things frequently catch my attention during my garden strolls. I almost always have a camera with me to record my thoughts. Liquidambars (American Sweetgum) have caught my interest for many years. Their beautiful multi-color fall foliage first caught my eye in a nursery near Woodinville, WA in the late 80’s. I purchased two and planted them at our driveway’s entrance. An ice storm following a heavy snowfall bent the trees to the ground and broke off several branches. The trees never really fully recovered.

My next experience was in Pennsylvania where I again saw the beautiful fall color of a row of sweetgums lining a local nursery. I quickly bought six trees to line the edge of our yard along the road. Fifteen years later, they were the highlight of our neighborhood’s drive.

I am on my third trial here in Central Washington. Two years after I moved in, I planted two more Liquidambars, one on each side of our driveway. They grace our front yard with lush green foliage in the spring and summer, beautiful fall color, and the weapons shown in the image above in the winter.

When I look at these spiked seed pods, they remind me of a spiked medieval weapon called a flail. I don’t want to think how it would feel to be hit by one. However, I have felt the excruciating pain of crawling around on the ground weeding beneath a tree and kneeling on one of the spiked seed pods.

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