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.
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.
I had planned to visit the Palouse in June to see the spring greens and yellows. It just wasn’t meant to be. I am yearning to get out with my camera for an adventure. Maybe later on this month I will be able to travel for a couple of days out to the Palouse. It should not be too crowded so I will be able to maintain social distancing during the trip. Warm summer breezes and softly blowing grains will be waiting.
As the temperatures hover in the high 90’s, our new meadow continues to display a variety of color. I long to be able to get our among the flowers and become one with my camera and the beautiful blooms. For the next several weeks, I will need to be content with viewing alongside and from above. Patience is not one of my strongest virtues.
This is another one of our ‘”viewing rooms” at the southeast corner of our property. Looking north from here I can see the lower lawn area, the meadow and the crabapple grove on my right. Circled around the back and to the far right, is a conifer grove. A large Zelkova on the left provides shade from the afternoon sun. In a few years, this will be a protected hidden alcove. It will be a good spot to watch young ones play on the grass.
Our current “stay at home” and “social distancing” environment does have a few advantages. It gives me the opportunity to refresh some of my photography lessons. David duChemin, one of my instructors, stresses that to make a meaningful/compelling photograph, a photographer must first have a vision. That vision translates to having an intent for each image that is taken by a press of a cameras shutter.
This same thought is directly applicable to designing a landscape. When we first started designing our future arboretum one of the first things we did was to walk around the property to identify what scenes we wanted to protect and emphasize from potential “viewing rooms.” Selah Butte and the old Naches-Selah irrigation flume was a mandatory view. We picked a point near the southwest corner of our open lower lawn to build a protected viewing point. This point is where this image is taken from. We designed a planting area behind this point, an oval patch of lawn in front, and other curved planting and lawn areas between to develop a little room. In the back of the room, we planted trees to create shade from the afternoon sun. We framed the view of the butte with an oak and a Katsura tree. Other trees in the mid-ground have a limited height and will not interfere with the view. The summer sun rises directly over the butte. The setting sun lights the hillside up with a warm orangish glow. It will be a great place to welcome the rising sun with a cup of coffee as well as a peaceful place to enjoy a glass of wine as we enjoy the warm glow of the setting sun.
Now, let’s get back to the original question, “Why did I create this image?” My intent was simply to create a baseline illustrating the view that we have at the completion of our first phase of our Heatherwood’s landscape design. The image was created mid-day on the first day of summer 2020. I plan to develop a history of the passing of the seasons, morning and afternoon perspectives, and maturing of our Heatherwood arboretum over time.
The “Eastern Smooth Beardtongue” (Penstemon laevigitus) is one of our garden’s first bloomers. its three foot tall burgundy stems host brilliant white and pink flowers in the middle of the meadow.
Small beautiful vignettes like this help me focus on what is right with this world as I let go of the many difficult things we are all facing. Beauty is all around us, we just need to open our eyes and hearts to recognize it.
Here is to more color in the meadow. This time we’ve added a little orange to the yellow and purple. The patches of color are separate, but gently blend into one another. The yellow provides a little buffer between the orange and the purple. What a summer treat our new meadow brings us.
Clumps of yellow “Red Hot Pokers”. (Kniphofia uvaria) are scattered in several places around the meadow. They are the stars of the current blooming meadow perennials. They stick out like blazing candles on a birthday cake.