Category Archives: Flora

I Love the Autumn Color

“Lower Lawn”
Heatherwood Autumn

Our autumn color is changing so fast. Last night the temperature dropped down into the mid-20’s. This morning, two of three of our ginkgos dropped all their leaves. We have one left that still has not turned yellow yet. For the next several days, I will need to photograph both in the morning and in the afternoon to create a record of our fall garden.

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A Nice Diversion

“The Path Around the House”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

This little path leads from our back patio to the front entryway of our house. It is always a nice little diversion to walk along. In the morning, light softly filters through the trees to the path. The backlit leaves are stunning. On a summer afternoon, the area is in shade. It is one of the few areas in Heatherwood where we can grow shade plants.

This area is where I first started developing a little Japanese inspired garden. The dark purple Japanese maple in the upper left is the first tree I planted when I moved back to Selah in 2016. The next year, we started work on the surrounding area, building the path and adding a few trees along it. Each subsequent year, we have added a little more. We are now at the stage where we need to do a little transplanting to optimize the design as well as add a few more shade plants as the trees grow and provide more shade. A garden is never finished!

The Emerging Star

“Purple Aster”
Heatherwood Meadow

The purple asters are at their peak. They are the emerging star in our Heatherwood meadow. Here they contrast with the golds and yellows of the daylilies, sedum, and yarrow. The bees have found them and are swarming all over. They are the last plants to bloom in the meadow. Soon, the bees will start their winter hibernation.

Early Fall Color

“Early Morning Sunlight”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

The color is starting to change in our Heatherwood garden. The early morning sunlight brightens up the colorful leaves. Every day brings a change in the colors. For the next several weeks I will be out in the garden continuously. Every day presents a gift of something new.

Filling In

“Two Zelkovas”
Heatherwood Summer

Four years ago this area was a pasture of grass and weeds. The house and garage below was clearly visible. It is amazing how a few trees, shrubs, perennials, and grass can change the scene. The lawn grass was planted three years ago. The trees and most of the shrubs and perennials were planted two years ago. Several fill in perennials were planted last year. This year we have just sat back and enjoyed this part of Heatherwood.

In the years ahead, the two Zelkova trees will grow and form a natural canopy and “tunnel” between the two planting beds. The trees in the background will get taller and entirely block our neighbor’s garage. The shrubs, ornamental grasses, and perennials will fill in and continue to add color and interest. For now, we sit back and enjoy!

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Balanced and Framed

“Grasses, Joe Pye Weed, and Coreopsis”
Heatherwood Meadow

There are many little vignettes in Heatherwood’s summer meadow. I constantly walk though the garden and discover a new perspectives of note. In this little scene, the two tall Karl Forester grasses in the back and the two blue oat grasses on the sides frame in the row of yellow coreopsis in the front and the row of pink Joe Pye weed in the center. The scene is naturally balanced.

Summer Color in the Meadow

“Soft Summer Color”
Heatherwood Meadow

Walking through our Heatherwood meadow in the early morning when the sun just rises and softly grazes over the meadow flowers is a calming experience. The various colors, textures, and shapes pull me into the scene.

The summer scenes change daily. Some flowers fade, new flowers emerge. Grasses grow taller providing new backgrounds as well as blocking and framing other views. This year the scorching summer direct sunlight is causing many flowers to fade prematurely, but others burst out just as quickly. We are always in a dilemma, should we deadhead plants to make the garden look pretty and force new blooms, or should we just let them take their natural course and fade then spread their seeds in the fall and winter. Mostly, we just let things mature naturally.

Purple and White

“New Echinaceas”
Heatherwood Summer Meadow

Echinaceas are one of my favorite summer perennials. In Pennsylvania, we started with just a few of purple echinaceas planted by the previous owners. They were in the wrong spots. We pulled most out and transplanted just a few. Over the years we ended up with three beautiful echinacea beds.

At Heatherwood, we started out with just a couple of patches of white echinaceas when we first planted the meadow three years ago. This year we added a few more patches and mixed in purple cone flowers with the white. Now it is time to wait, watch them fill in, and then start spreading them out. It just takes time and patience.

Showing Off

“Forest Pansy Redbud Leaves”
Heatherwood Woodland

The early morning sun backlit these Forest Pansy redbud leaves causing them to shout out, “Look at me, look at me!” An early morning walk is always a pleasure. Things just seem to sparkle when the sun first glances over them. The special sunlight is fleeting, I have to be on my toes, time is short. It is time to make the most out of every moment.

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