Category Archives: Gardens

Thinking Spring

“Springtime”
Seattle Japanese Garden

There are just four weeks until the first day of spring. Though there is still snow on the ground at home, temperatures are getting warmer and my mind is starting to transition to spring. I am starting to think about spring trips to Northwest gardens like the Seattle and Portland Japanese gardens. We have not been to either one since the fall of 2019 prior to Covid-19. Each time I visit a garden, I come back with a mind full of ideas. Right now, we are focusing on selecting the right type of rhododendrons, azaleas, shade trees, deciduous shrubs and ground covers for Heatherwood’s Japanese garden. I am ready for a little inspiration.

Memories From Longwood

Witch Hazels
Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania

When I was admiring our little witch hazels, my memory reflected back to the beautiful witch hazel grove in Longwood Gardens. The grove is comprised of mature yellow, orange, and witch hazels. It is a star attraction in mid-winter, especially when there is snow on the ground.

Longwood Gardens is a real treasure and a must see when in the Philadelphia area.

It Is a Beautiful Sight

US Capitol, NW Perspective
Washington, DC

Walking around the Capitol, one receives different beautiful vignettes. These two were taken five years apart, about 20 feet from each other. Maybe this summer we will get the chance to return and get another perspective from this spot.

US Capitol, NW Perspective
Five Years Later

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I Love Our Birches

“White Birch in Snow”
Heatherwood, Winter

Our two groves of white birches are brilliant against the winter snow. Every time I go out to photograph, I seem to gravitate to these beautiful trees. They attract my eye through every season, through the day as it passes from dawn to dusk, and through various types of weather from mist to bright sunlight. Maybe, I should create a focused photo project just on these trees.

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Heatherwood Fall Colors #7

Kotoji, Waterfall, and Color
Heatherwood Japanese Garden, Fall

Reds, oranges, yellows, and greens. along with the Kotoji lantern highlight this vignette in our Japanese-style garden. Water flows from above to a pond below. Two Japanese maples, a weeping larch and nine different conifers surround the scene.

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Heatherwood Fall Colors #6

Japanese Garden Path
Heatherwood Fall

Like a Stream

Like a stream,
my path meanders
through Nature’s fall glory.

I love walking around Heatherwood’s formal and informal paths. Autumn’s beautiful color is everywhere, but it is fleeting with the coming of colder temperatures. A daily walk through the garden brings me pleasure as I enjoy the present moments, reflect on the past, and anticipate the coming days.

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Heatherwood Fall Colors #5

Russian Sage & Yarrow
Heatherwood Fall

“Purple and Gold” is my favorite color combination. Being from the University of Washington, how can I help not having these being my favorites? Go Dawgs!!!

Fall and Husky football are synonymous. September and October have not really felt like fall with no Husky football. But, the short season is scheduled to start on 7 November. It will be a different type of season, but at least the young athletes will get to play if things don’t change.

In the meantime, my focus has been in our garden, working and enjoying the fall colors. Throughout the meadows and rock gardens, the primary colors are purple (asters, Russian sage, etc.) and gold (rudbeckia, yarrow, etc.). Reds, yellows, greens and oranges highlight the trees.

Heatherwood Fall Color #4

“Fall Roses”
Heatherwood Fall

The roses are hanging on to their last burst of color. They have provided five months of beautiful enjoyment. It is now time for them to rest. The following is Mary’s perspective:

Fall Roses

As the end of the summer comes, 
one last gasp of velvety red hangs quietly from the stem.

The season of roses gave us color and imagination 
with every gaze of the thirteen rose bushes planted here two years ago.

Some made their way inside, but most lost their petals 
in the summer winds and carpeted the ground with red, pink, yellow, and white.

Now the cold nights are here, and the fall sky grays dully 
during the shortening days.

Here, two red blossoms hang on, sharing their last gasp of fragrant beauty, 
delicate yet defiant of the nature of things.

The uncut rose hips signal a winter nap to get ready for next year’s bloom, 
and their cycle reminds us of the ebb and flow.

Thank you, little roses, for teaching us that the difference 
between the end and the beginning is simply a little time to get ready.

                                                                           Mary Graf, 2020

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Heatherwood Fall Colors #3

Liquidamber Styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’ (Sweet Gum)
Heatherwood Fall

A pair of liquidambers frame the entry area to Heatherwood. I planted them three years ago, before we added the other entryway planting areas and replaced the flowering plum trees with Green Vase Zelkovas. I am attracted to them because of their prominent upright shape, their brilliant fall color, and their “spikey” fruit.

I first planted three liquidambars in our Woodinville, WA garden 25 years ago. I did not have much luck. The first winter after I planted them, we had a very wet snow storm followed by a freeze. The trees still had their leaves and the weight of the snow and ice bent them over to the ground. While we lived there, they never regained their form. Our first year in Fountainville, PA we planted a row of five liquidambers along the road in our front yard. They became the star of our front yard landscape. So when I moved back to Selah, I had to add a pair to a prominent place in our landscape.

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Heatherwood Fall Colors #2

Oak Leaf Hydrangea
Heatherwood Fall

Oak Leaf Hydrangeas are my favorites with their four season interest. In the spring, their dark green leafs unfurl. Summer brings out their beautiful conical flowers. Brilliant fall colors surround the faded brown blossoms in the autumn. In the winter most of the leaves drop leaving their exfoliating cinnamon-brown bark and their brown flower heads. A light dusting of snow highlights their beauty.

Heatherwood displays several Oak Leaf Hydrangeas throughout the garden, including a few in the Oak Grove.

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