Before settling down in the “Perch’s” Adirondack settee, our visitor takes a few moments to enjoy the scene that folds out below. From here, the stroller can view the Selah-Yakima gap, the rural Selah valley and rolling hills, and the Heatherwood landscape as a background to the Japanese garden stream and waterfalls. The dense cloud cover provides a contrast to the normally bright blue summer skies of the Yakima Valley. It is now time to sit down, relax, and enjoy a little peace with the rushing water and the song of birds providing nature’s wonderful music.
This posting is the conclusion for our stroller’s walk through Heatherwood’s Japanese Garden. There is much more to see and enjoy, but those will be left for a future stroll.
Our stroller continues the walk to the top of the path. A stepping stone path beckons one to a sitting rock by the stream across from the Kotoji Japanese lantern. Sitting on the rock next to the stream, a visitor can dangle their fingers in the flowing water as they gaze down and enjoy the water rushing down the hillside.
Today, our stroller decides not to walk down to the stream. Instead they look to the left and see a comfortable Adirondack settee calling them to take a rest and look over the Japanese garden and surrounding countryside.
“Looking Down Over Garden” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
After a two week break, our visitor continues their stroll up to the top of the Japanese garden. Through a break in the trees, the stroller pauses and looks down to overlook the garden below. He/she notices two young deciduous trees, a Kentucky coffeetree and a Japanese pagoda tree. These were planted this year along with a cork tree to provide a future separation between the Japanese garden hillside and the stream and waterfall beyond. They currently stand about twelve feet tall. At maturity these trees can reach a height of over 60 feet and a width of 40-50 feet.
As the stroller continues up the path, he/she is greeted by small Japanese mountain lantern. The lantern is a harbinger that the path is nearing its end.
Turning the corner, the path straightens out and the view opens up. Our visitor is presented a picturesque scene of the Selah Bluff on a beautiful Eastern Washington blue sky day. One of the design aspects of our Heatherwood garden is the use of borrowed scenery from the surrounding area. We make liberal use of it!
Looking up the hill, our stroller sees the top curve in the S-shaped path. The sides of the path are framed by basalt boulders and filled in with ground covers and specimen evergreen shrubs. Over time, all the spaces between the rocks will be filled with interesting vegetation. The back side of the hill is planted with various evergreen shrubs and trees. These will also fill in over time creating a border for the Japanese garden.
The stroller pauses and questions, “What is around the corner?”
“Tobiosho Japanese Maple & Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pine” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
Japanese maples and evergreen conifers line the hillside on the northwestern side of the path. Our visitor stops and examines the various textures and shades of green on the hillside vegetation. During the spring, the light chartreuse of the Tobiosho maple and the bright pink of the creeping phlox add a bit of brilliance to this scene. In the winter, the Chief Joseph pine turns to a brilliant yellow. Red twig dogwoods in the background loose their leaves and add a flash of red to the scene.
The stroller takes a few more steps up the hill and glances toward the sound of flowing water. A small window opens up to present a glimpse of the waterfall and pond.
“Window to the Pond” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
The east side of path is lined with various evergreen trees and shrubs which shield the view of what is beyond to the stroller on the path. Several small windows allow the stroller to peek through to see vignettes of the garden and stream. This window is a “works in progress.” Our design plan is to have low-growing evergreens and and other creeping shrubs create a bed of shades of green and various textures leading to the pond.
“Up the Hill to the Upper Garden” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
Our visitor walks back through the lower part of the Japanese garden returning to the small Japanese lantern marking the entry wye. Japanese maples, full maples, and a variety of conifer trees and shrubs entice the walker to start up the path to the upper garden. What new surprises are to be found?
At the top of the stepping stone path a large rock bridges over the stream. Our stroller, with a little wobbly knees, looks down over the stream below. They think, ” Just a few minutes ago, I was down below sitting in one of the Adirondack chairs enjoying the rushing waterfalls above me. It is a whole different perspective from up here.”
They turn back to the stepping path and start their stroll back down to the lower part of the garden.
“Bridge Stone and Stepping Stone Path” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
“NE Corner – Work In Progress” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
After our visitor finished enjoying the vignette of the waterfall and Yukimi, they turn back up the hill and continue their stroll upward. A stepping stone path appears on their left. Where does it lead?
A Japanese lantern appears at the end of the path. It beckons our stroller to climb up to the top.
This hillside part of the Heatherwood Japanese garden is a “works in progress.” This spring we added the stepping stone path, several trees and shrubs, and started planting ground covers. Our vision is that this will be a natural border for the Japanese garden, fully covered with trees, shrubs, and vegetation. As the trees get bigger and provide shade, we plan to add shade-loving azaleas and rhododendrons.
“Yukimi Lantern and Waterfall” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
It has been a couple of weeks since my last post. I guess it is time to continue the stroll through the garden.
After exiting the garden path, the visitor walks around a couple of trees and starts to walk up the lawn bordering the Japanese garden. The sound of the rushing waterfall catches his/her attention and they look over their left shoulder and catch this small vignette. As we developed the Japanese garden, we tried to create small windows of interest from various view points. This is one of my favorites.