“Looking North Through Japanese Garden” Heatherwood Winter
Work is about to start on our 2021 spring project at Heatherwood. Our garden will continuously change over time. Additions and modifications are designed to highlight key plants, frame views, and hide distractions. From the perspective of the above image, we want to focus the attention to the plants in the Japanese garden then draw the view to the 1890’s irrigation flume in the background. This year we plan to add medium sized Japanese holly evergreens to hide the road leading up the hill and mid-sized conifers to hide the bare hillside at the right of the image. These additions will provide a background layer for the Japanese garden as well as frame the irrigation flume in the distant background.
As we walk through our garden, we are content enjoying the current state of our existing plants. Concurrently we visualize how the plants will mature as well as look for new opportunities to enhance the garden. Change is an ever-present part of Heatherwood.
On a crisp winter’s morning, I gaze out over the Heatherwood landscape. I look over our immediate landscape to the hills surrounding our grounds. My eyes stop and become fixated on our neighbor’s beautiful cherry tree. It is the last standing memory of a bygone cherry orchard of the past.
We frequently walk by the tree on the way to pick up the mail. We stop and admire the tree throughout the year. Zelda, our neighbor’s Black Labrador, frequently greets us yearning for a pet.
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.
Looking out over our front yard, I reflect on memories of bygone childhood years. Outside our farmhouse door, in the foreground I see the snow covered apple trees with a few remaining apples hanging on the wild branches that need to be pruned. A little farther out I see our neighbor’s newly planted apple orchard. Behind the new apple orchard, I reminisce running through the old cherry orchard looking for low hanging delicious treats. And above the cherry orchard, I dream of the hours I would spend roaming around the sagebrush hills behind our orchard.
I enjoy looking over our Heatherwood landscape as I appreciate the borrowed views from our neighbors’ properties.
One of my favorite places to sit, relax, and read is in our family room by the window. I frequently look up and gaze over the our garden and the ridges in the distance. Most times I see something that catches my attention and causes me to pause and contemplatively think about what I am seeing. The more that my mind is open, the more that I see. The more that I see, the more I appreciate the wonderful world we live in.
“Japanese Maple in Snow” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
This Japanese Maple is persistent. It just will not drop its leaves. Most of our Japanese Maples have a similar habit. They add to contrasting colors in the winter landscape as well as provide interesting “nesting spots” for winter snow. If the snow gets too heavy, we do have to gently dust it off the fragile branches to protect them from breaking. Later in the early spring we also need to gently run our hands through the branches to remove the leaves on some of the trees to prepare for the fresh new growth.
Yesterday I awoke to the ground covered with about 6 inches of snow. A light fog covered the surrounding hills. Snow covered objects blended into the background. From the top of Heatherwood, I saw our neighbor’s trees mysteriously transparent on the hillside. It’s nice to live in the country.
Hana Matoi Late Fall Growth Heatherwood Japanese Garden
A few red and green leaves of late autumn growth contrast against the dried brown leaves of the spent leaves. Ice plants in their red and yellow winter color on the hillside frame the new leaves.
Below, the fragile disectum leaves of the Hana Matoi shade the spreading blue purplish green thyme below.
This concludes my Hana Matoi mini-project. Or does it? These six images in the last 3 posts were all taken on an overcast day. Early morning light and late afternoon light provide many additional perspectives. Different seasons display different colors. Snow, ice, rain, and dew create magical views. And there are always an abundance of opportunities for abstracts. An infinite number of images are yet to be discovered.
Hana Matoi Looking Down Heatherwood Japanese Garden
This post continues my Hana Matoi mini project. Looking for a different perspective, I walked up and leaned into the tree. I stood on my tip toes, held my camera above my head and took this image looking down through the top leaves to highlight the structure of the trunk and branches. It looks like a good spot for a bird to nest.
The image below is from a perspective of walking on a semi-hidden path adjacent to the main Japanese garden path. The Hokkeji pulls a visitor’s eyes to the Hana Matoi and the garden hillside.
Hokkeji and Hana Matoi Heatherwood Japanese Garden