“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.
“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.
After a while sitting by the pond and waterfall, our visitor decides to continue their stroll through the garden. He/she looks around and notices this little path headed off to the East. “I wonder where this will lead, I’ll take it.”
“Left to the Pond – Right to Continue” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
After catching a glimpse of the water, our stroller continues down the curving path to come to a second division. The rushing water and the waiting Adirondack chairs pulls him/her to the left. The Oribe guide post, Tetsu Bachi basin, and Kakehi water spout draw the guest in to prepare for a relaxing pause.
As time passes and the young trees mature, they will enclose this sitting area and make it more private. But for now, it is pretty much wide open and provides a wide angle view of the Japanese Garden’s star attraction.
Walking further down the entry path, the stroller now needs to make a decision: right around the hill or left up the hill. The design for this division in the path hides what is beyond. The stroller needs to decide to follow the sound or climb to get a better view. The little lantern marks the decision point as well as provides light in the evening. The extended limbs of the Shishigashira Japanese maple behind the lantern seems to point to the two different paths.
Across the path from the Hokkoji, a Hana Matoi Japanese maple, captures our strollers eye. It is planted on the hillside and surrounded with rocks, ice plants, and thyme. The vignette created by the maple and ground covers can be seen from multiple spots through out the Japanese garden. It is one of the key focal points of interest. Below are a couple of highlights:
A Hokkeji lantern welcomes our garden’s visitors with a glimpse of what is to come. A newly planted (2021) Japanese Pagoda tree and Akebono Flowering Cherry tree leads (and disguises) a walker around to a viewing area overlooking a pond and waterfall. The viewing area is surrounded by a mature linden tree and several young Japanese maples and a Japanese Stewartia. Over time these will provide a living enclosure around a peaceful viewing area.