Category Archives: Our Garden

Images taken in our Pennsylvania garden

Winter Mushrooms

“Snow Covered Yarrow and Rudbeckia”
Heatherwood Meadow

When I first saw this clump of snow-covered yarrow and rudbeckia, I thought that they looked like a field of mushrooms. Mary thought that they looked like a field of cotton. What is the purpose of a garden but to enjoy, dream, and imagine!

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Still Hanging On

“October Glory Maple & Mountain Lantern”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

This scene is from the top of the garden above our “Perch” sitting area. The leaves of the October Glory are still hanging on. Last year at this time, they had all fallen. They make a nice contrasting interest against the white snow. The yellowish Wintersonne Mugo Pine on the right has not attained its winter color yet. In about a month, it will be bright yellow. Just out of view on the left side of the image is a winterberry holly. In the winter, the leaves will fall, leaving clusters of bright red berries. The combination of other Japanese hollies, winterberry hollies, and green and yellow conifers, along with the Japanese mountain lantern will provide an attractive winter garden vignette. We just need to give it time.

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I Just Turned 90 Degrees

“Looking East”
Heatherwood Snow

I did not have to move far from the spot where I created yesterday’s post for today’s image I took a step or two, then turned toward the East. This image is looking through the northern slope of the Japanese-influenced part of our garden. For this image, I was looking for the contrasts of the snow as well as the subdued winter colors. Again, the biggest contrast is the vegetated garden against the barren background Selah Bluff.

The two red maples in the middle of the image are also a personal interest of mine. They represent a passage of time. The little red Japanese maple in the foreground-left was planted late summer this year as one of our newest additions to the Japanese garden. The larger October Glory maple in the background-right was planted in 2016, the first year that I had moved back to Selah. What a difference in maturity six years makes. It helps me visualize what the garden will look like in the coming years.

First Real Snowfall of the Season

“Almost Winter”

Yesterday we got our first real snowfall of the season. When we got up, 4-5 inches of snow covered the ground. It was beautiful.

It is great to be retired. Instead of shoveling out the car to go to work, I grabbed my camera and strolled through the garden making tracks in the pristine layer of snow. It was a much nicer way to start the day. Snow plowing could wait until I got finished enjoying the fresh snow.

I purposefully set out to do my best to create images that represent the beauty of a winter garden. I focused on shapes, forms, residual color, and contrasts. Hopefully I was able to create enough images for a winter garden chapter in by annual Heatherwood Highlights book.

Today’s image focus is shapes and forms, contrasts of the white snow on the evergreens, and the contrast of a lush garden environment against the barren background hill. The scene is one of my favorite views year around from our garden.

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A Relaxing Way to Start the Day

“Out My Office Window”
Heatherwood Late Fall

I usually start my day looking out my office window before I begin my daily journal entry. Many times this time of year it is pitch black. But, the sun typically breaches the hills above us by the time I am finished writing. I spend several moments just gazing out the window and contemplating what the new day will bring. It is a peaceful way to start the day and outline my priorities on how to make each day a special one.

This morning, I started thinking how things have changed since I moved back west from the Philadelphia area six years ago. This view was then a hillside of grass with our historical irrigation flume in the background. Now the flume is gone and the grass has been replaced with a Japanese inspired hillside planting area. Ground covers are filling in, defining the paths up the hill. This past year we have added the Japanese maple and a lilac tree to help block the scar on the background hillside created when they tore down the flume last winter. Every year the shrubs and trees get a little larger creating more shade. Ground covers spread over the brown earth. And we still plant a new tree from time to time. Things are always changing … just like life.

Happy Thanksgiving

“Fall Color”
Heatherwood Autumn

Thanksgiving is my favorite Holiday. I remember the wonderful times up at the Ranch with Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Ben, all of my aunts and uncles, Mom and Dad, and 4 of 5 of my siblings. There were 15 of us back then in the 50’s. Our family has now grown to about 75 comprising four generations: aunts, uncles, our generation, nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, cousins, and all the spouses. Back in the 50’s we were all together up at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s. Today, we are spread out over Washington, Oregon, and New York. I miss the old days when we were all together, but time passes and new experiences open up. Each day adds to my list of memories of a wonderful life.

There is so much to be grateful for. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Well, It is Now Time…

“Kotoji & Waterfall Ice”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

A couple more days with sub-freezing temperatures and the waterfall is freezing over. It is now time to turn the stream off before the water overflows the stream bed. It is an indicator for the garden to take its winter nap. It will be about 3 to 3 1/2 months before we start our spring clean-up and turn the water back on. Now is the time to rest and plan for the upcoming year. Weather permitting, we will continue our strolls through the garden, enjoying the winter garden color and contrasts.

It’s Almost Time

“Kotoji and Stream”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

We are entering the last month of autumn. Temperatures have dropped down into the teens at night. We have already had our first dusting of snow and are expecting a little flurry today. It’s almost time to turn the main waterfall off for the season. Every time I walk by our pond and waterfall this time of year, I say to myself that I should turn off the water. Then I think, one more week.

I love to gaze at our waterfall and listen to the sound of the water falling into the pond. I have a difficult time shutting the main stream down for the winter. We do keep our side stream going to help aerate the pond and keep it oxygenated for the fish. At least we have a little flow action and noise over the next 3-4 months. We turn the water back on when we start our spring clean-up in March.

So maybe, I will turn the waterfall off today … or not.

Oak Leaves

“Scarlet Oak”
Heatherwood Oak Grove

The autumn color on our scarlet oak just did not turn to the bright red as it has in past years. Just as the color started to change, we had a cold snap with temperatures dropping below 20 degrees. The color change stopped at orange. This fall has been quite different. Many of our trees still have green leaves while others have dropped all their leaves. Some of our maples are half red and half green. I think the trees are all mixed up.

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