Category Archives: Our Garden

Images taken in our Pennsylvania garden

First Year’s Growth

Rock Garden and Meadow
Heatherwood Summer

Last year this area was all green grass. We broke up the solid lawn with various planting areas. The slope in the foreground was turned into a “alpine-like” rock ground patterned loosely from Ohme Gardens in Wenatchee, WA. In the flat area below, we created a small meadow area. The plantings are a little sparse now as they get accustomed to their first year in the landscape. It will take 3-5 years for the plants to mature and cover most of the ground. A big part of enjoying the new landscape will be to watch how the plants mature and adapt. This area is designed to have continuous color throughout the year.

Looking East

Selah Ridge from Garden Pathway
Heatherwood Summer

Part of our design criteria when laying out Heatherwood was to make use of the background geological highlights. Pathways leading from one section to another were located to channel the view to some specific area of interest. This pathway, facing east, highlights Selah Ridge with its basalt lava flow. Also in the background, the view highlights our 1890’s irrigation flume.

Finished ???

“The Lower Forty”
Heatherwood, Selah, WA

Finished … at least for this year! At the beginning of March, this area was a 2.5 acre lawn. Now at the end of August we have completed this year’s landscape project. Six months of work has converted the area into a combination of tree groves, lawn rooms, meadows, and rock gardens with a new patio thrown in. It is now time to sit back and enjoy the gifts of nature. It is so peaceful to sit outside and enjoy a morning cup of coffee or an afternoon beverage. Strolling around the new trees and plantings, we discover nature’s gifts all around. At night, strategically placed lighting highlights waterfalls, specimens, and various sculptures. We are so very grateful for each and every day!

Purple & Pink

“Purple & Pink”
Heatherwood Rock Garden

Our Heatherwood garden continues to change through the summer. Color is everywhere. Most of the perennials are relatively small since they were just planted this spring. Small vignettes are the best way to represent what is happening in the garden at this time.

Mary and I usually walk through the garden at least once a day and are always amazed at the beauty that is presented to us.

Thistle by Georgia

“Thistle Impression”
Heatherwood Meadow, Summer

It’s time to come back home and add a couple more images from our Heatherwood garden. I used to think thistles were just weeds, but we decided to plant a couple of different varieties in our meadow. This one is planted between white daisies and yellow yarrow. It provides a nice contrast in the meadow. With the hot temperatures (>100 degrees) these thistles have quickly bloomed then lost their color. To accentuate the artistic flair of the thistles, I added a little Georgia O’Keeffe impressionism to it.

Bright and Shiny

“Perennial Mixture”
Heatherwood Cherry Allee

“Bright and Shiny” is what Mary wanted for her Cherry Allee. It was one of the first criteria that we established as we planned our design for the “lower 40.” It has now become a reality … at least the start of one. Colors are constantly changing as one set of blooms expire and another one starts to bloom. Our target was to have a continuous bloom from mid/late spring through the fall. So far it is working.

Yellow Flowers

On a bright, July day, the yellow flowers are like little suns,
waving in a slight breeze and looking toward me from different angles.

The Earth gives us little miracles, like flowers that drink in the sun,
radiating their color and vibrance to any willing passerby.

The little voices in my head say, “We don’t need to understand it all; just look at the pretty
yellow flowers . . .”

– Mary Dahlin Graf

Star Gazing

“Stargazer Lily”
Heatherwood Cherry Allee


A bloom, rarely shy
The lily, bold and joyful—
Fragrant, fleeting grace

– Mary Dahlin Graf

How nice these lilies smell! We planted them next to our “sitting stones” at the top of our cherry allee. When we were first planning what kind of flowers we want to plant, Mary’s immediate response was, “a Stargazer lily, please, please, please!”. So, we made it happen. Now she can sit at the top of her allee, reach out, touch, and enjoy the beautiful blooms. Life is good!

It Has a Long Way to Go

“View from Below”
Heatherwood Cherry Allee

Yesterday’s post was of a mature cherry allee at the Yakima Arboretum. This image is our new cherry allee planted this spring. Between the eight trees we have planted a colorful perennial garden with a path zig zagging through the flowers. We have picked perennials that will flower from late spring through early fall.

It will take several years for the trees to grow large enough to form the allee. The perennials will fill in much quicker. In about three years they should fill in leaving a minimum of uncovered ground.

In the Sprinklers Again

Yarrow in the Sprinklers”
Heatherwood Meadow

My neighbors must have thought I was crazy as they observed me leaning over the side of my lawnmower with a big camera and long telephoto lens pointed down at the ground. I am sure they were asking, “Why doesn’t he stop being lazy and just get off the mower to take a picture?”

Maybe in a couple more weeks I will be able to. Not being able to walk around much or kneel down and get up is not stopping me from creating an image or two.