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 … 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!
“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.
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 . . .”
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!
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.
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.
Our new Hokkeji Lantern welcomes our guests into Heatherwood’s Japanese garden. To the left beyond the path (not visible) is a young Acer grisum (paperbark maple). In time, its branches will extend over the path to project the Hokkeji. To the right and behind is a newly-planted pink red-bud. Over time, its branches will extend over the Hokkeji as well. The combination of the two trees and lantern will provide a concealed glimpse of the Japanese garden. Once through the entry, the garden will open up to a pathway rising up the hill to overlook the garden and to another path leading to a hidden waterfall.
As I squint my eyes, I see my imagined vision of what will be in the years ahead.
This image is taken from the lawn below the view area discussed in my previous post. The rock garden’s southern exposure creates a stage to display a mixture of texture, color, and shapes. Specimen conifers are highlighted by colorful perennials and ground cover. Scattered grasses provide additional textural interest. The various rocks link into the rocks scattered on the hillsides above.
This image is the winding path down from our upper viewing area through the rock garden to the lawn below. We are attempting to create an “alpine-type” rock garden on the slope between two of our lawn areas. It will take several years to fill in to where the plants cover the bark and flow over the edge of the path. The path itself is a winding s-curve through the garden. The evergreens are dwarf versions. Ground cover is placed to fill in around the evergreens and other shrubs.
The rock garden is in its infancy. Last year it was just a sloping, difficult to mow lawn. All it needs now is time, patience, and a little care to mature.
As the temperatures hover in the high 90’s, our new meadow continues to display a variety of color. I long to be able to get our among the flowers and become one with my camera and the beautiful blooms. For the next several weeks, I will need to be content with viewing alongside and from above. Patience is not one of my strongest virtues.