Tag Archives: Japanese Garden

What I Am Trying to Achieve (Continued)

“Lower Waterfall in Early Morning Sun”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

Continuing from my prior post, this image illustrates the design opportunities that we have to create my vision for the stream, waterfall, and pond. We have laid the foundation for the stream’s surrounding areas with a few conifer trees and shrubs. To compliment these, we need to add contrasting shapes and textures along with a lot of ground cover. I hope to achieve this with interesting evergreen and deciduous shrubs and a few more deciduous trees. I am looking also for fast-growing ground covers to keep the bark in place. When we have a strong wind, the surrounding bark is blown into the stream and pond, causing quite a mess and a lot of maintenance work. While adding framing plantings, we need to make sure that we allow “windows” for morning and afternoon sun to highlight the flowing waterfalls. Plant placement will be critical.

A Start

“Yukimi and Waterfall”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

In the summer of 2019 we built a stream, waterfall, and pond for our Japanese Garden. We also added several Japanese lanterns and small trees. This year we added a little ground cover. Our vision is to have the pond and stream lined with lush evergreen shrubs, trees, ground cover, and textured perennials that will cascade over the stream and pond’s edge. Additional trees will be planted to create a shaded environment. Time, a little work, and patience along with nature’s care is all that it will take to fulfill our vision. Our enjoyment will be to watch it evolve over time.

Start of a Nice Day

“Kotoji in Morning Light”
Heatherwood, Indian Summer

I love to start the day enjoying the morning sunlight on our Kotoji Japanese Lantern guarding the waterfall. The Yakima Valley “Indian Summer” is one of my favorite times of the year. The evenings and early mornings are cool in contrast to the warm (sometimes hot) days. Fall colors start to appear on the deciduous trees. The conifers also start to transition to their fall and winter shades. It is a beautiful time of the year!

Something a Little Different

Japanese Garden Entryway Gate
Yakima Area Arboretum, Washington

It was hot (>95F) and it felt good standing in the shade for a moment. Why did I take this image? I was drawn to the line of wisteria and the bright blue sky. It was another good opportunity for infrared photography to pull out the bright wisteria foliage and highlight the brilliant blue sky of a summer day in Eastern Washington.

Bright and Brilliant

Japanese Garden
Yakima Area Arboretum, Washington

The midday contrasts of the foliage tend to blend together. Deep shadows and bright sunlit leaves tend to obscure detail. Some say that the light is bad and it is not a good time to photograph. But I am here enjoying what is in front of me. How can I make the best of it? Infrared comes to the rescue!

Getting Out!

Japanese Garden
Yakima Area Arboretum, Washington

I just couldn’t stand it any longer. I had to get out to a safe place and do a little photography. It was early afternoon with a bright blue sky. It wasn’t the best time for color photography, but it was a great time for shadows and black & white, infrared images. My sherpa and I trekked out in my wheel chair, sherpa pushing, and I with my camera in hand. The arboretum was not crowded, so it was easy to keep our “social distance.”

Sherpa was wonderful, moving me to just the right spots for me to create a few images. We saw this lone bench in the shade. The scenery was great and no-one was around. It was a good place to take a break. Thank you sherpa for a great excursion.

Isolation

“A Peek of the Kotoji”
Heatherwood Fall

I have recognized that I have recently fallen back on making nice snapshots versus compelling images. I tend to fall back into “ruts” from time to time. During this period of “social distancing” and my surgery recovery time, I am looking back on some lessons I have taken on-line from David DuChemin.

The focus on this image is “Isolation.” My exercise last fall was to isolate and enhance the subject and eliminate distractions. My target subject was the Kotoji. I walked around our Japanese Garden to first identify a perspective of the Kotoji that was different from the many that I had taken before. I collected images of a tightly cropped full Kotoji lantern, close-up of detailed Kotoji elements, the Kotoji with the foreground and background, etc. I then continued to walk around and tried to frame the Kotoji with other elements in the Japanese Garden. Finally I worked on creating a “peek” of the Kotoji through a background Japanese maple.

To focus on the subject, I set my focal point and exposed for the front edge of the lantern’s top. The lantern was framed with a void through the Japanese maple. I used a narrow depth of field to blur the maple tree leaves and branches. In post processing, I further blurred and darkened the surrounding leaves and branches to lead the viewers eye to the Kotoji.

This image is not one of my best, but it was an excellent learning experience to purposefully focus on creating a compelling image.

Shin Deshojo

Shin Deshojo Japanese Maple
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

How fast things change. The initial color of the first emerging leaves of this Shin Deshojo is a light pinkish red. Within a week they had turned to this brilliant red. Now, a month later, the leaves are a greenish-red color. Soon they will be a medium green. And then in the fall, they will be a brilliant red again. What a wonderful show this little tree gives us over the year.

The different and changing colors of our 26 Japanese Maples consistently catch my eye. Every time I walk through the garden, I look for something different. It is easy to find.

Our Little “Get Away”

“A Place of Peace and Quiet”
Heatherwood Spring

We are so lucky to be out in “the country”. Here we can create a place to relax and enjoy nature and the world around us. During our Covid 19 “Stay at Home” directive, I have not felt “cooped-up”. All I have to do is step outside into our garden’s little get away. It is so peaceful and quiet as it lightens my spirt to enjoy the peacefulness around me.

The Japanese Garden is in it’s infancy. We enjoy it now as it is, but also visualize how it will be when it matures. Until it does mature, we will slowly add plantings to fill the voids. My imagination runs wild as it explores the many alternatives we have. Sometimes I have a hard time sleeping at night as I dream about the many opportunities.

Color Emergence

Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Veridis’ & Yukimi Lantern
Heatherwood Spring

How time flies by so very, very fast! It has been a week and a half since I posted my last photo of our spring bloom. Since then, all 26 of our Japanese Maples have emerged with their spring colors. Their spring emergence has been beautiful. They have gifted us with multiple shades of yellow, orange, light green, pink, red, and burgundy. But, how quickly they start to turn to their summer shades.

I was able to record most of the color during strolls through the garden with my iPhone. I hope to put together a little gallery of the various maples and how they evolve through the year.