Tag Archives: Summer

A Walk Along a Garden Path (Part 1)

“Path to Where?”
Heatherwood Garden

Where does this path lead? It seems to disappear as it turns first to the right and then to the left. All of our garden paths are designed to create a little mystery. The beginning of the path forces the walker’s eyes to the north and our house and the ridge behind. As the grasses, plants, and near by trees grow, the curving path will lead the walkers eyes to the surrounding plantings.

Nearing the top bend in the path, I look to my right (east) and see the various young plants in our rock garden that separates our upper and middle lawns. Over time the shrubs, perennials, and ground cover will fill in to create an Alpine-style rock garden.

Rock Garden
Heatherwood Garden

As I stare to take the turn to the left, I see the colorful “bright and shiny” garden directly in front of me. Stay tuned to Part 2 …

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.

Looking Into the Future

“Cherry Grove”
Yakima Arboretum, Washington

Cherry trees in July look like they are in full April bloom when they are photographed in infrared. As I looked through the allee my mind imagined what our recently planted allee will look like in the future. This was a good insight with the old trees on the left and the relatively young trees on the right.

Our Heatherwood allee is quite different. It is planted on a hillside looking down to our lawn below. The center of the allee is planted with colorful perennials. Mary calls it her “bright and shiny spot.” On the top we have placed a couple “sitting” rocks to enjoy the view and the colorful flowers below.

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.

Playing in the Sprinklers

“In the Sprinkers 1”
Heatherwood Meadow

I have been trying to create the essence of what I see in the meadow for the last couple of weeks. My results have not been satisfying. I am still making my images from my mower since I cannot walk around unaided yet. My prior images have not been as crisp as I would like. I converted several into abstracts to make up for their softness.

For this next set of images, I focused on isolation using a long lens and a narrow depth of field. I also timed taking the images when the meadow was being watered with sprinklers.

In my youth, the highlight of a warm summer day was running through sprinklers in our yard with my brother and sister. I guess I have never outgrown those special times.

Welcome

Hokkeji Lantern
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

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.