Tag Archives: Summer

Filling In

“Two Zelkovas”
Heatherwood Summer

Four years ago this area was a pasture of grass and weeds. The house and garage below was clearly visible. It is amazing how a few trees, shrubs, perennials, and grass can change the scene. The lawn grass was planted three years ago. The trees and most of the shrubs and perennials were planted two years ago. Several fill in perennials were planted last year. This year we have just sat back and enjoyed this part of Heatherwood.

In the years ahead, the two Zelkova trees will grow and form a natural canopy and “tunnel” between the two planting beds. The trees in the background will get taller and entirely block our neighbor’s garage. The shrubs, ornamental grasses, and perennials will fill in and continue to add color and interest. For now, we sit back and enjoy!

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Balanced and Framed

“Grasses, Joe Pye Weed, and Coreopsis”
Heatherwood Meadow

There are many little vignettes in Heatherwood’s summer meadow. I constantly walk though the garden and discover a new perspectives of note. In this little scene, the two tall Karl Forester grasses in the back and the two blue oat grasses on the sides frame in the row of yellow coreopsis in the front and the row of pink Joe Pye weed in the center. The scene is naturally balanced.

A New Member to the Garden

“Yukimi and Scolopendrifolium”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

Last week I added a new member to Heatherwood’s Japanese garden. It has quite a tongue-twister name: Acer Palmatum ‘Scolopendrifolium. Being an engineer, I have a hard time pronouncing a word with more than three syllables.

I planted the maple just south of the Yukimi to give the lantern a little protection. As the maple matures, it will form an umbrella shape weeping over the lantern and pond. From different view points it will help separate and frame the two waterfalls feeding the pond. Three years ago when we first build the pond, I imagined a lantern at the pond’s edge sheltered by a weeping Japanese maple. I was conflicted between having a wide-open view of both waterfalls or framed view of each. This summer, I finally made the decision to add the maple.

The structure of Heatherwood is pretty much in place. I enjoy walking around the garden searching for places where new plants, shrubs, and trees will enhance the overall garden. At the same time, I critically assess if a specific plant needs to be moved to a more suitable location. I feel lucky to be able to simultaneously enjoy what is in place and imagine what the garden will evolve to given time and a little help.

For Mary

“Mary’s Bright and Shiny”
Heatherwood Summer

This post is for you, my Dear! Remember when I asked you what you wanted in our new Heatherwood garden. You said, “Something Bright and Shiny.” Here it is, just for you. Our Cherry Allee lines a field of bright and shiny perennials and shrubs. One blooms and fades, another follows right behind. Your special garden provides interest from spring through autumn. It even has its own winter interest with spent hydrangea and perennial blooms, grasses flowing in the wind, bright red berginias and yellow-twig dogwoods. Sitting rocks at the top are placed so we can enjoy gazing over the landscape together. The garden is designed and constructed for your daily enjoyment. Happy Anniversary!

Summer Color in the Meadow

“Soft Summer Color”
Heatherwood Meadow

Walking through our Heatherwood meadow in the early morning when the sun just rises and softly grazes over the meadow flowers is a calming experience. The various colors, textures, and shapes pull me into the scene.

The summer scenes change daily. Some flowers fade, new flowers emerge. Grasses grow taller providing new backgrounds as well as blocking and framing other views. This year the scorching summer direct sunlight is causing many flowers to fade prematurely, but others burst out just as quickly. We are always in a dilemma, should we deadhead plants to make the garden look pretty and force new blooms, or should we just let them take their natural course and fade then spread their seeds in the fall and winter. Mostly, we just let things mature naturally.

Purple and White

“New Echinaceas”
Heatherwood Summer Meadow

Echinaceas are one of my favorite summer perennials. In Pennsylvania, we started with just a few of purple echinaceas planted by the previous owners. They were in the wrong spots. We pulled most out and transplanted just a few. Over the years we ended up with three beautiful echinacea beds.

At Heatherwood, we started out with just a couple of patches of white echinaceas when we first planted the meadow three years ago. This year we added a few more patches and mixed in purple cone flowers with the white. Now it is time to wait, watch them fill in, and then start spreading them out. It just takes time and patience.

Strange Leaf

“Ed Wood Japanese Maple”
Heatherwood Summer

The hot direct sunlight brings out the red color to the tips of this Japanese maple. This species has quite a different leaf pattern than the standard palmateum or dissectum varieties of Japanese maples. The leaf itself is huge, about 4 inches. The east-facing side of the maple is protected by its canopy from the scorching summer sun we have been having. The west-facing side of the tree is starting to get brown seared leaves from the harsh afternoon sun.

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“Pacific Fire”
Heatherwood Summer

The last couple of weeks have been hotter than Hades. This week has been between 105 and 110 degrees. Today we are suppose to reach 109. This scene in our south east conifer corner looks like it is on fire with all the yellow and reds. We planted the “Pacific Fire” vine maple behind the Adirondack settee three weeks ago. It is showing off its flame-colored leaves. I hope that they don’t get carried away and burn off!

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Design Inspiration

“Lantern On Waterfall Pond”
Portland Japanese Garden

This scene at the Portland Japanese Garden was my initial inspiration for a corner of our pond in Heatherwood’s Japanese influenced garden. Our vignette at Heatherwood is quite a bit different, but contains many of the same elements. We built a rock ledge extending out over our pond and placed a similar type of Japanese lantern overlooking the pond. To the left of the lantern we planted Siberian iris which parallels the irises in the Portland garden. We planted an Akebono cherry tree to the right of the lantern. We have a sitting area behind the lantern with a rock stepping stone path leading up to the pond beside the lantern. We have just purchased a Japanese maple to plant alongside the lantern. Below is our Heatherwood perspective.

“Yukimi Japanese Lantern & Pond”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

We have a long way to go before we have a “finished looking” scene. Each year we enjoy watching the garden evolve as we add new touches.

Sometimes I Just Have To …

“The Iconic Japanese Maple”
Portland Japanese Garden

I usually am not drawn to that special iconic scene when I visit various “natural beauties.” But, sometimes I just must create an image. This iconic Japanese maple overlooks the main pond at the Portland Japanese Garden. It is the same tree that I photographed from beneath the branches in my previous posting. Over the years, I have haphazardly made a collection of images of this tree from my various visits to the garden. I have photographed it in different seasons, different times of day, different types of light, different weather conditions, and from many different perspectives. Most times, it is the first place I stop when I enter the garden. It is time for me to get serious and create a selective set of images that interprets this beautiful work of nature through my eyes.