Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Visiting Emily's Garden

One of my computer-dwelling blogging friends, Emily,  lives and gardens in Ravenna (the neighborhood in northeastern Seattle, not Italy.)  Recently I had the pleasure of visiting her and seeing her beautiful garden.  You may remember Alison's 2014 visit.  It's interesting to see how much has changed since then

Emily designed and had made the floating steps.  An avid do it yourselfer, she also created Zachary, the energetic boy.  

Pole apple trees have grown taller than the label said they would. The vertical lines are perfect here.
The shade sail and stylish seating make this peaceful retreat visually pleasing.

I so admire Emily's discipline in thinking about her plants, their placement, and overall effect of her garden. We often admire what we lack.  Rhythm is  created here by repetition  of color and form. Emily already has plans for moving things around a bit.

 Moving around the side of the house, we see the fabulous paving job that Emily did here.  This was previously solid concrete.  Emily has an eye for style.  I had to resist taking pictures of the interior of her home.

Zachary and Emily worked on this insect house together. 

Even the garden shed is beautiful!

This back slope, with inherited evergreens,  leads to a street above. 

Do you see something extra here?  There are tunnels and passageways all through this area which makes it a perfect hideout for Zachary. Zachary was in motion for the entire visit but posed here for a moment.  His exuberance made me miss playing with kids at school.

The grid with pots attached is a  super idea for  displaying plant collections. This style of vertical garden that is very appealing.

Great combination!  Can you imagine the autumn fireworks when the sumac foliage screams against the fawny-tan of the grasses?

One last look before it was time to head to the car (along with a gift of many incentive dollars from Swanson's Nursery that can be spent in November and December.  Thank you so much Emily!)  to visit a few nurseries.
Thank you, Emily,  for sharing your garden, home, and adorable menagerie with me!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesday Vignette: Enjoying the Sun

Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click on the link to see her vignette and links to those of other participating bloggers.

Ah, those lazy days of summer are what we live for.  The business of spring and early summer is over and fall clean up is at least a couple of months away.  What does one do to enjoy this special time in the garden?  Sunbathe of course.  It's important to have enough furniture for all of one's guests to sit comfortably unless of course y'all are very close.

Hope you are enjoying the lazy days of summer in whatever way makes you happy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Retail Therapy at Molbak's

When an email arrived in my inbox advertising Molbak's 30% sale on all succulents and another advising me that I had frequent shopper bonus dollars to spend, I knew that a visit was in order. Dropping Tom off at the airport recently gave me a perfect excuse (the airport is 20 minutes closer to Molbak's than  Tacoma.)  I thought the offerings would mostly be sempervivum and sedum so this was no surprise.  Put a few in the cart.  There's always room for more of these, right?

They've moved things around a bit since my last visit and the spray-painted bicycle wheel flowers on the left seem to be a summer theme throughout the nursery.  Fun idea.

Wheelbarrows as art.  This makes a lot of sense for people who don't have a lot of storage space.

High summer and color abounds!

We're so lucky to live here where we can have a touch of the tropics in our gardens and still have winters cool enough for tulips, peonies, and lilacs.

One can't grow everything and my couple of citrus plants were given away this year but this display is sure nice.

Bring on those warm colors!

If it gets too hot, cool pot colors might help. 

Speaking of pots, Molbak's always has some unusual offerings.

Serious lust for the chartreuse pots but they were a bit pricey and it might get lost in all of the visual clutter of my spaces.

Stop by the cafe for a drink?  

A tropical paradise.  

Inside, there were tables of more tender succulents and cacti but certainly these would be considered houseplants and not succulents that would be on sale, right?

WRONG!  Hooray!  Sorry semps, back you go.

 Serious temptation.

I've been in love with Aloe marlothii since I first saw one in the Danger Garden.  It did not hesitate to jump into my cart!

Aloe arborescens variegata also needed a ride to my place.  

Agave celsii 'Multicolor' baby needed adopting too. 

Cereus peruvianus.  Swoon.  Maybe I should go back and get it? 

This inexpensive head planter also came home with me.  Aren't the white painted concrete things on which it's sitting cool? 

Doesn't everyone need an orange giraffe vase?   It stayed at the shop. 
 Last but not least, Pentas (the red flowers) are something I don't see all that often here but my computer-dwelling friend Jean grows them all over her Georgia garden.  Does anyone have experience with growing these in the pacific northwest?

Next on the retail therapy tour were Barone Garden Decor and Flower World.  Stay tuned for posts!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Revisiting Linda and Tom Reeder's Seatac Garden

It was 2013 when Alison and I first toured Tom and Linda's garden as part of a Northwest Perennial Alliance garden tour and discovered a fellow blogger.   You can relive that first visit here and visit Linda's blog here.  Since that first visit, I've habitually read Linda's blog and have been inspired by how much they do.  What a pleasure it was to, once again, visit this wonderful garden made by two very special people.  It's always a special thrill to see in the flesh those people who mostly live in the computer but whose stories we carry with us from day to day.

Linda said that theirs is a garden built on a budget.  For instance, this long urbanite wall that lines their driveway was not expensive and they did all of the work themselves!  Both retired teachers, their active lives are an inspiration to me.

The side entrance to the garden goes by the greenhouse/shed that Tom built but we'll enter on the other side, passing the front of the house.

Tom keeps the echeverias in the greenhouse over the winter. 

He also takes cuttings of his fancy-leafed geranium (pelargonium) collection to keep over the cold months.

Walking past the front of the house and out through the handsome old trees feels a bit like a walk in the forest.

Our first destination is the Tom-built seating area.

 then up the side of the property through gorgeous perennial gardens.

To the expanse of lawn in the back garden where edibles and ornamentals are grown to perfection!

"We have lived on this half acre property for 37 years.  Plants and plant fads have come and gone.  Failures were replaced with things that might be happier in their habitats.  Wind and weather have lent a hand in changes.  However, in this park-like garden, the bones have remained constant since our first back-breaking days of clearingbrush and building walls."

"Those bones include many native plants: mature fir and cedar trees, salal, sword ferns, mahonia and vine maples."

The wildflower garden is new since last we visited.

There's a reason!

Variegated hedera helix provides a nice evergreen edge to the raised beds which are empty in the winter.

"You'll find roses in the suhn and hostas and heuchera in the shade, and perennials to suit their locations.  Vegetables and cut flowers share the raised beds, backed espaliered fruit trees and raspberries.  There are stuffed pots on the patio, benches on the newly rebuilt garden deck, a place for contemplation in the secret garden, and for the young at heart; a garden shad that converts to a granddaughter's playhouse.  This is a garden we live and play in."

This is where I first saw these cool hosta blooms, Everlasting Alliums from Gardener's Supply Company

Linda and Tom love glass in the garden but it is expensive so they figured out how to make their own glass ornaments.

When Tom taught kindergarten, he created this story chair.  A large collection of hats covered the chair and students would choose which hat Mr. Reeder would wear while reading to them. Tom collects watering cans which are placed throughout the garden.

Tall, dark, and handsome, the holly bushes are shaped each year by Tom. 

Cute piece by Marriah House Studio.

Here are the "stuffed pots on the patio."  

The creators of the garden.

The Carruth collection continues to grow and has been joined by other fun finds. 

Another collection nicely displayed. 

This fellow looks very happy here.

Albuca bracteata or pregnant onion this year planted as a happy trio. 

Part of the bonsai collection all created right here in the Reeder garden.

More glass creations.  

Nicely organized and good-looking potting bench!

Carruth on the side of the shed.  I have a few of these myself.  

Here's Irene's Flower Shop but Irene was on vacation this year so Grandma and Grandpa filled in for her.

All plants a dollar!    A gallon of mondo grass came home with me.

As did two of the Agave lophantha 'Quadricolor.'  

Thanks Linda and Tom for opening your garden for all to enjoy, for your cool blog, and for being such a great example to us all.