Monday, August 8, 2022

When a full parking lot is a good thing...

West Seattle Nursery is always worth a visit—so when I had an extra 20 minutes and was nearby, what the heck, I thought I would swing by. I failed to factor in that it was a Sunday afternoon in mid-June, and the sun was out. In other words, EVERYONE in West Seattle who wanted a plant (or two) was there. The parking lot was full. The street parking was all taken. Determined to visit, I circled the block looking for parking and that's when I saw this...

Before we look closely at those wooden figures, I wanted to share what looks to be a lovely front staircase, under construction. 

But it's the figures that caused me to stop and take photos.

They're, well, unusual.

I wonder what the neighbors think?

Is that a fairy on the chimney?

The house looks to be in need of a little TLC, and that's a lot of windows!

I couldn't get a great shot of these two, but yes, the figure on the left does have breasts stacked three high.

The cement wall is impressive.

Another staircase...

I'll do my best to check back here on future Seattle visits, to see what progress—if any—has been made.  

All material © 2009-2022 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Friday, August 5, 2022

If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes...

First a housekeeping note. If you came here wondering if I'd stopped blogging, because you stopped receiving emails alerting you to new posts, well...I have not stopped, I post every Mon, Wed, and Fri. Google threatened to stop sending those emails last year, and it looks like they finally made good on it. I've not set up a new notification system, I'm thinking on what to do. In the meantime rest assured that if you come here——there will be three new posts each week. Now to today's post...

I hadn't been in the back garden all day and since we were leaving for the afternoon I walked out to quickly survey things. It was another extremely hot day and I didn't want to miss a plant in distress...

Everything looked good, but as I turned back towards the shade pavilion, I noticed a squirrel on the chair to the left. Cute.

Then I watched him jump to the back of the chair and quickly up into the mental container with the huge rhipsalis in it, just behind the chair. He did it so smoothly, so confidently, that he'd obviously done it before.

He then disappeared from sight. The rhipsalis is in a terracotta pot tucked into the metal container, there must be just enough open room between the terracotta and the metal for a squirrel to fit. When I water generously, the water runs from the terracotta and pools in the bottom of metal. I figured he was after water and wondered how he knew it was in there...

I then watched a little squirrel paw reach up and grab ahold of one of the rhipsalis stems. It disappeared from view, but then the base began violently shaking. The little furry-tailed jerk was eating the rhipsalis! He didn't jump up there for water, he jumped up there for a plant buffet!

All material © 2009-2022 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Bromeliad inspiration, realized

I saved this project for last (my last big project of the spring, which didn't actually happen until mid-July), because I wanted to use up all the things (moss, tillandsia, bromeliads) that hadn't already found a home. This was my inspiration image, which I saved from this post by Linda Brazill of Each Little World, it was taken at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin.

I have always wanted to do a dense hanging planting like this, but had been frustrated because whatever I did would have to come down and go indoors for the winter. That image captured my imagination because everything was on a moveable panel (or two, or three). Why hadn't I thought of that before!?

I happened to have three pieces of rusted expanded metal and a roll of screen-door screen on hand. 

I made three of these panels—each one different—but using the same formula. You can see the rusty metal, over that I laid a long piece of screen (smaller holes, to help contain the material around the roots of the plant), and on that I laid moist sphagnum moss, and then plants with their roots and a little soil. I tied everything in place with twine. Over time the twine will probably rot, but it was super easy to work with for this first layer.

I neglected to take more photos, but over the layer you see above I laid more sphagnum moss and then some green forest moss I had collected on my travels. Everything was then wired in place, given a good soak, and then hung on the fence.

Part way into this project I realized I needed a couple more plants, and that's when the blooming bromeliads (purchased unlabeled) were added to the mix.

I love the way the red blooms pick up the sun. Oh and in case you're wondering why our fence has a curve to it? Well that would be a camera malfunction! I'm getting a flashing error code and something is wrong with the lens. Fun times!

But let's not concentrate on that... there are bromeliad panels to appreciate!

Yes, I had a lot of fun putting these together. The circular mounted bromeliad containers I experimented with back in 2019 were great for awhile, but they had run their course. This last one was retired as I hung these new creations up. 

Vertical gardening is going strong here this summer! 

All material © 2009-2022 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, August 1, 2022

PowellsWood; a Northwest Pleasure Garden

My second stop on the recent NPA Hardy Plant Study Weekend was PowellsWood; "A Northwest pleasure garden tucked away in a Federal Way neighborhood, the three acres of PowellsWood are nestled against another thirty-five acres of native successional forest. A series of exquisite hedges help define several distinct garden rooms graced with more than a thousand varieties of trees, shrubs and perennials."

Parking on the lawn seemed so decadent...

PowellsWood is one of those places I'd been aware of, but never taken the time to stop and visit. The fact it was included on the Study Weekend's itinerary of gardens (with free admission), finally pushed me to visit.

Shady palms looked very promising...

And I do love me some astelia.

There are some of those hedges referenced in the intro blurb...

Looking thru this arch I had the feeling maybe I'd entered the wrong way and should have gone down around the house (no longer a home, but obviously it once was) and came up thru the sunny border. And so I headed that way...

Looking to my side after passing thru the arch.

And ahead...

More palms! These were rather stout.

And check out those podophyllum! 

Perhaps 'Red Panda'?

I was happy to see a nice loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) growing in the Greater Seattle area. This tree hasn't really seemed to catch on up there, not the way it has in Portland.

Heading back thru the arch again, only from the sunny side.

This rhododendron was repeated around the palms (see the above photo) and I really wanted to know what it was. 

There was a pair talking nearby, one of which I was pretty sure was Justin Henderson, Garden Director, and so I interrupted and asked. They were very gracious and yep, it was Justin (check out the Powellswood Instagram account for lots of fun posts from Justin), the next thing I know he was pulling up the rhododendron name on his phone...

Walking on...

Blechnum penna-marina, aka Austroblechnum penna-marina, such a great ground cover fern.

Rodgersia and Impatiens omeiana—a combination I adore, but only works in the springtime in my garden. Once our rains stop they dry up and are very unattractive. As this photo was taken in md-June, I wonder what it looks like now in this garden?

Walking on.

The moss!

Yes, I sat here for a spell.

I wanted to call this area a viewing platform, but on their website they call it an overlook: "An overlook, built largely of material from a recycled pier, provides a view of the ravine, trails, and wildlife below."

Hmm, a very interesting pile of "things", there's a story here I am sure of it.

I'm now longing for a rotted-out slice of wood in which I can plant.

Another glace at the moss (!)...

Hmm, Aralia elata 'Aureovariegata' perhaps? (I'm thinking back to a plant I saw at Dancing Oaks in 2015)...

More fabulous variegation, on a hosta this time.

I enjoyed my inaugural visit to PowellsWood, and since I didn't have time to wander the trails out into the nature preserve this time, I know I'll be back!

All material © 2009-2022 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.