Friday, September 30, 2022

The view from the other side...

I've got to be honest, this garden made the cut as one to visit during last June's NPA Study Weekend for the simple fact that I wanted to see what it looked like to be at water-level looking out towards the 520 bridge as it crosses Lake Washington between Seattle and Bellevue. It really didn't matter what the garden looked like!

Thankfully the garden was nicely done...
The owners, Vangie and Daniel Pepper, say the home was completed in 2015 and the garden came just after that. There is a 30ft drop in elevation from where I entered the garden in the above photos, to where we'll eventually end up at the waters edge.

The lake, and the bridge...

Schefflera  taiwaniana

Looking down on the garden, lawn and the lake...

Another view.

Yep, now back at the house.

That's Huskey stadium (University of Washington) in the distance.

The art piece and the fire pit/BBQ are two separate things, my photo angle kind of confuses them.

The tour booklet describes the plantings at the lake-side as a pollinator meadow.

Maybe it just wasn't possible to get a better angle here, but likely my eyes weren't focused on anything but the water.

Or maybe this! It's got to be the tomato with the best view in the whole state!

I could be happy here...

Large granite chunks as steps.

They transition to rectangular pavers in the lawn.

And here more granite interplanted with thyme.

It's a great color scheme!

I wonder if the rocks were brought in for the beach?

My other posts (so far) from the NPA Hardy Plant Study Weekend:

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Thai take-out green-wall, a (better late than never) update...

I first posted photos of this green wall back in Oct of 2013, and then did an update in December of the same year, after we came out of a deep freeze. Hard to believe that was almost ten years ago!

Since we still get Thai take-out nearby I see this planting at least once every couple of months.

It's held up pretty well, better than most I'd say.

A Google search for VeraWall returns nothing useful, and the link in my original, 2013, post goes nowhere. Sadly it seems the maker of this long-lasting green-wall pocket system is no more.

The hour was late and all I had was my phone for photos, so the color is a bit off, but the plantings were pretty lush.

I love that there's moss growing on the pockets. The fact that it's still green after a historically dry and warm summer tells you they must irrigate fairly regularly.

You can see the irrigation hoses as they traverse the hanging.

I may have gotten a bit snap-happy, but the plants had so much personality.

Interestingly this piece hangs on the side of a Thai restaurant—Mae Ploy—that we've never tried. Instead I park next to it and walk up the street to Thai Noon. Perhaps I need to rethink that and support the restaurant that's supporting the plants.

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

Monday, September 26, 2022

Meet Holman, my adopted Yucca rostrata (or how my Sunday took a complete 180 from what I thought it was going to be...)

I was enjoying a nice relaxing Sunday morning when a text came in from my friend Wes Younnie. Someone had forwarded a NextDoor post to him and he sent it on to me; it included a link to this... 

Free plants!? Those aren't plants, those are Yucca rostrata! And I know that house, I've walked by it many times—those Yucca rostrata are huge! "You will need a shovel"... ha, ya, and then some.

So I thought for a moment. Who should I forward this info to? Who do I know that would see this as a desirable challenge? Ah yes! Eric Peterson. If you've read my book, Fearless Gardening, Eric and his partner Robert were profiled in the final chapter. As I wrote there: "Eric estimates about two-thirds of his plants are in containers, and more than half were acquired via road-trip plant shopping. He thinks nothing of spotting an unusual plant on Craigslist and driving to California to pick it up. A recent buying trip was up to Ellensburg, Washington, where he scored the top of a large, old-fashioned windmill, now anchored to the back of the house." Eric is always ready to seize an opportunity when it presents itself.

The text from Wes came in at 9:17am and by 10:57am I was walking up to the rescue location. Eric was already at work...

Here he's moving gravel away from the base of one of the Yucca rostrata...

Three others, up next...

That one over there, that's Holman. He went home with me, but we'll get to that in a bit.

Here's the root system of the first one Eric dug/pulled/lifted. It doesn't look like much, but we think (hope) it's enough.

I've posted photos of this garden before here on the blog, and on my Instagram feed. Instead of trying to hunt those photos down I took a screen shot (below) of a Google Maps image from May of 2019. The yucca were tiny then! The gorgeous towering Eucalyptus was dying and came out earlier this spring. The homeowner (she didn't plant these plants but has owned the home since 2018) tried to save it but was told there was no way.

With the eucalyptus gone she decided it was time to plant the garden she wanted, rather than the garden she inherited. That's why she wanted to get rid of the Yucca rostrata, she called the gravel and yucca "a moonscape"—to each their own. 

Yep, there once was a eucalyptus here...

There are yucca roots so close to the surface! We'd just pulled back the gravel and there they were...

This photo is after Eric had shovel cut all the way around, there was layer upon layer of landscape fabric under that gravel.

He then attached a tow rope and used his truck to pull the yucca the rest of the way out (I shared a video on my Instagram page, here).


The first one did not have the thick trunk that tore, just roots.

We were a little concerned (would they recover from this?) so sent a photo to Sean Hogan, who has moved many a rostrata, his reply "Yes, should be fine...just let it dry for a few days"

Here Eric is loading the 4th big bad boy into his truck. He had a hand truck and a winch to help with the work, but still had a lot of weight to lift himself.

Here's the empty landscape with all the yuccas removed. The homeowner says she has a garage full of plants waiting to go in. She wants to start planting and was considering taking a saw to the yuccas. Can you imagine? I can, that's what happened to the bunch of nice Yucca rostrata I wrote about in this post.

Anyway, here's Eric's VERY full truck. There are four sizable yuccas in there...

Here's my yucca, Holman, at home, in the back of Andrew's Subaru. He's named Holman because that's the street he used to live on.

He's hanging out in a bit of a holding pattern. I need to round up a pot big enough to plant him in so I can finalize the plans for where he's going to live. I have some ideas but nothing immediate. Like I said, this wasn't how I expected to spend my Sunday! Thank you Eric for jumping on this and all your work to rescue these beauties! 

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