Helenium autumnale is a flowering perennial plant for sun. It generally blooms in September & October. The common name is common sneezeweed & it is commonly available at most nurseries during the later part of summer. It is also called Helen's flower. The name genus name Helenium comes from the Greek word for another plant named for Helen of Troy & autumnale means 'pertaining to autumn'. Helenium autumnale is native to North America where it is widespread across the US & Canada. The only state where it has not been found to grow is New Hampshire. I'm not sure they have looked hard enough in that state. The flowers are yellow, orange, brick red, or a combination of those colors. Helenium autumnale grows to about 3 feet tall & requires a moderate amount of water. It also tolerates wetness. It is not the most beautiful of plants, but the flowers are pretty & the colors bold. It blooms at a time when there is little else.
In my opinion, as an infrequent but regular visitor to Portland, the Hawthorne District is the 3rd most interesting neighborhood in Portland, after the Alphabet District & the Pearl District. It has the most interesting business district east of the Willamette River. I have only come here when I had a car, which has not been often. Portland has a very walkable central core west of the river, accessible by bus & train from Seattle. Southeast Portland devotes more land to residential areas with business districts far apart. I like the Hawthorne District. There are shops & restaurants in interesting old buildings. It is a charming urban landscape. See it before it has been replaced by large apartment buildings with ground floor retail, as has happened in many Seattle neighborhood business districts. Fremont was once something like this.
This is a list of plants under 3 feet tall for parking strips. None of these plants need a lot of water. Some of them are xeric plants. The shrubs & perennials don’t spread very much. The groundcovers do spread, but not very widely. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) requires that plants in parking strips are not more than 3 feet tall. This helps keep pedestrians & cars visible, increasing safety. Don't plant anything but very low groundcovers near fire hydrants.
Rosa rugosa is one of the easiest, most drought tolerant, disease resistant & low-maintenance roses you can grow in Seattle. It bears attractive flowers, foliage & fruits. The fruits are large & resemble tomatoes. Rosa rugosa doesn't often need pruning. The canes grow to a height of about 3 to 4 feet covered in numerous spines, not the thorns typical of many roses. Wear gloves when pruning. The highly fragrant flowers may be single or double in the standard rose colors of red, pink, white & yellow. Rosa rugosa 'Blanc Double de Coubert' is a popular white rose. Rosa rugosa has many common names including sea tomato & beach rose. The name I hear most frequently is rugosa rose. Rugosa means wrinkled, or rugose. Rosa rugosa is native to eastern Asia in China, Japan & Korea along the coast, often on sand dunes. It is considered an invasive species along the coasts of northern Europe & New England. But this shouldn't be a concern in an urban garden setting. As with all roses, grow this plant in full sun, in well drained soil. It blooms in July & August.
Japantown is a fascinating piece of urban landscape for those interested in both the cultural history of San Francisco & the history of architecture. Here is an example that is uncommon in North America: mid-century modern Japanese commercial architecture & public landscape design. I've never seen anything else quite like it. It could be the set for a Japanese film made in 1968, the year Japantown opened. The modern design of the pagoda is bold & intricate, while the fountains are minimal, yet accommodating in their seating. In addition to the short streetscape pictured here, there is a mall. Both are filled with shops & restaurants. A few other, taller mid-century buildings provide some backdrop. Japantown is near the Fillmore Street business district in Pacific Heights, also filled with shops & restaurants.
This blog was started in 2008 as Metropolitan Gardens to provide information about gardening in Seattle & the Pacific Northwest. It was later expanded to include information about parks, community gardens & public gardens in the US, Canada, Europe & South Africa. These can be found by clicking on Parks P-Patches Public Gardens. Natural areas in the US & South Africa can be found by clicking on Nature. The primary focus has always been on Seattle. However, many posts are based on photos taken while traveling. Please feel free to use the basic gardening information & plant lists found by clicking on Gardening in Cascadia. Comments are welcome. Posts are scheduled on the 1st Friday of each month. Contact Jordan with any questions about gardening or garden design at email@example.com
The city of Seattle rests between 2 bodies of water: Puget Sound & Lake Washington. Puget Sound is a substantial part of the Salish Sea & a very small part of the Pacific Ocean. The Salish Sea is set apart from the Pacific by the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington & Vancouver Island in the province of British Columbia. The dense, wet clouds of the Pacific Ocean travel as far as the Cascade Mountains, near the Salish Sea & not very far from the ocean. East of the Cascades lies the desert of the Columbia Basin. The moist, temperate climate of Seattle extends south to northern California & north to southeastern Alaska. The Pacific Northwest Coast from San Francisco Bay to Cook Inlet shares a flora dominated by evergreen coniferous forest. The central portion, west of the Cascade Mountains, is called Cascadia. The climate is cool & wet from fall to spring, warm & dry in summer. The Olympic Mountains block Seattle from much of the Pacific rainfall. Seattle is drier than the Atlantic coast of North America & northern Europe, cooler in summer & warmer in winter. It lies near the latitude of Paris & Quebec City.