Friday, August 27, 2010

Good Shepherd Center

Good Shepherd Center August 2010

Good Shepherd P-Patch August 2010 Dahlia

 Good Shepherd P-Patch August 2010

Good Shepherd P-Patch August 2010 Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Good Shepherd P-Patch August 2010

Seattle Tilth Demonstration Garden August 2010 Echinacea purpurea

There is a lot to see at the Good Shepherd Center in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle.  The impressive 1906 building is filled with the offices of nonprofit organizations, a few live/work units for artists & 2 schools.  The most notable nonprofit for gardeners is Seattle Tilth.  Seattle Tilth maintains an interesting demonstration garden which is 1 of many gardens that surround the Good Shepherd Center.  The Good Shepherd P-Patch can be found here, as well as Meridian Playground, with 6.5 acres of fields & orchard, a gazebo & a large picnic shelter.  Be sure to walk all the way around the main building to see all of the gardens & landscaping.  In August of 2010, the place was filled with flowers.   

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Frenchman Coulee

Frenchman Coulee June 2010 Artemisia tridentata, Eriogonum with yellow flowers

Frenchman Coulee June 2010 Erigeron
 
Frenchman Coulee June 2010 The Feathers

Frenchman Coulee June 2010 Ribes bush
 
Frenchman Coulee June 2010 Ribes fruit

Frenchman Coulee June 2010
 
Frenchman Coulee June 2010 Jordan

Rusty & I drove to Frenchman Coulee near Vantage, Washington after touring Ohme Gardens in Wenatchee on the last day of June 2010.  We arrived in the very late afternoon.  It was breezy & warm.  The westering sun was bright.  Frenchman Coulee is popular with rock climbers.  We saw some of them there, as well as evidence of their degradation of the single row of basalt columns known as The Feathers.  We passed through a narrow gap in The Feathers to pass from 1 basin of the coulee to another.  The word coulee describes a flow of water in French.  In this case the rock formations were sculpted by huge floods crashing into the Columbia River during the last ice age.  Vantage receives a scant 8 inches of precipitation annually.  Here we found the xeric plants of the shrub steppe.  We saw Artemisia tridentata (sagebrush) Erigeron (fleabane) Eriogonum (wild buckwheat) & Ribes (currant).  For me, Frenchman Coulee had an austere beauty.  It is easily reached from Interstate 90 exit 143, left on Silica Road, left on Frontage Road.  The feathers are plain to be seen from Frontage Road, very few miles from exit 143.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ohme Gardens

Ohme Gardens June 2010

Ohme Gardens June 2010

Ohme Gardens June 2010

Ohme Gardens June 2010

Ohme Gardens June 2010

 Hillside adjacent to Ohme Gardens June 2010

Wenatchee & the Columbia River from Ohme Gardens June 2010

On the last day of June 2010, I visited Ohme Gardens with a friend.  You have the impression that parts of The Sound of Music could have been filmed here, until you look down & across the Columbia River to the surrounding desert hills.  This alpine fantasy is only possible with abundant irrigation from the river.  The rocky hillside appears to be basically unchanged, except for the addition of plants & water.  From the rocky cliffs there are impressive views of Wenatchee & beyond.  The garden is forested with Douglas Fir, Spruce & Western Red Cedar.  The slopes & cliffs are covered with a variety of perennials & groundcovers.  Much of Ohme Gardens is a huge & elaborate rock garden.  It takes nearly 3 hours to get to Wenatchee, over Stevens Pass, from Seattle.  The way is fairly well-posted from Highway 2, but take directions with you.  The very scenic route through the mountains is reason enough to drive to Wenatchee. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Regent's Park: St Andrew's Gate

Regent's Park: St Andrew's Gate August 2009

Regent's Park: St Andrew's Gate August 2009

Regent's Park: St Andrew's Gate August 2009
 
Regent's Park: St Andrew's Gate August 2009

Regent's Park: St Andrew's Gate August 2009

Regent's Park: St Andrew's Gate August 2009

Regent's Park: St Andrew's Gate August 2009

I returned to London from Cape Town on August 3, 2009. On the following day, I visited Regent's Park. Because the climate of southern England is similar to Seattle, Portland OR or Vancouver BC, the plants in this garden appeared much as they would in the Pacific Northwest in August.  From my journal: I walked to Regents’ Park, then through the lavish gardens there.  It rained a bit, but I had my umbrella with me.  I continued along Regents’ Canal Tow Path to Camden Locks, Camden Lock Market & Camden Stables Market in Camden Town.  There were 100s of tiny shops & restaurants.  I had lunch after being offered dozens of samples.  The whole thing was really quite tacky, also fascinating & immense.  I walked back on Camden High Street.  It was very cloudy, rained very lightly & occasionally.  I was out for 4 hours, from 8 until 12.