Friday, August 31, 2012

Dick Sperry Picnic Area

South Fork Stillaguamish River August 2012 

South Fork Stillaguamish River August 2012 

South Fork Stillaguamish River August 2012 

South Fork Stillaguamish River August 2012 

South Fork Stillaguamish River August 2012 

South Fork Stillaguamish River August 2012

The Dick Sperry Picnic Area is located beside the Mountain Loop Highway in the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Snohomish County, Washington.  There are 4 picnic tables with grills right at the edge of the South Fork Stillaguamish River.  A more beautiful spot to picnic could hardly be found.  It is easy to climb the short distance down to the river.  The picnic area is nicely shaded & bordered with lush native vegetation.  This is a wonderful place to sit & contemplate the noisy serenity of moving water.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hickory in the Washington Park Arboretum

Carya ovata Washington Park Arboretum October 2011

Carya ovata Washington Park Arboretum October 2011

Carya ovata Washington Park Arboretum October 2011
 
Carya ovata Washington Park Arboretum October 2011

I knew nothing about Shagbark Hickory, or Hickories in general, until I came across this small grove in the Washington Park Arboretum.  But that is a wonderful thing about the arboretum.  Any day you look at tags on trees & shrubs, you learn something new.  I photograph the tags, as well as other parts of the plants.  But you could also take a notebook & pencil.  I found Carya ovata quite attractive in bark, form & foliage.  You can find them between Azalea Way & Lake Washington Boulevard, near the ponds.

From Wikipedia:
Carya ovata, the Shagbark Hickory, is common in the eastern US and SE Canada. It is a large deciduous tree growing up to 27 m tall, and will live up to 200 years. Mature Shagbarks are easy to recognize because they have shaggy bark. The nuts are edible with an excellent flavor & can be used as a substitute for Pecan (Carya illinoensis). The genus Carya includes 17–19 species: 5-6 species in Asia, 19-20 in North America. Hickory wood is used for smoking cured meats. Hickory is popular for barbecue in the SE US as Hickory grows abundantly in the region, and adds flavor to the meat. The nuts of some species are palatable, while others are bitter and only suitable for animal feed. Shagbark and Shellbark Hickory, along with Pecan, are regarded by some as the finest nut trees.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Nancy on the High Line

The High Line New York City July 2012

The High Line New York City July 2012

The High Line New York City July 2012

The High Line New York City July 2012

The High Line New York City July 2012

After a brief rain shower on Sunday, I walked the High Line in New York City. The plants were lush and vibrant and the landscapes changed every few hundred feet. People were strolling casually, taking in all the sights and sounds, or leisurely relaxing on the reclining seats or benches along the way. Some Japanese youth were dancing on the lawn. The views of the city were magnificent, coupled with the beautiful landscape architecture of the High Line. I intuitively slowed my pace and took it all in.  It is an amazing urban garden.

That description & all of the photos were sent to me by my friend Nancy while she was still on vacation in New York City on July 31, 2012.  It was all so wonderful that I asked her permission to post it to this blog.  The High Line is probably the most renowned recent landscape project in the world & I haven't seen it for myself.  

If you don't know the story, here is a brief history from the High Line websiteThe High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a massive public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan's largest industrial district. No trains have run on the High Line since 1980. Friends of the High Line, a community-based non-profit group, formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park. Section 1 (Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street) opened to the public in June 2009. Section 2 (West 20th Street to West 30th Street) opened in June 2011.

Friday, August 10, 2012

July Garden Pictures

Hebe recurva July 2012

Hydrangea paniculata July 2012

Ligularia stenocephala 'The Rocket' July 2012

Nigella damascena 'Alba' July 2012

Rubus idaeus July 2012

Click here to see more July Garden Pictures.

July 2012 was cooler & wetter than normal.  This followed a June that was very cool & wet.  In fact, the year to date has been quite wet.  As of July 31, total precipitation was 26.4 inches.  Normal precipitation to this date is 19.8 inches.  Plants continued to grow larger than normal.  It was not necessary to irrigate until the end of the month.  The mean temperature was 64.3F/17.9C.  The normal mean temperature is 65.7F/18.7C.  Total precipitation was 1.04 inches.  Normal precipitation is 0.7 inches.  The highest temperature was 83F/28.3C, the lowest 49F/9.4C.  There were 2 days with heavy rain, 2 days with rain, 12 days with light rain, 11 days with fog, 6 days with haze, 10 partly cloudy days, 13 cloudy days & 8 fair days.  There was heavy rain accompanied by an electrical storm on 1 day.  This was a rare & exciting experience in Seattle.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Thomas Street Gardens P-Patch

Thomas Street Gardens July 2012

Thomas Street Gardens July 2012

Thomas Street Gardens July 2012

Thomas Street Gardens July 2012

Thomas Street Gardens July 2012

Thomas Street Gardens P-Patch looks more like a cottage garden, than a typical Seattle p-patch.  The garden is located on Capitol Hill at 1010 E Thomas Street, just west Broadway Avenue E.  It is used as a park by people walking through the nearby business district, who often sit on the bench created by Lambert House youth.  The entry gate & tool shed are other notable features.  The garden was professionally designed & established in 1997.  There are 35 plots on 3,200 square feet owned by the Seattle Department of Parks & Recreation.  An old apartment building was removed specifically to make room for a p-patch in this densely populated area.  At the time, some decried the loss of affordable housing.