Saturday, December 26, 2009

Genessee Meadow

Genessee Meadow: path through natural area

Genessee Meadow: lawn with natural area beyond

Genessee Meadow: crows bathing in seasonal pools

Genessee Meadow: Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)

Genesee Park, located on Lake Washington in the Mount Baker neighborhood of southeast Seattle, is an important site for active and passive recreation and wildlife, providing lawns and trails, playing fields and approximately 10 acres of natural areas, including about four acres of second growth forest. Most of the site formed part of Wetmore Slough prior to lowering of the lake in 1916 with the construction of the Lake Washington Ship Canal. The City of Seattle purchased the site in 1947, and subsequently used it as a landfill until 1963. Park development began in 1968. From 1997 through 2006, more than 50,000 native plants were planted Genesee Park by the Seattle Parks & Recreation & the Washington Native Plant Society. A portion of the vast lawn was left unmown to become Genessee Meadow. Depressions fill with water during the rainy season in both mown & unmown parts of the meadow. Ducks & Canada Geese are common here. The meadow is filled with light on clear winter days. There is a major path around the meadow. A smaller path meanders through the meadow & the forested area to the east.  Click here to read about more parks along Lake Washington Boulevard.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Volunteer Park Conservatory

Seasonal Display House

Cactus House

Fern House

Bromeliad House

Palm House


The Volunteer Park Conservatory is a welcome respite from the cold Seattle rain. It is open except on Mondays, even on holidays, from 10 to 4. Decorated for the holidays in early December, it is a charming place for a quiet stroll on Christmas or New Year's Day, unless those holidays fall on a Monday. The conservatory has 5 houses, each quite different. There are bromeliad, palm, fern, seasonal display & cactus houses. It is hard to say which is most lovely.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Asian Style

 Design for a Japanese Garden

Simple & elegant, this Seattle front yard relies on elements of traditional Japanese garden design, yet features plants that are easy to maintain. A hedge of Japanese Holly conveys formality, as does the gated entrance, & the stone elements, which are carefully placed. Strawberry Trees & deciduous Burning Bushes offer seasonal interest & color. Round pavers lead to a granite bench by the 'pond,' a simple excavated area lined with landscape fabric & filled with gravel. Douglas Irises add a touch of color in spring. --text from Low-Maintenance Gardening.

Plant List
A. Arbutus unedo (2) Strawberry Tree
B. Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana Gracilis' (1) Dwarf Hinoki Cypress
C. Euonymous alatus 'Compacta' (3) Dwarf Burning Bush
D. Fragaria chiloensis (18) Wild Strawberry
E. Ilex crenata 'Convexa' (8) Japanese Holly
F. Iris douglasiana (9) Douglas Iris
G. Pinus mugo pumilio (2) Dwarf Mugo Pine

I designed this garden which appeared in the 1998 Sunset publication, Low-Maintenance Gardening. It is appropriate for USDA Zone 8.