Saturday, January 30, 2010

On the Shady Side

Design for a Portland Garden

Little sunlight makes its way into this corridor beside a Portland home, yet plenty of color appears in Spring, when an assortment of shade-loving perennials & flowering shrubs burst into bloom. A flagstone path lined by an evergreen groundcover leads onto the low deck with a built-in bench that doubles as a storage bin. A glazed pot of Sarcocca ruscifolia wafts its perfume inside & out. --text from Low-Maintenance Gardening.

Plant List
A. Aconitum napellus (4) Monkshood
B. Ajuga reptans (24) Carpet Bugle
C. Astilbe 'Rheinland' (5) Ostrich Plume
D. Camellia japonica (2)
E. Actaea racemosa (2) Bugbane
F. Dicentra spectabilis (1) Bleeding Heart
G. Fatsia japonica (1) Japanese Aralia
H. Helleborus x hybridus (6) Lenten Rose
I. Mahonia aquifolium (9) Oregon Grape
J. Pieris japonica 'White Cascade' (4) Lily of the Valley Shrub
K. Polystichum munitum (1) Western Swordfern
L. Rhododendron 'Cinnamon Bear' (3)
M. Sarcococca ruscifolia (1) Sweet Box
N. Thuja occidentalis 'Fastigiata' (6) American Arborvitae

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

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden: bridge over Mapes Creek January 2010

Kubota Garden: coniferous evergreens January 2010

Kubota Garden January 2010
 Kubota Garden April 2010

Kubota Garden: Mapes Creek April 2010

 Kubota Garden: Birches April 2010

On 34 acres of hillside & ravine in Rainier Beach (near Skyway) lies Kubota Garden. Mapes Creek flows through on its way to Lake Washington. The creek provides water for a series of pools & waterfalls in the lower part of the garden. The upper terrace is recently landscaped. The lower parts are much older. The upper ravine grows wild with native plants. Kubota Garden is an excellent place to visit in winter because most of the plants are evergreen: at their best in cool, moist weather.  The garden is also beautiful in spring when many shrubs & perennials are in bloom, & the new leaves come out on the Japanese Maples. Fujitaro Kubota started the garden in 1923. It became a Seattle park in 1987. Along with Seattle Parks & Recreation, an ardent group of volunteers maintain & improve the park. Read more about the garden at the Kubota Garden Foundation. You can find the entrance on 55th Av S very near Renton Av S.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Burst of Color

 Design for a California Garden

Dry doesn't have to mean drab. This sunny front yard in coastal California features perennials & shrubs, such as Kangaroo Paws & Orchid Rockrose, that were chosen for their exotic flower colors & shapes, as well as their drought-tolerant habits. Groundcovers keep weeds at bay & contribute more color. A simple gravel path curving from the front walk to the side yard is easy to maintain. Even viewed from inside the house, the show is eye-catching. --text from Low-Maintenance Gardening.

Plant List
A. Anigozanthos flavidus (1) Kangaroo Paw
B. Callistemon citrinus (2) Lemon Bottlebrush
C. Cistus purpureus (4) Orchid Rockrose
D. Acca sellowiana (1) Pineapple Guava
E. Festuca ovina 'Glauca' (5) Blue Fescue
F. Gazania 'Sunrise Yellow' (10) Gazania
G. Kniphofia uvaria (3) Torch Lily
I. Limonium perezii (3) Sea Lavender
J. Salvia leucantha (1) Mexican Sage
K. Thymus pseudolanuginosus (9) Woolly Thyme

I designed this garden which appeared in the 1998 Sunset publication, Low-Maintenance Gardening. It is appropriate for USDA Zone 9.