Friday, October 29, 2010

Warm Springs Indian Reservation

Juniperus occidentalis at Warm Springs Indian Reservation September 1999

Warm Springs Indian Reservation September 1999

Warm Springs Indian Reservation September 1999

 Juniperus occidentalis at Warm Springs Indian Reservation September 1999

Warm Springs Indian Reservation September 1999

The Warm Springs Indian Reservation covers more than 1,000 square miles in north central Oregon.  The western half of the reservation, on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains, is forest.  The eastern half lies adjacent to the Oregon High Desert Region.  It shares typical high desert vegetation including Western Juniper (Juniperus occidentalis), sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), Idaho Fescue (Festuca idahoensis), Oregon Sunshine (Eriophyllum lanatum), Sulfur Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum) & Mariposa Lilies (Calochortus species).  On the eastern boundary, at the Deschutes River, annual precipitation is only about 10 inches with annual snowfall of around 15 inches.

In September 1999 I stayed in the dry side of the reservation at Kah-Nee-Ta Lodge.  In addition to fine accommodations, a pool & 2 restaurants, I greatly appreciated the opportunity to hike through the arid lands surrounding the lodge.  The weather was lovely.  The nearby Museum at Warm Springs made an excellent presentation of the traditions of the tribes that share the Warm Springs Indian Reservation: the Wasco, the Warm Springs & the Paiute.  The reservation was established in 1855 through a series treaties between the superintendent for the Oregon Territory (Joel Palmer), & representatives of the Warm Springs & Wasco tribes.  In 1879, the US government moved a small group of Northern Paiutes to the reservation.

 Jordan at Warm Springs Indian Reservation September 1999

Friday, October 22, 2010

Joshua Tree National Park

 Yucca brevifolia (Joshua Tree) in Joshua Tree National Park March 1999

Cylindropuntia bigelovii (Cholla Cactus) at Joshua Tree National Park March 1999

  Cylindropuntia bigelovii (Cholla Cactus) with bird's nest in Joshua Tree National Park March 1999

 Cylindropuntia bigelovii (Cholla Cactus) with grasses in Joshua Tree National Park March 1999

 Juniperus californica (California Juniper) in Joshua Tree National Park March 1999

 Pinus monophylla (Single Leaf Pinyon) in Joshua Tree National Park March 1999

 Joshua Tree National Park March 1999

Joshua Tree National Park is possibly the most intiguing & accessible landscape in California.  It lies not far from Palm Springs, about equidistant from Los Angeles & San Diego.  All 3 cities are common destinations for people from the Pacific Northwest during our rainy winter months, the best time time to visit the park. I have been to Joshua Tree National Park twice.  The 1st time was with my family in June 1971 when I was 12.  The place was then Joshua Tree National Monument.  It was hotter than I had ever imagined hot could be.  We stopped near an oasis ringed with palms (Washingtonia filifera).  The surface of the water was thick with bees.  Along the sweltering trail were grave markers of 19th century migrants who had attempted to cross the desert in wagons on their way to the coast.  I was quite sure they had died of the heat, if the bees hadn't killed them 1st.  I visited Joshua Tree National Park for the 2nd time in March 1999 with friends from Palm Springs.  The weather was perfect then.  I was amazed by the diversity of plant life in the desert, including scrub oak (Quercus john-tuckeri), pine (Pinus monophylla) & juniper (Juniperus californica), in addition to the ubiquitous Joshua Trees (Yucca brevifolia) & Cholla Cactus (Cylindropuntia bigelovii) I remembered from childhood.  The park covers almost 800,000 acres, including portions of both the Mojave Desert & the Colorado Desert.  

 Jordan at Joshua Tree National Park March 1999

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Mediterranean Garden at Kew Gardens

The Mediterranean Garden at Kew Gardens July 2009

Cistus in the Mediterranean Garden at Kew Gardens July 2009

Fremontodendron in the Mediterranean Garden at Kew Gardens July 2009

Genista in the Mediterranean Garden at Kew Gardens July 2009

Phlomis in the Mediterranean Garden at Kew Gardens July 2009

King William's Temple in the Mediterranean Garden at Kew Gardens July 2009

The Mediterranean Garden was definitely the high point of my visit to Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew in London in July of 2009.  It is truly a stunning garden.  The placement of the garden around, but mostly in front of King William's Temple, is superb.  The planting greatly enhances the structure.  It appears to be an abandoned edifice of ancient Rome in the midst of a Mediterranean wilderness.  The architecture of the portico is of the Tuscan Order, a simplified version of the Doric Order, columns with base, unfluted shaft & simply molded capital, plain entablature.  It was built in 1837.

The planting design is quite informal.  While there are many plants native to the Mediterranean Basin, contrary to the information at the Kew Gardens website, it does not 'depict a typical Mediterranean natural habitat.'  There are many plants here that are native to the Americas, including Fremontodendron californicum (California Flannel Bush) New World fan palms & Yucca.  But this mixture is common in Mediterranean gardens around the world.  Agave is often seen in Italian gardens.  For more information on Mediterranean plants, read The Mediterranean Garden

'Kew’s aim in creating the feature was to highlight the economic uses of many endemic Mediterranean plants, the diversity of life the habitat supports and the conservation efforts needed to ensure its survival. Stone pines (Pinus pinea) Tuscan olive trees (Olea europaea) and the green spires of Italian cypress (Cypress sempervirens) grow above shrubs such as Cistus and lavender (Lavandula lanata). Information boards explain the uses of some of the most economically important plants,' from the Kew Gardens website.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Mediterranean Garden

Helleborus lividus April 2010 in the Cascadia Garden

Hypericum cerastoides May 2009 in the Cascadia Garden

Erica australis 'Holehird' February 2009 in the Cascadia Garden

Myrtus communis August 2010 at the Good Shepherd Center

Rosmarinus officinalis April 2010 in Seattle

Cupressus sempervirens March 2010 in Seattle

Sedum hispanicum September 2010 in the Cascadia Garden

The terms Mediterranean garden & Mediterranean plants can be somewhat confusing.  Many Mediterranean gardens include xeric plants from other regions of the world with Mediterranean climates.  Mediterranean gardens are sometimes defined by a formal, geometric style with generous use of stone, but usually with xeric plants.  Such gardens are also called Italian gardens, especially when they include many sculptures & few plants, believed by some to be the epitome of good taste. 

The Mediterranean climate is warm & dry, with winter rainfall & summer drought.  Such a climate exists in coastal regions of central Chile, central & southern California, southwestern Australia & the Western Cape Province of South Africa.  The plant communities in these places are known as maquis (or macchia) in Mediterranean Europe, matorral in Chile, chaparral in California, kwongan in Australia & fynbos in South Africa.

This Mediterranean garden is composed entirely of xeric plants native to the lands that border the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Asia & Africa.  Plants that have a wide distribution beyond the Mediterranean Basin are excluded.  Design this garden in any way you like, exuberant or restrained, formal or informal.  Make this garden on ground that slopes to the south or west in Seattle.  It must be well-drained & exposed to maximum sun.  This garden will require little or no irrigation beyond the 1st summer.   

Mediterranean Garden Plant List
Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree)
Cedrus atlantica (Atlas Cedar) Cedrus libani (Cedar of Lebanon)
Cupressus sempervirens (Italian Cypress)
Laurus nobilis (Sweet Bay)
Pinus halepensis (Aleppo Pine) Pinus nigra (European Black Pine) Pinus pinaster (Maritime Pine) Pinus pinea (Italian Stone Pine)
Pyrus amygdaliformis (Almond Leaved Pear)
Querqus ilex (Holly Oak) Querqus suber (Cork Oak)

Cistus albidus (White Leaved Rockrose) Cistus clusii, Cistus crispus, Cistus incanus (Soft Hairy Rockrose) Cistus ladanifer (Gum Rockrose) Cistus monspeliensis (Montpelier Rockrose) Cistus salviifolius (Sage Leaved Rockrose)
Dorycnium hirsutum (Canary Clover)
Erica arborea (Tree Heath) Erica australis (Spanish Heath) Erica manipuliflora
Juniperus oxycedrus (Spanish Cedar) Juniperus phoenicea (Phoenicean Juniper)
Lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender, though not native there) Lavandula dentata (French Lavender) Lavandula stoechas (Spanish Lavender)
Myrtus communis (Common Myrtle)
Phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem Sage) Phlomis italica: the epithet italica was given by Linnaeus as it had arrived from or via Italy, but the plant only grows in the Balearic islands. 

Achillea tomentosa (Woolly Yarrow)
Allium moly (Golden Garlic) Allium neapolitanum (Naples Onion)
Antirrhinum 'Dulcinea's Heart', Antirrhinum majus (Common Snapdragon) Antirrhinum sempervirens, most species are perennial, of the 17 species, 16 are found in Spain.
Centranthus ruber (Jupiter's Beard)
Digitalis dubia (Dwarf Spanish Foxglove) Digitalis thapsii, Digitalis obscura (Sunset Foxglove)
Eryngium amethystinum (Amethyst Sea Holly) Eryngium bourgatii (Mediterranean Sea Holly) Eryngium variifolium (Moroccan Sea Holly)
Euphorbia characias (Mediterranean Spurge)
Galanthus ikariae (Green Snowdrop)
Helleborus argutifolius (Corsican Hellebore) Helleborus lividus (Majorcan Hellebore)
Helictotrichon sempervirens (Blue Oat Grass)
Iris filifolia, Iris lusitanica (Yellow Spanish Iris) Iris tingitana (Moroccan Iris) Iris xiphium (Spanish Iris) all closely related, these were used to create Dutch Iris.
Narcissus bulbocodium (Hoop Petticoats)
Paeonia clusii (Cretan White Peony) Paeonia corsica (aka P cambessedesii, Corsican Peony) Paeonia peregrina (Balkan Peony)
Scilla peruviana (Portuguese Squill) the scientific name peruviana results from confusion over the origin of the specimens from which the species was described by Linnaeus, who received specimens imported from Spain aboard a ship named Peru, & was misled into thinking the specimens had come from that country.
Salvia argentea (Silver Sage)
Stipa gigantea (Giant Feather Grass)

Cerastium tomentosum (Snow in Summer)