Friday, August 26, 2011

The Bloedel Reserve

A storage barn at the south end of the West Meadow, looking north.  Your visit to the Bloedel Reserve starts at the north end of the meadow, seen in the distance, near the parking lot.

Not long after you enter the woods at the south end of the West Meadow, you come upon a large pond, which is the Bird Refuge.  'The refuge islands in this large pond provide a year-round home for ducks, geese and a new resident beaver. A variety of migratory ducks spend their winters here, and kingfishers and great blue herons feast on the small amphibians and fish found in the pond. The shoreline is ringed with native western azaleas, viburnums, red and yellow osier dogwoods, and red alders.' from the Bloedel Reserve website.

Shortly after passing the Bird Refuge, you re-enter the woods.  (The brochure says, 'you next step abruptly into a dense forest.' But it didn't feel abrupt to me.  Most of the reserve is forest with a few open areas carved from it.)  'In this dense Northwest forest, Douglas fir, western red cedar and hemlock, festooned with moss, stand undisturbed along the trail. Two man-made features offer unique views of the woods. A tall trestle bridge gives you a bird’s-eye look down at a year-round stream. A boardwalk across wetlands allows you to enter a bog filled with chorusing frogs and carnivorous plants.' from the Bloedel Reserve website.

Lysichiton americanum in the bog, seen from the boardwalk.

Salix babylonica beside the Mid Pond.  'Your next steps take you from the deep woods into a formal European landscape accented by lakes, towering English elms and a stately weeping willow, with a dramatic view of the Bloedel’s former residence.  This French country-style home, now our Visitor Center, commands a view of Puget Sound’s Port Madison Bay near Agate Pass. An active eagle’s nest is visible from the east lawn.  Flanked by a gracious living room and dining, the central room in the Bloedel’s former residence houses a cozy Library with a collection of 1,400 horticultural and botanical books, available for reading and research on site.' from the Bloedel Reserve website.  Next come The Glen, The Japanese Garden & The Moss Garden, which are the subjects of separate posts.

From the Moss Garden, you enter the Reflection Garden.  'The basic elements – earth, sky, trees and still water – create the Reflection Pool, a setting of magical simplicity. The pool and hedge tame the forest with geometric precision, and the mirror-like pool invites quiet contemplation.' from the Bloedel Reserve website.

Finally, you re-enter the West Meadow at its mid-point & return to the parking lot.  These photos were all taken in April 2011.

Map of the Bloedel Reserve from the brochure.

The Bloedel Reserve in Bainbridge Island, Washington near Seattle is one of the finest gardens in the United States.  Prentice & Virginia Bloedel resided on the property from 1951 to 1986. They developed the 150-acre property, mostly 2nd-growth forest, into the present series of gardens.  The Arbor Fund, established and endowed by the Bloedels in 1974, purchased the Bloedel Reserve in 1985 & continues to manage it.  One of the 1st to work on the Reserve, under the Bloedels, was Ray Prentice of Prentice Nursery in Seattle.  He built the waterfall & planted shrubs & trees on the waterfall bank.  The famous landscape architect Thomas Church of San Francisco began working with the Bloedels in 1954.  He prepared conceptual drawings for the Mid-Pond area that became the scenic driveway loop.  He also designed the Waterfall Overlook, the Orchid Trail (1st called the Church Walk) & the Reflection GardenFujitaro Kubota of Kubota Nursery in Seattle designed & installed the Japanese Garden in 1961.  The Zen Garden was designed by Koichi Kawana, professor of landscape architecture at UCLA.

In the Treaty of Point Elliott, signed by Chief Seattle in 1855, the Suquamish Tribe ceded Bainbridge Island to the US government.  By the late 1800s, Bainbridge Island was home to the world's largest sawmill, the Port Blakely Mill, which closed in the mid 1920s.  Many of the mill workers were Japanese.  In 1942 Bainbridge Island became 1 of the first communities required to respond to Executive Order 9066, which removed those of Japanese ancestry to internment camps.  220 Japanese-Americans were sent to Manzanar on the edge of the Mojave Desert, and then to Minidoka in Idaho.  The novel Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson is set on Bainbridge Island.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Volunteer Park Dahlia Garden

Dahlia 'Alloway Candy' August 2011

 Dahlia 'Brookside Cheri' August 2011

Dahlia 'Eva' August 2011

Dahlia 'Fidalgo Julie' August 2011

Dahlia Northlake Heritage' August 2011

Dahlia 'Snoho Doris' August 2011

August is a good month for Volunteer Park. You can wade in the pool, climb the water tower, visit the conservatory & see the Dahlias. Dahlias are at their peak in August. The Dahlia Garden lies near the conservatory, east from the main promenade, across the lawn. Watch out for guys playing frisbee or football.  The Dahlia Garden is maintained by the Puget Sound Dahlia Association.  Volunteer Park is very centrally located on Capitol Hill in Seattle. The main entrance is at 14th Av E & E Prospect St.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Cupressus sempervirens April 2011

Malus (Crabapple) April 2011

Arbutus menziesii in Seward Park April 2011

Magnolia x soulangeana March 2010

 Ginkgo biloba September 2010

Here is a list of trees for gardens in Seattle, the Pacific Northwest & USDA Zone 8. Many will tolerate colder climates.  They have good form, lovely flowers, colorful fall foliage & other characteristics that endear them to many gardeners. Most of these are deciduous.  Evergreen trees are noted.  Some may be difficult to find. When local nurseries fail, try mail-order nurseries.  Forest Farm is a good source for uncommon trees.  This list is not meant to provide detailed information on trees, but to introduce you to some you may not know, or remind you of those you have forgotten.  Basic characteristics are included to help you sort through the lists.  Be sure you know how widely these trees spread before you plant them, to allow enough space.  Narrow trees are listed separately here.  An abundance of detailed information is available on the web.  Good reference books on shrubs are The Hillier Gardener's Guide to Trees & Shrubs edited by John Kelly, Sunset Western Garden Book

Small Trees
Abies koreana (Korean Fir) Abies pinsapo (Spanish Fir): evergreen
Acer buergerianum (Trident Maple) Acer campestre (Hedge Maple) Acer circinatum (Vine Maple) Acer crataegifolium (Hawthorne Maple) Acer japonicum (Fullmoon Maple) Acer maximowiczianum (Nikko Maple) Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple) Acer pennsylvanicum (Moosewood): fall color
Aesculus pavia (Red Buckeye): flowers
Amelanchier alnifolia (Western Serviceberry) Amelanchier canadensis (Eastern Serviceberry) Amelanchier x grandiflora, Amelanchier laevis (Allegheny Serviceberry): flowers, fruit, fall color
Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree): evergreen, flowers, fruit can make a mess on pavement
Azara microphylla (Boxleaf Azara): evergreen, small flowers, narrow
Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' (Eastern Redbud): purple leaves, flowers, fall color, Cercis siliquastrum (Judas Tree): flowers, fall color
Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Boulevard’ (Boulevard Cypress): evergreen, slow growth
Cladrastis lutea (Yellow Wood): flowers, fall color
Cornus kousa (Korean Dogwood) Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry): flowers, fruit
Crataegus laciniata, Crataegus laevigata ‘Rosea Flore Pleno’ (English Hawthorn) Crataegus phaenopyrum (Washington Hawthorn) Crataegus prunifolia: flowers, fruit, fall color
Cupressus arizonica var. glabra ‘Blue Ice’ (Arizona Cypress): evergreen
Franklinia alatamaha (Franklin Tree): flowers, fall color
Genista aetnensis (Mt Aetna Broom): flowers
Hamamelis x intermedia, Hamamelis mollis (Witch Hazel): fragrant flowers, fall foliage
Malus ‘Adams’, Malus ‘Dartmouth’, Malus ‘Katherine’, Malus ‘Thunderchild’ (Crabapple): & many other cultivars, flowers, fruit can make a mess on pavement
Oxydendron arboreum (Sourwood): flowers, fall color
Parrotia persica (Parrotia): fall color
Pinus cembra (Swiss Stone Pine) Pinus edulus (Pinyon Pine): evergreen
Podocarpus macrophyllus (Yew Pine): evergreen, not a pine
Prunus cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’ (Flowering Plum) Prunus mume (Japanese apricot) Prunus serrula, Prunus serrulata (Flowering Cherry): flowers
Pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’ (Bradford Pear): flowers, fall color, Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula' (Weeping Willow-leafed Pear): flowers, silver foliage, weeping form
Quercus gambelii (Gambel Oak): tolerates dryness
Rhus typhina (Staghorn Sumac): fall color
Sorbus cashmiriana (Kashmir Mountain Ash) Sorbus commixta (Japanese Mountain Ash) Sorbus hupehensis (Hupei Mountain Ash) Sorbus scalaris: flowers, fruit, fall foliage
Styrax japonica (Japanese Snowbell) Styrax obassia (Fragrant Snowbell): flowers
Taxus cuspidata (Japanese Yew): evergreen
Thuja standishii (Japanese Arborvitae): evergreen
Thujopsis dolabrata (False Arborvitae): evergreen
Trachycarpus fortunei (Chinese Windmill Palm): evergreen, the only reliable palm in Seattle
Ulmus japonica (Japanese Elm): fall color

Medium Trees
Abies amabilis (Cascade Fir): evergreen
Acer callipes, Acer davidii, Acer griseum (Paperbark Maple): fall color, interesting bark
Aesculus californica (California Buckeye) Aesculus x carnea (Red Horse Chestnut): flowers
Albizia julibrissin (Mimosa): flowers
Betula albo-sinensis (Chinese Red Birch) Betula jacquemontii (Himalayan Birch) Betula papyrifera (Paper Birch) Betula pendula (Silver Birch): fall color, beautiful bark, birches attract aphids which drip sticky excretions on patio furniture & cars
Carpinus caroliniana (American Hornbeam): fall color
Catalpa bignonioides (Southern Catalpa): flowers, pods
Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura Tree): fall color
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Pembury Blue’ (Port Orford Cedar) Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’ (Weeping Alaskan Cedar) Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Gracilis’ (Slender Hinoki Cypress): evergreen
Crataegus mollis (Downy Hawthorne): flowers, fruit, fall color
Davidia involucrata (Dove Tree): flowers, fruit
Gymnocladus dioica (Kentucky Coffee Tree)
Idesia polycarpa (Idesia): inedible berries
Magnolia macrophylla (Bigleaf Magnolia): flowers, huge leaves
Nothofagus antarctica (Southern Beech): fall color
Nyssa sylvatica (Black Gum): fall color
Pawlonia tomentosa (Empress Tree): flowers, large leaves
Picea breweriana (Brewer Spruce): evergreen
Pinus contorta var. contorta (Shore Pine) Pinus leucodermis (Bosnian Pine) Pinus pinea (Italian Stone Pine) Pinus monticola (Western White Pine): evergreen
Quercus chrysolepis (Canyon Live Oak): evergreen, Quercus garryana (Garry Oak): shade tolerant
Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’ (Golden Locust): yellow foliage
Sciodopitys verticillata (Umbrella Pine): evergreen, not a pine
Sorbus alnifolia (Korean Mountain Ash) Sorbus aria (Whitebeam): flowers, fruit, fall color
Stewartia pseudocamellia (Japanese Stewartia): flowers, fall color
Taxus brevifolia (Pacific Yew): evergreen, fruit
Tilia americana (American Linden) Tilia cordata (Littleleaf Linden): fall color

Large Trees
Abies concolor (White Fir) Abies grandis (Giant Fir) Abies procera (Noble Fir): evergreen
Acer macrophyllum (Bigleaf Maple) Acer platanoides (Norway Maple): fall color
Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut): flowers, big leaves, fall color
Araucaria araucana (Monkey Puzzle): evergreen, unique appearance, historic in Seattle
Arbutus menziesii (Madrona): evergreen, flowers, fruit, lovely bark, native in Seattle
Calocedrus decurrens (California Incense Cedar): evergreen, narrow
Carpinus betulus (European Hornbeam): fall color
Catalpa speciosa (Western Catalpa): flowers, pods
Cedrus atlantica (Atlas Cedar) Cedrus deodara (Deodar Cedar): both are common in Seattle, Cedrus libani (Cedar of Lebanon): evergreen
Cupressus sempervirens (Italian Cypress): evergreen, narrow
Fagus grandifolia (American Beech) Fagus sylvatica (European Beach): fall color
Fraxinus americana (White Ash) Fraxinus latifolia (Oregon Ash): fall color
Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo): fall color, unique appearance
Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust): pods, fall color
Larix decidua (European Larch) Larix kaempferi (Japanese Larch) Larix occidentalis (Tamarack): deciduous conifer, fall color
Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweetgum): fall color
Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Tree): flowers, fall color, very large distiguished tree
Magnolia grandiflora (Southern Magnolia): evergreen
Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwood): deciduous conifer, fall color, 'living fossil'
Picea abies (Norway Spruce) Picea oromika (Serbian Spruce) Picea sitchensis (Sitka Spruce): evergreen
Pinus densiflora (Japanese Red Pine) Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine) Pinus thunbergii (Japanese Black Pine): evergreen
Platanus x acerifolia (London Plane Tree) Platanus occidentalis (American Sycamore)
Platanus racemosa (California Sycamore): large leaves, beautiful bark
Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas Fir): evergreen, native in Seattle
Quercus coccinia (Scarlet Oak) Quercus lobata (Valley Oak) Quercus robur (English Oak) Quercus rubra (Red Oak)
Sequoia sempervirens (Coast Redwood): evergreen
Sequoiadendron giganteum (Sierra Redwood): evergreen, impressive
Stewartia monadelpha (Tall Stewartia): flowers, beautiful bark, fall color
Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar): evergreen, sacred tree, native to Seattle
Tilia tomentosa (Silver Linden): fall color
Tsuga heterophylla (Western Hemlock): evergreen, native in Seattle

Narrow Trees
Acer circinatum (Vine Maple): fall color, native in Seattle
Azara microphylla (Boxleaf Azara): evergreen, small flowers
Calocedrus decurrens (California Incense Cedar): evergreen, narrow
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Ellwoodii’ (Port Offord Cedar): evergreen, formal
Ginkgo biloba ‘Tremonia’ (Ginkgo): fall color
Juniperus communis ‘Hibernica’ (Irish Juniper): evergreen, formal
Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine)
Prunus serrulata ‘Amanogawa’ (Flowering Cherry): flowers, fall color
Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’ (Chanticleer Pear): fall color
Quercus robur 'Fastigiata' (English Oak): fall color
Thuja plicata ‘Fastigiata’ (Hogan Cedar): evergreen
Thujopsis dolabrata (False Arborvitae): evergreen
Trachycarpus fortunei (Chinese Windmill Palm): evergreen,  the only reliable palm in Seattle

Friday, August 5, 2011

July Garden Pictures & Bloom Times

Acanthus hungaricus July 2011

Hydrangea quercifolia July 2011

Lobelia tupa & Hypericum 'Hidcote' July 2011

Prunella vulgaris July 2011

Rosa glauca July 2011

Below is a list of plants that began to bloom in my garden in Seattle in July 2011. I recorded the date when the 1st flower opened, not when they were in bud. I think this information is helpful in planning your garden. If you have room for more plants that bloom in July, you can choose something new that will bloom along with something you already have, or you can fill temporal gaps between blooms.  Nurseries in Seattle usually sell plants when they are in bloom. I have included dates from previous years. Weather conditions probably account for most of the difference in bloom times. July 2011 was  slightly cooler & drier than normal.  The average monthly temperature was 64.2F/17.8C.  The normal average monthly temperature is 65.3F/18.5C.  The highest temperature was 84F/29C, the lowest 49F/9.5C.  We had 0.71 inches of rain, 0.08 less than normal.  It rained on 10 days.  There were 10 cloudy days, 13 partly cloudy days & 8 sunny days.

07-01-11 Aruncus dioicus 6-29-10, 6-16-09, 6-30-08
07-01-11 Lobelia tupa 6-18-10, 6-13-09, 6-22-08
07-02-11 Hemerocallis 'Hyperion' 6-22-10, 6-12-09, 6-30-08
07-04-11 Callistemon viridiflorus 6-11-10
07-04-11 Gaura lindheimeri 6-27-10, 6-17-09
07-04-11 Sedum reflexum 7-01-10
07-05-11 Lilium pardalinum 6-28-10, 6-21-09, 6-28-08
07-05-11 Sedum gypsicola
07-08-11 Hydrangea quercifolia 6-27-10, 6-13-09, 5-25-08
07-08-11 Kniphofia 'Shining Scepter' 6-22-10, 6-23-08
07-08-11 Lilium regale 'Album' 6-26-10, 7-06-08
07-11-11 Clematis viticella 'Kermesina' 7-01-10, 6-24-09, 7-10-08
07-13-11 Callistemon subulatus 7-18-10, 7-06-08
07-13-11 Hebe recurva 7-01-10
07-15-11 Agapanthus campanulatus 7-09-10, 7-12-08
07-15-11 Anemone x hybrida 7-12-10, 7-12-08
07-18-11 Hydrangea arborescens 6-27-10, 6-13-09
07-15-11 Eryngium planum 7-15-10, 7-21-08
07-21-11 Zauschneria californica 7-18-10
07-23-11 Zauschneria latifolia 7-18-10, 7-26-08
07-27-11 Sedum spurium 7-20-10
07-30-11 Sedum middendorfianum 7-25-10
07-30-11 Sedum selskianum 7-28-10