Friday, April 26, 2013

Xardín de San Carlos

Xardín de San Carlos March 2012

Real Academia Galega, Xardín de San Carlos March 2012

Tomb of Sir John Moore, Xardín de San Carlos March 2012 

Real Academia Galega, Xardín de San Carlos March 2012 

Sir John Moore, Xardín de San Carlos March 2012

The Xardín de San Carlos is located in the city of A Coruña, Galiza.  The garden rests atop massive stone walls built in the 14th century as part of the defensive fortification of the city.  There are excellent views of the Port of  A Coruña & the eastern coastline of the city.  The current form of the garden dates from 1834.  It is primarily a monument to the British Lieutenant-general Sir John Moore, a hero of the Battle of A Coruña, on January 16, 1809.  Moore was mortally wounded when struck by a cannon ball.  The French were unsuccessful in their attack on the retreating British army, which was evacuated by sea 2 days later.  The battle was part of the Peninsula War (1808-14) fought in the Iberian Peninsula by British, Portuguese & Spanish forces against the French, resulting in the defeat of the French under Napoleon.  The garden contains the tomb & a bust of Sir John Moore.  It is pleasantly shaded & a popular site for wedding photography.  The garden conveniently located in the old city near the Castelo de San Antón.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Beyond the Cascadia Garden

Lake Washington at dawn in January 2012 from the lower deck.

Mt Rainier at dawn in January 2010.  You can also see Mt Baker from the garden.  But it appears more rarely at twice the distance.  A two-mountain day is an unusual & exciting occasion.

The concrete rabbit in January 2012.  This was given to me by my old boyfriend Bob in 1995.  My mother called it Bobby Bunny & sometimes Robert Rabbit.  He's moving with me to the new garden.  Snow was uncommon in the garden, rarely more than an inch or two & not every winter.

Sailboats on Lake Washington, with the Cascade Mountains on the horizon, in March 2009 from the upper deck.  This is the view directly below the garden.  The Mt Baker Rowing & Sailing Center is located at Stan Sayres Park here on the lake shore.

The lower path through the stony slope in May 2010

Weigela florida 'Rubidor' in May 2010.  I once saw this advertised as a plant for people with no taste.

The lower path in May 2010 

Beach scene in August 2008.  I'm taking the rocks, driftwood, shells & starfish with me to recreate it in the new garden.

Dark clouds in October 2008

MiMi in November 2011. She went to live with my parents.

The house was sold on March 29, 2013.  I left the Cascadia Garden on April 5.  I wasn't very sorry to leave it when it was still cold & wet, with few flowers to make it brighter.  But I was sorry to miss the exuberant month of May. I worked on this garden for 21 years, starting with a box of bulbs in 1992.  This was my first garden, an experiment with some unsatisfactory results.  I did not have enough motivation to fix them all.  It was a gaudy place with foliage in shades of gold, yellow, gray & blue & packed with flowers of all colors. Some called it a cottage garden.  But I thought there were too many shrubs & trees for that.  Parts of it were more like nature, with many native plants.  A garden tourist called it an urban oasis.  Every Easter Sunday my friends & family hunted for eggs.  People toured the garden every year.  Birds & squirrels made nests in the trees.  The tits' nests hung like damp, green socks.  Hummingbirds fed in the flowers.  Raccoons passed through on nocturnal missions.  Cats napped under the bushes. Countless invertebrates lived out their lives.  I never ceased to find new species of insects.  I feel wistful for this garden I didn't really want to keep.

Friday, April 12, 2013

March in Seattle

Narcissus on Beacon Hill in March 2013

 Madison Park in March 2013

Prunus serrulata (flowering cherry) in Mt Baker in March 2013

Rainier Valley in March 2013

March 2013 was warmer & drier than normal.  The mean temperature was 47.9F/8.8C.  The normal mean temperature is 46.5F/8C.  The lowest temperature was 32F/0C, the highest 69F/20.6C.  Total precipitation was 2.74 inches.  Normal precipitation is 3.72 inches.  There were 5 days with rain, 19 days with light rain, 1 day with sleet, 16 days with fog (3 of them at a visibility of less than 1/4 mile), 2 days with haze, 17 cloudy days, 11 partly cloudy days & 3 fair days. 

March felt chilly & the skies were mostly dark with clouds. Light rain fell from time to time.  Arctostaphylos columbiana (hairy manzanita) Clematis armandii (evergreen clematis) major Narcissus (daffodil) Prunus serrulata (flowering cherry) Pulmonaria (lungwort) & Ribes sanguineum (flowering currant) began to bloom.  Around the middle of the month, leaves began to appear on Pyrus calleryana (Callery pear), Salix babylonica (weeping willow) & Syringa vulgaris (common lilac).  Buds swelled on many other shrubs & trees.  The last day of winter came on March 19.  The winter chill had diminished a week before. The last 3 days of the month were much warmer & sunny. Temperatures reached 65F/18.3C on 3/29, 68F/20C on 3/30 & 69F/20.6C on 3/31.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Fountains of Western Iberia

 Lisbon, Portugal March 2012

Pontevedra, Galiza March 2012

Vigo, Galiza March 2012

Vigo, Galiza March 2012

A Coruña, Galiza March 2012