Friday, August 29, 2014

Carmelita Street in San Francisco

Waller Street at the corner of Carmelita Street.

Carmelita Street in San Francisco in April 2014.

Carmelia Street is my favorite street in San Francisco.  I used to live not far from here in the Lower Haight & just a bit farther away at Alamo Square.  My preferred hotel, the Metro Hotel, is very near Carmelita Street, which serves as a major pedestrian thoroughfare to & from the N Judah Muni Metro light rail train stop at the top of Duboce Park, & between the Castro & the Lower Haight.  The N Judah will take you all the way from the Embarcadero to Ocean Beach.  Carmelita Street is about half a block long between Waller Street & Duboce Park.  There is no outlet at the Duboce Park end of the street for vehicular traffic, but a pedestrian path across the park.  The 16 houses on Carmelita Street are all good examples of San Francisco Edwardian architecture from about 1900 to 1910, & all very nicely maintained.  In addition, the gardens along the street are exceptionally lovely.  The one fully landscaped driveway is wonderful.  It serves as a parking space.  We can all learn something from that.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bellevue Botanical Garden

The Ravine Experience at the Bellevue Botanical Garden August 2012

The Yao Japanese Garden at the Bellevue Botanical Garden August 2012 

The Alpine Rock Garden at the Bellevue Botanical Garden August 2012

The Northwest Perennial Alliance Border at the Bellevue Botanical Garden August 2012

The Northwest Perennial Alliance Border at the Bellevue Botanical Garden August 2012

Click here for more photos of the Bellevue Botanical Garden.

The Bellevue Botanical Garden is an amazing place.  And even more amazing, it gets better all the time.  This is certainly one of the largest & best gardens in the Seattle area, which has rather few impressive public gardens.  One 53 acres, there are gardens, natural woodlands & wetlands.  Most impressive of the gardens is the Perennial Border maintained by the The Northwest Perennial Alliance.  The Yao Garden is also quite impressive, one of the best Japanese gardens in the Seattle area.  In addition to these, there is also an Alpine Rock Garden, the Waterwise Garden, the Shorts Ground Cover Garden, & the Native Discovery Garden.  The newest feature (as of 2012) is the Ravine Experience, a footbridge suspended over a ravine in the native woodland.  You have a rare opportunity here to see a small portion of the native wetlands that once covered most of lowland King County.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sidewalk Garden on SW Juneau Street

Berberis thunbergii, Grevillea victoriae & Nassella tenuissima on SW Juneau Street in August 2013

Callistemon (Bottlebrush) & Berberis (Barberry) on SW Juneau Street in August 2013

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan) on SW Juneau Street in August 2013

This is one of the most interesting sidewalk gardens I have seen in Seattle.  It is remarkable for its use of uncommon plants such as Grevillea victoriae, Callistemon (Bottlebrush) & an unusual species of Berberis (Barberry) that I can't identify.  It is tied together with Festuca ovina var. glauca 'Elijah Blue' (Blue Fescue) Nassella tenuissima (Mexican Feather Grass) & a number of groundcovers including Hebe glaucophylla.  This is not exactly what the Seattle Department of Transportation would like to see done in a sidewalk garden.  They insist that plants be kept to no more than 3 feet in height for visibility & traffic safety.  (Trees are the exception to this rule, but require permits.)  The shrubs here have grown higher than 3 feet & will grow much higher still, if they are not cut back, which would be rather unattractive.  In my opinion, it is better to plant shrubs that don't grow much more than 3 feet tall, especially on a corner, where they will certainly block views of traffic.

Friday, August 8, 2014

July in Seattle

These Capitol Hill homes were built around 1910.  They are called Seattle boxes, or foursquare houses.

Hydrangea macrophylla

 Allium by the alley.  The photos above were taken on Capitol Hill in July 2014.

Mostly roses & Hydrangea macrophylla at this dutch colonial house in University Park, built around 1920.

July 2014 in Seattle was significantly warmer & slightly wetter than normal. The mean temperature was 69.2F/20.7C.  The normal mean temperature is 65.7F/18.7C.  Total precipitation was 0.77 inches/19.6mm, 0.76 inches/19.3mm fell on 7/23.  Normal precipitation is 0.70 inches/17.8mm.  The highest temperature was 94F/34.4C on 7/1.  The lowest was 53F/11.7C on 7/18.  There were 10 days at 85F/29.4C or above, which is hot for Seattle.  There was 1 day with heavy rain, 1 day with rain, 3 days with light rain, 7 days with fog (1 with visibility at less than 1/4 mile) 6 cloudy days, 11 partly cloudy days & 14 fair days.       

Friday, August 1, 2014

Angel Morgan P-Patch

 Rockery & tool shed at the Angel Morgan P-Patch in August 2013

Tool shed at the Angel Morgan P-Patch in August 2013

Grape arbor at the Angel Morgan P-Patch in August 2013

The Angel Morgan P-Patch is a very pleasant surprise to find in the quiet residential heart of the Brighton neighborhood in the Rainier Valley of Seattle.  It has a lot going on.  There is tool shed made stylish with an attached trellis, a rockery filled with perennials, espaliered fruit trees & a grape arbor, all in good condition.  Most of the 26 plots are well-tended.  This p-patch covers 22,650 square feet on land owned by the City of Seattle on 42nd Avenue S, between S Morgan Street & S Angel Place.  It was established in 2004.