Thursday, August 25, 2011

Garden Art of Seattle

I absolutely love garden art. I have little things tucked in here and there all around my garden and I‘m always on the look-out for more.

Throughout the Seattle Fling there was an abundance of garden art, but there were a few stand-outs when I look back over my pictures: Michelle & Christopher Epping’s,  Lorene Edwards Forkner’s, and Dragonfly Farms.

The Epping’s garden took 3rd place in the 2007 Pacific Northwest Gardens Competition, and it is easy to see why. Besides a well laid out garden, there are nooks and crannies to explore highlighted with interesting pieces of garden art.

The colors of the flowers echo the colors of the lanterns, or is it the other way around?

Concrete statuaries can be found in abundance in their garden.


Lorene Edwards Forkner’s garden is also her test bed for her writing. She has written a new book entitled Handmade Garden Projects: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creative Garden Features, Containers, Lighting & More.  Many of the items featured in the book are created and tested right here in her backyard.

These boxes are a great idea to add more interest to an otherwise boring fence.
Remember nail punch!? We used to do nail punch projects in Girl Scouts.
Sometimes seemingly unrelated objects can be combined to create an attractive vignette.
This terrarium is a light fixture from an old warehouse.

Now for the finale of Lorene’s garden. The travel trailer. I have never seen anything like this in a garden, I love it! I had to take pictures so that one day when I decide to get a travel trailer for my garden I have pictures to prove to my husband that it can be done.




Now, on to Dragonfly Farms.

Aren’t these fun!? I should have taken a picture of the back of these metal heads so that we could see how they are elevated above the pie plates. IMG_3904

Here’s a great idea for a new use of an old bench at Dragonfly Farms

Someone finally thought of something to do with all those
random dishes you can buy at resale shops.

These gardeners have given me a few ideas for new projects in my garden, hopefully they have given you a few too. We are almost to the end of my Seattle Fling highlights. Only one more place to go, Bloedel Reserve.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pathways of Seattle

Over the course of the Seattle Fling I quickly noticed that pathways were an emerging theme. Whether the garden was large or small, without exception, there were cleverly designed pathways that added to a sense of majesty and mystery about each garden.

Dragonfly Farms

This path at Dragonfly Farms has given me some inspiration for my own garden. The plants will be different, but I hope the feeling created will be the same.

Suzette & Jim Birrell’s
Shelagh Tucker’s

Even around the back of the greenhouse, Shelagh has added a lovely pathway with as much attention to color and design as the more public areas of her garden.

Dunn Gardens
Michelle & Christopher Epping’s

Denise Lane’s

Denise Lane’s
Denise Lane’s

The smaller gardens probably benefitted the most from the enclosed and winding pathways. Kate Farley’s garden was one of the smallest ones we visited, but it seemed just as big as the others. Every winding path led to an interesting garden feature.

Kate Farley’s
Kate Farley’s
Kate Farley’s

I hope these photos inspire you to add a pathway somewhere in your garden. Don’t just garden around the edges!

Monday, August 15, 2011

August Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

As I started writing this post I thought I would look back to see what was happening on August 2010’s Bloom Day. Some of the same plants are blooming this year as were blooming last year at this time. However, at this time last year we were just starting to experience the unbearable heat. This year, temperatures in the 100s started in June, rainfall is at an all-time low, and my water bills are at an all-time high.

Most of Galveston County, just south of Houston, is under Stage 3 water restrictions. That means no outdoor watering. The City of Houston is still under voluntary water restrictions, but I fear rationing is in our future. The official rainfall at my garden is about 2 1/2” for this year. It’s tough on our plants considering we live in a sub-tropical environment that is accustomed to receiving 54” of annual rainfall.

But, enough bad news, let’s see what’s blooming this hot, dry day.

Calliandra emarginata
Firecracker plant and more pentas
Cassia alata aka Candlestick
Rose of Sharon
Turnera alternifolia
Whitfieldia elongata

Other plants blooming are: Gregg’s mist flower, pyramid bush, vinca, duranta, crepe mrytles, knockouts, bottlebrush tree, pride of barbados, crocosmia, variegated gaura, Texas rock rose, hamelia patens, white turk’s cap, peruvian pavonia, and rudbeckia.

Check out more Garden Bloggers Bloom Days at May Dreams Gardens.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My First Dragonfruit

IMG_3953I bought a dragonfruit plant from Buchanan’s last summer (or maybe it was the summer of 2009). It was on sale (I’m always a sucker for a sale) and looked like it would be fun to try. However, it is still in the same pot I brought it home in and it is rather neglected.

When I returned from Oman in mid-June, I noticed that it had bloomed while I was gone. The bloom looks very similar to what I have referred to as a night-blooming cereus in a previous Macro Monday post. It would seem that the two are related. I’ve been keeping an eye on the fruit as it has been forming. Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how I would know when to pick it.

Yesterday I came home and squeezed it. It was a little soft, so I picked it immediately. I was afraid that I had waited too long to pick it, but based on a little internet research, it seems that I picked it at about the right time.


IMG_3939The tag on the pot said red dragonfruit, but did that mean red on the outside or the inside? There are two red-skinned types, one that is white on the inside and the other that is red. There is also a yellow-skinned variety.

It turns out that mine is a red-skinned and red-fleshed variety. The flavor was very mild, almost non-existent. But, it was fun to eat. Quite an experience.


Now, I think I need to find a white-fleshed one to keep the red-fleshed one company. Smile

Sheds of Seattle

IMG_3216I have shed envy. I was very impressed with the sheds of the Seattle gardeners. I almost hate to call them sheds, that hardly seems to do them justice.  Every gardener needs a place to start seeds, transplant seedlings, hang shovels, rakes, and hoes, a place to dry herbs and garlic. All of my tools are along the walls of our garage, squeezed into any available space. It’s just not right. Woe is me, I need a shed.


The Birrell’s bright blue shed is a focal point of their backyard. The bright colors cheer up any day. To call this structure a shed is an understatement. Just look at the space they have inside to work on projects! Another benefit of a garden building is the rainwater harvesting potential.

IMG_3315Shelagh Tucker has a roomy greenhouse with cold frames along one edge to get her and her plants through the Seattle winters.






IMG_3507The Eppings’ shed looks like a cute little cottage. It is tucked into the back corner of their garden and blends in with their landscape quite nicely while serving as a great area for some of their container plantings.


Kate Farley’s garden workshop is a large room at the back of her garage. You actually don’t even notice it behind all of her plants. I just love that wood burning stove.


IMG_3759Even if you don’t have the space for a room-sized shed, you can have a cute little area for all your garden stuff. Check out Lorene Edwards Forkner’s play area on the side of her house.


Again, thanks for following along with my theme oriented posts of the 2011 Seattle Garden Bloggers Fling. Stay tuned for more.