Annoying seedlings

I am not disturbed in the least that dead branches frequently fall from the Goldenrain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) that borders the driveway. If this is a symptom of some greater problem (doubtful), all the better since the tree is the cause of many hours of labor as many thousands of seeds germinate. Yes, the tree…

Overabundance

There is some slight disadvantage to planting abundant quantities of trees in a space that should more properly contain half the number. Flowers of the Bigleaf magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla) are barely seen as lower branches have been shaded, and the green and white variegated leaf Chinese dogwood ‘Samaritan’ (Cornus kousa ‘Samaritan’) flowers sparsely, too shaded…

A perfect day

This week, I traveled across country for business, but two days early to visit gardens on Washington state’s Bainbridge Island and to hike in the Olympic National Forest. The weather on arrival was sunny and sixty-two, ideal for both leisurely garden strolls and strenuous climbs, fortunate timing since it turned hot a day later. Sunday’s…

A nice resting spot

My wife requests that I add a sitting area at the crook in the stream that is my favorite spot in the garden (below). She offers many suggestions, most that are diregarded with no consideration. This, however, has merit, I grudgingly admit, but where, and how? And, what would have to come out to accommodate…

Happy to have them

Only one of four sweetferns (Comptonia peregrina) planted this spring has survived. Initially, two were delivered in very questionable condition, and one of the two replacements on the follow up delivery was a bit shaky (now dead, so very shaky). Sweetfern is reputed to be difficult to transplant, so I’m overjoyed with the one that…

Early June blooms

Two thick clumps of Indian pinks (Spigelia marilandica) did not return this year, undoubtedly due to overly damp ground in the rear garden. It is likely I’ll replant some day when this area is not so wet, but three smaller clumps partially hidden along the driveway beneath a low branched ‘Jane’ magnolia are doing fine,…

Partially hidden

In spring, partially submerged boulders bordering the koi pond disappear beneath a dense planting of irises (yellow flag and various Japanese irises, below), sweetflags (Acorus calamus variegatus), and variegated cattails. A wide spreading Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia, below) sprawls at the water’s edge with exceptional vigor and unusually large leaves, with roots cooled by the…

Favored flowers

Only a single branch of the Bigleaf magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla, below) hangs low enough for flowers to be seen. Of course, the huge, fragrant flowers were enjoyed nearer eye level for twenty years or more, so my regret is only that visitors will miss leaves that stretch to twenty-three inches and blooms to a foot…

Hosta takeover

Enough is enough, or possibly too much as my editorial control of the garden too often leans towards keeping everything and chopping out nothing. Currently, sporelings of Japanese Painted and Cinnamon ferns, and seedlings of hostas fill gaps in damp, shaded parts of the garden. I’m overjoyed that plants are growing and propagating contentedly, but…

Time off for good behavior

At long last, the stone block wall that retains the low end of the koi pond has been repaired, with only a single finger smashed in the process of lifting heavy stones while holding back a branch of the wide spreading Acrocona spruce that hid the partially collapsed wall. Ever helpful, my wife suggests that…

Never going to stop the rain by complaining

Drenching rains now date back twelve continuous months. I vaguely recall a brief dry spell (maybe two weeks) somewhere in there, but instead of exposed soils cracking in the heat of July there was mud through the summer. The number of trees and shrubs lost in the deluges is distressing, and I only hope that…

No, this is the best

Certainly, there is no surprise that a garden’s peak would be in the spring, and does it matter if one day or week is better than another? Of course not, but as I stroll the garden, I can’t help it. Today is best, though the same was said a week ago, and this will probably…