Saturday, September 10, 2011

Late summer notes from my front yard...


A vase-formed Japanese tree Zelkova serrata on the left. I like its distinct form and serrated leaves that shiver with the smallest breath of wind. Behind it, a large, old Japanese maple with purplish leaves, it looks like a huge wig... The tall shrub by the chimney is a Cornus kousa var. chinensis. A group of Viburnum tinus and Camellia Nuccio's pearl, which don't really show in the picture, but stay green through the winter months. Otherwise, hydrangeas (unfortunately blue, I would prefer white oak-leaf hydrangeas instead, but I don't have the heart to dig up these oldies...), a couple of varieties of hostas, hellebores, Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning light', variegated ground elder (suck!), and a bit of Sedum. And bulbs, like snowdrops, white Crocus Jeanne d'Arc and Narcissus Thalia.

Why do I think it is so embarrassing to publish pictures of my garden? Somehow, it feels a bit too public, too revealing, even if I think it is perfectly natural for others to do so. Anyway, here are some pictures from today morning, and now I have to go back and hyperventilate for a while. These are from the entrance to our house in Seattle. It is from the 60s and designed by Ralph Anderson, a local architect of Scandinavian origin. He worked in the Pacific Northwest contemporary style, which took influences from Japanese and Scandinavian design - even the garden has many plants of Asian origin. The house sits well in the landscape, following the terrain instead of dominating it; built on 4 half-levels, it opens up to the back high above the hill. 


Between the entrance above and the street, there is an island bed with both evergreens and perennials, first picture facing north and second south. This is where the lavender in the previous post grows, now cut back and all grey. Usually, it flowers again after the big chop, but this year spring was so late that I don't think it will have time to do so. Sedums are in full bloom now, a bit boring but very tolerant of drought and completely hardy. I'll add some Allium schubertii bulbs here for next spring, so that they poke up from the Dwarf English laurel (which does not show so well, but it is there between the sedums and lavender...). Otherwise, I would like to loosen this up, get some more movement into it, but I'm not quite sure how.


And this is our entrance, with my reflection on the front door. I love large pots, and can never get enough of them. I don't know how to transport them all to Sweden, when that day comes. I really would love to take some of my plants with me too, but they would not survive nearly three months in an international moving container. I'll have to figure out something. This year, I didn't plant any flowering things here as we were away for such a long time, but these perennials - Daphne odora, hellebores, grasses, an asparagus fern etc - survived the random watering very well. Also, we love gathering seashells and 'special' stones on the beaches; I keep them in a large, low terracotta bowl by the entrance as mementos of our beach trips (the large round shell in the middle is my favorite...).


View from the entrance out to the street, which you can't even see - the large plant island really provides privacy here, so I like it despite its 'shrubbiness'. The large washed seastone paving is not my favorite, but it really is typical of the 60s (the house was renovated in 2007; in the garden, original materials were used...), so it will stay. My favorite is the beautifully scented Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' on the corner, it fills the whole area with its heavenly scent during late winter and early spring. And now - happy weekend!

6 comments:

Ruben said...

Din trädgård är verkligen skapad med en mästares säkra hand. Beundrar förmågan att ge struktur och hålla ner antalet växter i sin trädgård. Det har du lyckats med!!! Har du skapat den från grunden?

Ha det gott, verkligen kul att se!
/Ruben

Sophia Callmer said...

Så utsökt vackert! Letar just nu efter trädgårdar med kärleksört.. hade det varit närmre hade jag velat komma och plåta din..
Tack för visningen! kram Sophia

The MMH said...

I love the way your garden is reflected in the glass at the front door to home! The effect calms as well as strikes a sense of beauty into people approaching your front door - I just love it!

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

Hej Ruben, min trädgård nära Seattle är verklingen ett samarbete, det finns saker kvar från första ägarna (som japanska lönnar, gamla hortensior, camellior etc). Sedan hjälpte en trädgårdsarkitekt de förra ägarna, och mycket av den nuvarande strukturen är från dem. Och sedan kom jag, och har adderat mycket perenner, gräs och lökar, det var för 'buskigt' innan. Och nu ska jag försöka plantera vidare, med stora sjok av gräs och perenner på det nordvästra delen. Det blir roligt att se hur det tar sig... men jag måste hitta leverantörer för all frön, inte det lättaste. Jag ska visa sedan...

Och Sophia, det skulle varit roligt att ha dig på besök, och fota här. Hoppas någon gång i mitt trädgård i Sverige istället!

And dear MMH - thanks for checking in here. I also think the entrance door reflects the greenery in a beautiful way, the whole area is one of my favorites, so shady and calm.

Doll Cheap said...

Wow that's one impressive garden! I'm a little bit jealous of all that space and all those great colors! But thank you for sharing it with us! I really appreciate it!

Tabby Dinosaur said...

You got a great architecture! Very beautiful in design especially in your garden like reflection of garden. The very good thing is that you can truly manage your big garden. A big effort is a big success! Congratulation!