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A slave to the Goddess Flora shares his garden adventures.
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    If you've attended the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, you've probably seen the Fleur De Lis booth.  Fortunately they're located just up the street from The Glass Eye Studio so after visiting the sidewalk sale, we usually stop by Fleur De Lis. 

    Off in a back corner of the parking area was this poor little trio of opuntia.  

    Getting ready for Halloween.

    This fellow didn't seem to be in a hurry to get anywhere. 

    Parrots have taken over the shop!

    This gnome didn't seem to mind.

    This group, however, was not at all amused. 

    There's something for just about any garden style.

    A tiny treasure.

    If you combine a long bench top with columns is it a columbine? 

    Drunken toddlers?  Where are their parents? 

    I was impressed with the relatively bubble-free detail of this one.  

    Another shell encrusted turtle. 

    Got milk?

    This one called my name and since everything was on sale...

     This trio was very attractive but where would I put them? 
    It's always a pleasure to see what they do with concrete here.  For more information, check out their website.

    Happy weekend! If you're in the area, the Rhododendron Species Garden is holding it's Foliage Festival and plant sale this weekend.  Find out more here.

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  • 10/23/17--06:00: In a Vase on Monday
  • It's easy to become addicted to throwing something from the garden or found nearby in a vase each Monday thanks to the talented and dedicated Cathy of Rambling in the Garden who hosts this habit-forming meme.  Click on the link to see what she's found to put in a vase this week and to find links to the vases of other participating bloggers.

    Many years ago, at the Glass Eye Studio sidewalk sale, this vase made it's way into my bag.  It's colors are perfect for this time of year although the back usually gets covered up unless it's just holding a single bloom.

    Euonymus europaeus 'Red Ace' is showing off it's vibrant berries in the parking strip.  This was the last plant I purchased from Steamboat Island Nursery run by Duane and Laine who both now live only in our memories. The autumn glory of this plant brings sweet thoughts of these kind people and their wonderful nursery.

    Also now in berry is Phytolacca americana (Pokeweed,) which some consider a weed.  I let a few grow for these berries borne on vibrant fuschia stems.

    This bird flew down to check out the snacks.

    Joining the arrangement is this unidentified rock found on a sale table.

    And a couple of aperitif glasses, another gift from neighbor, Sandy.

    Also in the vase are Cupressus arizonica and a bird-planted Cotoneaster franchetii.  

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  • 10/24/17--06:00: It's Pumpkin Patch Time!

  • Once again the giant orange squash has has it's day in the sun.  Pumpkins grow well in our climate and during the fall in these parts, pumpkin patches seem nearly as numerous as Starbucks Shops. (Starbuckses?)  The sight of pumpkins ripening in fields and home gardens still fills me with glee.  Even the sight of piles of them outside of grocery stores elicits warm feelings.   We visited a pumpkin patch in early October and  it was already teeming with equally orange-obsessed folks enjoying the crisp autumn air.

    My Gourd, What a Morning.

     "My Sweet Gourd"

    How can one be gloomy with so many vibrant colors, interesting shapes, the fullness of autumn?

    Pretty and edible!

    The pumpkin patch is often a last hurrah for farms that open around strawberry time in June, sell seasonal berries through the summer, peaches, tomatoes,  pears, apples, etc. and finally all manner of winter squash and corn.

    Seems like they get more and more elaborate each year with all sorts of activities and various food trucks/booths.  Many are like small county fairs.

    Don't be frightened, 

    These cute costumed kids always make me chuckle. 

    It's a Victorian diamond in the rough according to the real estate agent...

    I feel fortunate to live in a city that's only a fifteen-minute drive from farmland.  Unfortunately, it's rapidly being paved and replaced with industrial buildings.

    What?  Yes, even here.  I must admit, there's no messy clean up after the season is over, just some bubble wrap, a box, and away they go for another year.

    Enjoy your shining moment little squash for, all too soon, it'll come to an end. 

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  • 10/25/17--06:00: Wednesday Vignette - Falling
  • It was never a particularly beautiful building from the outside, this building that overlooked Wright Park.  Dedicated in 1922, it only remained the Scottish Rite Masonic Cathedral until 1937 when it was sold to The Bible Presbyterian Church, a group that separated from the First Presbyterian church just across the alley.  Like many large urban church buildings with dwindling congregations, it  was sold.  

    In it's place a developer will build a 122 unit apartment building, one of several new urban infill apartment/condo projects in our neighborhood.  With the cost of housing in Portland and Seattle becoming prohibitive for many,  escapees are streaming into Tacoma.  What will I miss most?  Walking by the three huge old vibrant red rhododendron bushes covered with bloom each spring, their blaring exuberance a jarring contrast to the stark side wall of the church. 

    The increased density has benefits but it's still sad to see a big  and not-so-old place like this torn down.  While I wasn't particularly fond of this building, what takes it's place may or may not be an aesthetic improvement. 

    On the right is  First Presbyterian Church.
    These pictures were taken on a Sunday walk.  It was sunny when we set out and again when we returned home but during the walk the wind whipped up, and we were pelted with hail and heavy rain.  It felt right to see this demolition site in the rain.  On the ground I found a soaking wet folded piece of printed paper & threw it in my bag.  Upon inspection, it was a page from a 1948 newspaper which must have fallen from some hiding place in the building.  Looks like leaves aren't the only things falling this autumn.

    Here's an interesting article written in April about the possibility of this happening. 

    Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum. Mosey on over there to join in the fun.

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    Fall is a chaotic  time in my garden.  In addition to leaves falling from trees and plants continuing to grow and sag with the weight of rain and the tumult of wind, the gardener only  gets to play outside for a few hours on the weekend. Some would call it messy, I prefer to think of it as the garden growing old gracefully.

    For some reason, the wind keeps this part of the path relatively leaf free.
     Perhaps because they all blow on this part of the path. 

    The berries of Mahonia gracilipes are looking lovely.

    Hail pelted the garden a week or so ago and tattered broad leaves.

    Blossoms too.

    I considered going kaleless this winter but then grabbed a couple.

    The maples are coloring up nicely.

    Meanwhile, out in the parking strips...

    Poncirus trifoliata

    There's still a lot of green to enjoy until Jack Frost comes a knocking. 

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    Each October, after visiting the pumpkin patch, we stop by Todd's Nursery and I vow to visit again in the spring and summer but somehow never make it.  Todd's is a large nursery with lots of lovely areas to stroll around and explore.  See previous visits here, here, and here. On this day, we'd just attended the Glass Eye Sidewalk Sale, Fleur de Lis Garden Statuary, and the pumpkin patch and I wanted to get home to do a little gardening so I didn't wander as much as usual.

    Once again, I found myself wondering why I don't visit this great nursery more often. 

    Todd's does autumn beautifully.

    Shabby chic birdhouse.

    Every bird needs a lake house, right?

    Unless your birds prefer a country cabin getaway. 

    There was a sign advising that customers should ask for help with the cacti. 

    This table and stools had me drooling.  Fun to look at but when sitting at the table on the stools, where would your legs go?

    The red culms of Fargesia jiuzhaigou are gorgeous & it almost jumped into my cart but I'm kind of out of space.  In reading more about it after I got home, I learned that it's slow growing and does well in containers.  Wonder if they still have it?

    'Sugar Thyme' flowering crabapple is lovely.

    No visit to Todd's is complete without saying hello to the happy koi in their pond. 

    May your road lead you to wonderful places this weekend!

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    A playful raccoon decided to knock one of the eyes off of the Dr. Seuss tree (What I call most topiary.)  One of these days, I'll get the ladder out and put it back up but for Halloween, a cyclops is just fine.  Clever raccoon was trying to remind me of a cyclops tumbler that I'd found at last spring's Glass Eye sidewalk sale.

    Don't be frightened, the vase won't harm you.

    Also just right for the season is this glass face container found at the same sale.  It's holding Senecio viravira along with some pokeweed and cotoneaster berries.

    Cyclops is holding Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus', opened seed pods of Iris foetidissima and unopened pods of Paulownia tomentosa along with some pokeweed berries from last week's vase.  These two looked a little lonely.

    So some Jack-o-lantern friends joined the party.

    In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Be sure to visit her blog to see what others have scared up to put in a vase today.

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  • 10/31/17--06:00: Happy Halloween
  • From the whole gang!  Which witch is which? 

    May your Halloween be frighteningly full of treats!

    May all of your tricks be fun.

    For you history buffs, here's a link to an interesting article about the history of this harvest celebration.

    Here in the Pacific Northwest, we'll be having the first rain-free Halloween in eleven years.  The day will be sunny and early evening temperatures are predicted to be in the fifties.  No frost on the pumpkin so far this year.
    Some years we leave the lights on and hand out candy, other years, we're lazier,  close the curtains, and pretend we're not home.   I hope you enjoy the day whether you celebrate the holiday or not!

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    Last Wednesday, I posted pictures of the beginning of the demolition of an historic building not far from my house.  Alan commented, "Buildings don't last forever..."  It's true of course but it's still difficult to watch any usable and historic building being torn down. (Like loosing an old friend.)  I've been going back every day to see and photograph the progress.  With this building  reduced to a pile of rubble, the view of the back of a marvelous and iconic Tacoma building is now unobstructed.   As I walked around snapping pictures the other day, this view through the claw of one of the pieces of equipment used in the destruction along with Alan's words haunted me. What building will be next to be torn down?

    What do wee keep and what do we discard?  If no one uses grandma's china anymore, do we keep it simply because it's beautiful?  Are things like buildings worth saving simply for historic/aesthetic value or do they become some sort of anchor keeping the ship of progress from sailing?  There's a building boom in Tacoma and huge multi-family residential buildings have been springing up all over the place for the last twenty years but the pace of urban infill seems to be ramping up even faster in the current regional economy.   What is the destiny of The City of Destiny? (Tacoma is locally known as the "City of Destiny" because the area was chosen to be the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad in the late 19th century.) 

    "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee."  John Donne

    Happy Dia de los Muertos and All Saints' Day.

    Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Do drop by her blog to join the fun. 

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    How lucky that on cold wet northwest autumn days, we can simply walk up the street a bit and find a warm and colorful garden.

    Fear not, the temporary fence around the back of the conservatory isn't there for demolition purposes.  An addition to the conservatory is about to be constructed.

    It was just before Halloween when we visited and areas were set up for families to take seasonal pictures. A basket of fancy feathered masks is just out of sight here for those who wanted to be even more festive. 

    There are always interesting things in the gift shop. 

    Somehow the seasonal bloomers like these mums seem right at home with huge tropical foliage.

    They've just started bringing in exhibition mums that will be the stars of November's display.

    Birds of paradise and elsewhere.

    It's tempting to try and grow mums like this, especially the big football types (not pictured) but they require a lot of work and I'm pretty darned lazy.

      Salvia dombeyi (?)  Reminds me, I'd better bring mine inside soon. 

    There's that gorgeous huge agave (mapisaga var. lisa? ) No one seems to know. 
    Keep warm!

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    Gardening in zone three, I remember seeing pictures of gardens where plants like roses, rhododendrons, and even Hedera helix grew in the ground and didn't have to be brought inside for the winter.  What an amazing thing it must be not to drag plants inside during the cold season.  Now, gardening in zone eignt, I take those and many other hardy plants for granted and drag a whole gaggle of other plants inside for the winter.  (Crazy!)   Since I've had a greenhouse, both the number and size of the tender plant collection have grown.  Most of the plants in the greenhouse were brought home in gallon sized pots or smaller.  The greenhouse is a delightful extra garden room in the summer but during these cold months, it's become a crowded, difficult to navigate jungle. Come on in and take a look. One at a time please, there's very little space not taken up by the green residents of the place. 

    The funny thing is, it doesn't seem any less crowded outside even with all of these plants stacked in here.

    No friends, it's not pretty but it's still fun to mosey down with a hose and water the plants every week or so.

    Waiting patiently (the plants, not the gardener) for warm days to return. 

    The possibility of snow falling  on Friday has me longing for spring already. 

    Keep warm and have a wonderful weekend all!

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    Because the wet snow was blowing on Sunday afternoon, I didn't much feel like braving the elements to find contents for a vase.  Fortunately, I'd gathered a few leaves earlier to make some of Nadezda's maple leaf roses to add to this bunch of dried flowers that live in a closet for eleven months a year.  The Pampas grass plume in the back was an anonymous gift left on the lawn a few days ago by someone.  The Iris foetidissima seed pods and allium seed heads are new as well.   Twenty years ago on October 31 we moved to this house.   Our former house hadn't yet sold and money would be tight for a while so what did I do?  Bought this vase. Every year, I pull it out to remember that time. Someday, I'll pull everything out and start again but for now, just jamming more stuff into the crowded vessel makes me happy.  

    Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting In a Vase on Monday, a delightful way to start the week.  Click here to join  the fun!

    The darkest maple-leaf rose is left from last year.  The lighter ones are new. 
     The Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi) pods are from last year and aren't as vibrant as they once were.

     Joining the vase are a pumpkin, some squash, and a couple of dragon fruit.  I've never tried dragon fruit and these looked very beautiful at the store. 

    It's been interesting watching both snow and leaves falling at the same time.   Keep warm all!

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    An email arrived the other day announcing that Willow Tree Gardens and Interiors' Christmas open house was starting on Saturday.  This nursery is always a delight to visit but at this time of year the entire interior is transformed to a winter wonderland. I'll save those shots for later but  today, here is some autumn beauty from the exterior of Willow Tree.

    Deutzia 'Strawberry Fields'  is spectacular in bloom and this autumn foliage color adds another season of interest.

    Looks like summer has packed up and gone for another year. 

    Now gardeners can finally relax for a time and dream of spring and next summer's garden. 

    Or maybe you get to motor off to a warmer climate, even if only in your imagination. 

    Winter pots remind me of how lucky we are to live in a climate where there's nearly always something blooming outside.

    As days grow shorter, temperatures colder, Thanksgiving thoughts and preparations begin.

    A little something for the squirrels. 

    And, of course, the traditional Thanksgiving tree.  

    Okay, back outside where berberis berries adorn increasingly leafless branches. 

    Did someone forget to harvest the cabbage? 

    Looking downright festive.

    The truck garden has finished producing as the year grows ever older. 

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  • 11/08/17--06:00: Wednesday Vignette
  • Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click here to see what's caught the eye of other participating bloggers this week.

    A city leaf. 

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    Not this, but the rusty vehicles around the nursery always make me smile. 

    These cool new windowed pull down windows are new.  This previously open structure has been part of the nursery for many years but the addition of the doors will give the building more versatility. 

    The additional protection will certainly be appreciated by the plants inside.  Will PAN start carrying more tender plants or maybe even branch out into houseplants  in the future?

    These succulent combination bowls are showing up just about everywhere these days.

    Much of the nursery, usually devoted to perennials, roses, etc. is now empty.   I understand that they bring in Christmas trees after Thanksgiving.   Topiary dolphin sentries guarding the barren ground.

    This nursery is always incredibly clean and in fall when gardens and landscapes are their at their messiest, this tidiness stands in stark contrast.

    The weeping Atlas Cedar that is trying to conquer the world. 

    Cotoneaster berries are especially lovely this time of year. 

    Where have all the rhododendrons gone? 

    There's still a nice selection of conifers.

    And some interesting stuff. 

    And some beautiful fall foliage.

    Topiary saguaros are the only kind we can grow here.  Tempting. 

    One could also adopt a herd of ...what are these? 
    Portland Avenue Nursery is located on Portland Avenue in Tacoma, WA and should not be confused with Portland Nursery on Starke Street in Portland, OR which should not be confused with Portland Nursery on Division Street in Portland OR which is completely different from Portland, Maine, Portland, Arkansas, or Portland, Connecticut. 

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  • 11/10/17--05:30: Thank You Veterans!
  • The primary school at which I teach  had it's annual Veterans Day assembly yesterday. Each year, veterans and active service men and women are invited to attend and be honored. The children learn about the branches of the military and why we should all be grateful to the individuals who've served our country to preserve our freedoms.  The interactive presentation included the audience reading the line, "Thank you veterans.  You are America's heroes"  after  brief introductions to each branch of the service. This year, a group of uniformed active military men and women also visited classrooms to greet the kids. Each year the soldiers seem to get younger and it hit me hard  as I sang the national anthem and looked at these brave young souls, that they could easily be my children or former students.  Always before, I'd thought of them as adults, and they are, but they also seemed so very young, children really, whose parents and communities have loved, taught, and nurtured. 

    This Veterans Day, I'll once again be grateful for my freedoms, thankful to the men and women who have and are serving their country, and  disappointed in humanity that war still exists.  A verse of the hymn "The Church's One Foundation" comes to mind:

    Mid toil and tribulation,  and tumult of her war, 
    she waits the consummation  of peace forevermore; 
    till, with the vision glorious,  her longing eyes are blest, 
    and the great church victorious  shall be the church at rest.

    I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above, 
    Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love; 
    The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test, 
    That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best; 
    The love that never falters, the love that pays the price, 
    The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

    Though the road has bends and turns,
    And my spirit suffers,
    Humans fail,
    Systems fail, 
    Shadows fall.

    But the ruts run deep,
    Cut by the blood of faces above
    And voices now silent.

    But the message loud is heard
    "Homeland, Homeland
    Renew your youth,
    Restore your soul."

    Homeland The country that I love
    Hold out your arms to me  
    I strive for you and give you the best I hope to be  
    May your wisdom be your armour 
    Your compassion be your sword 
    May your strength be forged with mercy 
    Your courage lives restore  

    Homeland The country that I love 
    Forever reign supreme 
    And when time stands still My homeland 
    May heaven hold your dream  
    My homeland 
    Be my dream 
    My hope  

    - Sir Cecil Spring Rice and Z. Randall Stroope

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    To celebrate the fourth  anniversary of  In a Vase on Monday hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, participants were challenged to create an anniversary contribution in something other than a vase. It being the season of pumpkin spice everything, I chose a pumpkin spice coffee bag. To see what containers and arrangements others came up with, click here.

    Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' leaves, a branch of Euonymus europaeus 'Red Ace' several of Cotoneaster franchetii, some Cotinus coggygria 'Grace' leaves, and Clerodendrum trichotomum berries found their way into the bag.

    Seems like it needed a pumpkin and some spices so...

    Why not use the coffee maker as well?  Mondo grass and Aurum italicum were hanging around in a vase from September so they got popped into the top.  Unfortunately all of my pumpkins tiny enough to fit into the carafe are at school so dragon fruit shells and more leaves had to do.  

    Happy fourth anniversary of In a Vase on Monday, Cathy!  Thank you for challenging us  to bring something inside from our gardens or foraged nearby to brighten our week. 

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  • 11/14/17--06:00: Falling into Watson's

  • Watson's is another nursery in our area that does holiday decorations in a big way.  I'll save the parade of Christmas decor for a later post but there's  still a lot of great autumn treasure to be found. 

    Pumpkins/gourds/squash at 50% off.  Great buys for Thanksgiving decorating and eating.

    A great buy on chrysanthemums.  These tend to be annuals in my garden.

    Love the cheerful and long lasting orange lanterns of Physalis alkekengi.  These plants are on sale for 50% off.

    Hops were an important crop in the agricultural development of the Puyallup Valley in which Watson's is located.  They make an attractive wreath.

    Bright red something or other with proteas and pussy willows was an eye catching combination.

    Succulents and cacti are still riding the wave of popularity and people are finding all kinds of fun ways to display them.

    While I'm mostly a single plant per pot kind of guy, these pumpkin arrangements tug at my heart.  They're long lasting and the plants can be reused later.

     So lovely and a great holiday plant alternative to poinsettias.

    Orchids are interesting flowers but have never been a favorite.  If I lived in a tropical climate and could grow them on tree branches, I might have a collection. 

    What a bright orange color.

    No velvet pumpkins this year; these fun velvet mushrooms popped up instead.

    Really digging the wreath creations this season. 

    Ah berberis, soon your colorful leaves will be gone.  It was great while it lasted.

    Time to start planning for winter color. 

    After all that season is just around the bend. 

    I hope you're enjoying autumn and if you're in this region, I hope you weathered the wind and rain storm unscathed.

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    On the fifteenth of each month, Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.  Click on the above link to see what's blooming all over the world this month.

    Here in my zone 8 Pacific Northwest Garden, I can usually find something in bloom year round but blooms are becoming fewer at this time of year. There are some summer stragglers that keep going like these.

    Tropaeolum speciosum

    Hardy Fuchsias


    Persicaria 'Golden Arrow'

     Eccremocarpus scaber

    A few roses.

    Salvia 'Hot Lips' has been blooming up a storm all summer but this is the first time it's been included in one of my GBBD posts.

    Salvia 'Amistad' 

    There are some that start blooming in fall like these: 

    Abelia 'Kaleidoscope'

    Okay, these are seed capsules of Euonymus europaeus 'Red Ace'  but they're much more showy than the flowers of this plant.

    It's always a race to see if Tropaeolum tuberosum will get to open it's blooms before frost.  Most years it makes it.

    Mahonia 'Soft Caress'

    Schefflera delavayi blooms looked fabulous just a couple of weeks ago.

    Arbutus unedo has just started opening scads of blooms.  Usually there's also cool red fruit hanging around with the flowers.

    It's hard to resist putting a few pansies in pots by the back door as they bloom all winter.  The plants may lay flat on the ground and look dead during a freezing spell but they bounce right back up as soon as it thaws.

    This will probably be the last month for hardy cyclamen flowers.  Fortunately, that fabulous foliage will hang around all winter.

    Meanwhile, out in the greenhouse...

    Abutilons that were blooming outside haven't slowed down at all since being moved in. 

    Some succulent.

    An aloe

    Pinguicula 'pirouette'

    This poor brugmansia has had a very difficult summer, loosing all of it's leaves at least three times due to spider mites and whitefly.  I think we've got things under control now and  there are a few leaves and even more blooms.

    How did it get to be the middle of November already?  

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    Every month, on the day after Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, Pam Penick of Digging hosts Foliage Follow-Up to celebrate the important role foliage plays in our gardens every day of the year.  To see her post and find links to other participating foliage fans, click here

    I'd decided to live without ornamental kale and cabbage this fall and winter but then they looked so beautiful and something needed to fill the pots by the back steps left vacant when the tender plants went into the greenhouse. 

    How can one not be happy with plants that will look this beautiful all winter long?  (I ended up with seven when I found them on sale.)

    Cotinus 'Grace' 

    Acer palmatum 'Emerald Lace' 

     Acer palmatum 'Trompenburg's burgundy foliage looked very nice weaving around the oh-so-white leaves of Fatsia japonica 'Spider Web.'  As the foliage of the former is turning bright red the combination is even more delightful.

    More white variegation. Azara microphylla and Disporum 'Moonlight.' 

     Accidental combination of Black Mondo Grass and Dusty Miller (Jacobaea maritima) that I rather like this time of year.

    Agave ovatifolia

    Yucca 'Bright Star' 

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  • 11/17/17--06:00: Looking for the Past
  • The demolition of Tacoma's Scottish Rite Temple/ Bible Presbyterian Church about which I posted here and here, is complete and as I drive by the space once occupied by the building, there's just a fenced hole in the ground.  The heavy equipment is gone and the site will soon be busy with construction.  For a few weeks, I stopped by every day after school to see the progress.

    This feels a little like watching the garden shutting down for the winter.  (Although, we know that winter is a busy time for plant life but most of that activity is happening underground.)

    Kitty corner from the site is this beautiful older apartment building and a new 175 unit apartment building nearing completion.

    What songs were played, what joys and pains expressed and  shared at this keyboard? 

    I was very tempted to "accidentally" push through the fence to rescue this fragment of the building facade.

    The heart of the building? 

    Even this rubble is now gone.

    Death makes way for rebirth in our gardens and in our communities. 

    These fragments were carefully set aside.

    Second Use Building Materials has some of the salvaged bits from the building including a couple of really interesting masonic pieces and beautiful tongue and groove flooring.  Someone also rescued some incredible old growth huge beams.  Being in the mood to look at salvaged materials, I stopped by Earthwise Salvage the other day.

    For me there's a wistful feeling looking at these fragments that were for many years part of lives, loves, events.  Pieces of places called home.

    I'm totally in love with this sink but am not sure where it would fit in my garden.  There is an upstairs bathroom in our house that needs to be rescued from a 1970's remodel & this might work there.

    Fabulous in a huge loft apartment as a functional room divider...

    Those light fixtures on the top shelf back there would be interesting planters.

    What would Loree do?  Really big saucer planters?

    Sometimes, it's best to let go of the past.
    Have a good weekend all! 

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     Last weekend, Alison and I went nursery hopping and I brought home more dried hydrangeas. Alison said that they'd make an easy vase some Monday and since venturing outside on a cold and wet Sunday afternoon wasn't particularly appealing, I decided to cheat a bit and use what was already inside.  This vase from Paris was purchased years ago at a shop in Alaska and seemed just right for the hydrangeas. (The name hydrangea comes from the Greek "hydor," meaning water, and "angos," meaning jar or vessel.)  Notice the stingray pattern

    There were some dried miscanthus and lunaria annua seed heads hanging around so they got thrown in as well.

    Joining the arrangement is this undersea looking vase from West Seattle Nursery. 

    In a Vase on Monday is hosted by the dedicated and creative Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who has created a "Rhapsody in Green" this week while I'm still singing the blues.   Click here to join in the fun!

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    On Saturday night, I stopped by the gas station near my house to fuel up for the week and a large flat bed truck pulled up behind me marked "Barone." The bed of the truck was empty but I recognized the driver from a recent visit, with my pal Alison, to Barone Garden .  The driver, with whom I had a nice chat, assured me that they are happy to deliver just about anywhere in the Puget Sound region.  I'm seeing these pictures with fresh eyes since I'm no longer limited to what would squeeze into the plant mobile.

    Barone has one of the largest collections of garden decor in the area and it's always a joy to see their ever-changing inventory.

    A hydrant for every dog!

    By the way, in case you haven't heard, Fleur de lis garden statuary in Seattle will be closing by the end of December as they haven't found another location.  Everything in stock is now 50% off.   Back to Barone - There's something for every garden style.

    Granite spheres

    Bridges large and small

    Jurassic Park?

    The selection of fountains and bird baths is unrivaled.  Amusing bird bath.

    Not really my style but gorgeous outdoor fireplace.

    Oh those metallic gold pots.

    One of these hose pots almost came home with me.  Wouldn't one look awesome with a large agave growing in it?

    If there were only space in my bamboo grove for one of these, it might have jumped into the car. 

    "Hare Rising"  or hare raising?


    I'd not seen this take on the Gunnera-leaf fountain before.

    What would you put in those holes?  Succulents come immediately to mind. 

    Stepping stones 

    Handsome German Shepherds.

    I love these natural-looking water catchers and I'd imagine that the birds are fairly fond of them as well.

    Both Alison and I fell hard for this gorgeous pot.  It would have jumped in the car immediately if it weren't so large and I could think of a place for it in my garden.

    The price was very reasonable.  Alison may go back for this later. 


    Someone's got a big head!

    Appealing simple lines.

    Even a nice selection of steel planters. 

    Faux stone fire pit surround. 

    This guy's not amused. 

    Most of the fountains were in part sun/part shadow and were difficult to photograph.  There were hundreds of different styles.

    So much to think about. 

    This lady, who looks like she could be a fragment of a fancy historic building facade, did jump into the plant mobile.
    Alison also found something special but we'll have to watch her blog to see if she posts about it.  Stay tuned for more from our fun day of garden shopping.

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  • 11/22/17--06:00: Wednesday - Autumn Textures
  • Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Flutter on over to her blog to see her vignette this week. 

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  • 11/23/17--05:30: Happy Thanksgiving!

  • This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for many things, including each of you who stops by every day or every once in a while. 

    The table runner was made by a dear family friend who passed away a few years ago.  The "Give Thanks" decoupage on wood message was made by my brother's eldest daughter and her girls a couple of years ago.  I'm thankful for family, friends, and traditions that transcend years and miles. 

     "Forever on Thanksgiving day, the heart will find the pathway home."                                                                     -Nesbit
    Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving today or not, may your life be full of blessings for which to be thankful.