A Spring Walk-Around

 

So much has been happening in the garden lately I don’t really know where to begin. So I thought I’d do a little tour of the whole place to show what’s happening in a general way. I started out in the front yard and worked my way around the side to the back and then did some shots there touring the garden. I tried to put the most significant plant names in the pictures so you’d know them.

I began at the front entrance to the garden where the Oregon Green Pine shares the space with the Globe Arborvitae which still has its lovely bronze winter color. The next shot shows the Sango-Kaku Japanese maple starting to leaf out. It’s a bit slower than some of the others but it’s starting t0 look like a real tree again now. Lovely new leaves shine against the red stems.

This is a shot of the main front yard looking towards a couple of new trees since last year. In the center is a maple called a Korean Butterfly maple from North Korea, also known as Acer tschnoskii ssp. Koreanum. Very rare I understand and quite lovely. Across on the right is a purple leaved form of Katsura called the Red Fox, or Rot Fuchs in Germany where it was found. It’s a smaller form of the larger growing species. On the left is a Sorbaria sorbifolia “Sem” or Ural False Sprirea. It’s the one with the pinkish leaves.

Looking out from the back you can see the center of the yard from a different perspective. We like to sit on the bench that sits here to just relax and look at the garden in the evenings or whenever we have some spare time. It’s cool to see it from this way where it’s so very private in the yard and we hear the street but can’t really see it. Nice….

Here’s a look down the north side of the house to the back, showing off the Vine maple I just planted a few weeks ago. I’ve had it in a pot for years and it’s good to get it in the ground finally. I had to find a place for it first but I did eventually. It’ll grow to shield us from the neighbors a bit and give an arching entryway to the back yard from the front. As well as turning lovely fall colors it’s a beautiful tree all year and a native too.

Next is a shot of the whole garden from the deck. You can see how it all fits together here, more or less. Next I moved to the south side of the garden and shot a picture of the path that walks into it towards the Yew Pine or Podocarpus macrophyllus. It’s grown all over in the Central Valley of CA where I grew up but is rare here. It gets 20-30 feet tall eventually but it’ll take awhile, like so many others I’ve planted. I must think I’m gonna live a Long time, eh? 🙂

The Metasequoia Miss Grace holds the edge of the path to the back of the garden and you can see the Cryptomeria elegans a bit in back of it too, tho its winter color is fading to green now it’s still beautiful and about to start growing now. Most of the other Cryptomerias are growing now so I’m excited about that.

The Heather Garden has as a centerpiece a Ginkgo called Jade Butterflies that gets about 10 feet tall and will provide a unique aspect to this area. It’s very unique and a living fossil. In the next row is a side path view of the deck of another Cryptomeria called Radicans, that put on a full foot and 1/2 of growth last year after I planted it in June. Amazing! I think it might put on 2-3 feet or more this year. I sure hope so! You can also see the Viburnum rhitidophyllum next to it on the left. I thought it was going to die a year ago but I pruned it back and eventually it came out great and now grows fully and is about to bloom. Wow, the resilience of these plants amazes me.

Next you see the Metaseaquoia again as we look to the north along the back path. And then we look at the same path from the north looking south. You can see the Mountain Hemlock on the right side and perhaps the Wissel’s Saguaro Lawson Cypress on the left down low. They’re very interesting with their arms like a Saguaro cactus. I’m waiting patiently for them to grow their 6 inches a year…

The Red Pygmy Japanese maple is leafing out and putting on some 6-10 inches of growth. I didn’t really realize these maples would put on so much growth in such a short time. These had leaves come on in about a week or so. Incredible and beautiful. Also from the deck you can see the Sequoiadendron giganteum “Pendula” on the left here along the edge of the walk from the deck to the lawn as we look at it. It’s growing more than anything I’ve got so far I think, tho the Radcans might just surpass it.

Here’s one of the north side of the yard with the Inverleith pine starting to put on its candles, and the Choke Cherry “Nero’ covered in bloom buds. The Black Dragon Sugi is putting on new growth too and the Baileys Creek Dogwood is putting on leaves and about to start to grow. When it does I’ll have to be ready to prune it cause it grows Fast and Full. I’ll have to keep training it up to be a tree for me.

This is a common Bloodgood Japanese maple that has just sat here for the last two years but this year it’s putting on that 6-10 inches of growth the Red Pygmy is doing. I’m amazed and thrilled to see this finally. I’d wondered if something was wrong but it takes time for things to establish themselves at times and that’s what happened here. You can perhaps see that the new growth is flimsy and flows down to the ground but it comes back up in time. I’m very happy about this plant now.

This one is of the fountain in full flow. It’s sound is just so soothing to listen to when we’re out in the yard working or just sitting and relaxing, tho we don’t really do that enough. It’s been a treat tho we had to replace part of it that froze this winter cause we didn’t drain it. Ooops! Oh well it’s OK and working fine now that we replaced the broken piece. It should be cool now, for awhile, till the next bad freeze anyway. Maybe we’ll drain it this year….

The back corner has the Alberta Spruce putting on lot of new growth and looking lovely. The Mountain Hemlock is much later so won’t put on growth for another month probably. It’s a high elevation plant usually so that makes sense it’d grow later. This corner is one of the parts of the garden that has a real NW flavor to it when you sit there. It just feels like it belongs here so well. And the hemlock has grown a lot in the few years it’s been there too.

Here’s a lone shot of our poor veggie garden. I was very late getting my seeds started this year so will have to see what happens with my tomatoes in particular. The onions are growing well and the radishes and even the lettuce as well as the India mustard that overwintered along with the Swiss Chard in the back beds. We’ve planted greens but they haven’t come up yet or the carrots either. But they will soon as well as the corn we have starting in the greenhouse to plant out soon. We’re still eating the onions we grew last year so we get good return from this garden and it’s so much fun to do. It isn’t really cost effective but it soothes our souls and make us happy to do so it’s totally worth it.

This is a shot of the garden from the deck outside the back door of the house. In the middle is a new addition – a Sciadopitys verticilatta or Japanese Umbrella Pine. They say of it that it’s a pine but it’s not a pine… In other words it looks like one, sort of, but not really. It looks like it’s made of wax or plastic almost but it’s so slow growing that it’ll stay in its pot for years. I’m thrilled to have this new plant in the garden, even on the deck.

The last shot is another view of the overall back garden. The Plum is almost done blooming now and we did some pruning of it recently to lighten the load but we have more to do still. The cherry in back is in full bloom still but will be finished soon. It’s been pruned a bit to to get off the dead wood.

Overall this garden is very small but it’s got a lot of components to it that make it feel much bigger. Especially once you get into it you feel the size of it more and I’ve tried to give you a sense of what it’s like to walk around in it while it’s a bit sunny out today. I hope you’ve enjoyed this bit of a tour. I’ll do more on specific plants later on.

Hoping Spring is Springing for you now!

Steve

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20 responses to this post.

  1. Spring has sprung!

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  2. You have a gorgeous backyard, Steve. Lookin’ good! 🙂
    Spring has barely started here in Nebraska, but we
    finally got some rain last week, so it shouldn’t be long.

    Have a fabulous Easter weekend, my friend! Cheerz, Keith

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    • Thanks for the compliment Keith. You guys have sure had a hard winter. I hope it keeps raining and spring comes to you soon! 🙂
      Have a Peaceful weekend,
      Steve

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  3. I can’t believe this change in about a month! Absolutely love it! Thank you for the tour… XXOO 🙂

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    • I know! It’s incredible to me to see how fast some things will grow in Spring. It’s a wonderful season. I love it too! You’re welcome for the tour. Thanks for visiting! 🙂
      peace,
      Steve

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  4. Posted by Cedar on April 19, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Lovely! Yes, everything did just spring out, didn’t it….
    Thank you, Steve.

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  5. Your garden is simply beautiful. I love how it just invites you around corners…wandering curves with just a “view” that invites you to keep searching down the path. I love how you talk about each tree, bush or plant as if you are talking of a friend…they are your green friends:-) It is a sanctuary! 🙂

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    • Thank you Robbie. These plants are like my friends. I do love interacting with them, and they don’t talk back to me like my friends do…! 🙂 Just kidding… I sorta wish they would talk, tho they do in their own way I think… I’m glad my tour worked insofar as giving you an idea of what it’s like to wander thru the garden. It truly is a sanctuary for us and those who visit us, whether it’s online or in person. I love to share my joy in all these plants. It’s so fulfilling…
      Happy Spring,
      Steve

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  6. Steve, how beautiful! Love all the garden “rooms” and the paths that connect them. The thing that I love about your garden, and one can really tell now that it is spring, is how well you layer all the plants. It’s tricky to pull it off well in a garden and in yours the different heights and textures build up to a garden that is so lush and inviting! Love it!

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    • Thank you Annie. That’s so cool you see the layers in the garden. I really do try to do that and combine various things that have different textures, colors, sizes and growth habits. It’s all so complex and I never know for sure if I’ve done it right, but I still try. Every day brings new growth and each year shows me more about how they all fit together. Spring is really on the way now and it’s building up the garden so nicely. It’s definitely getting lush! 🙂
      Happy Gardening,
      Steve

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  7. Steve, yesterday morning I was thinking of you and wondering how the spring looks now, in your garden, when PING! that moment – arrived this post with it. It looks beautiful. I am amazed that you create such a big place in such a small space, and enjoy as ever the tour around and through it with you.

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    • I love moments of synchronicity like you experienced Jane. It’s just fascinating to me how things can happen like that. It’s true it’s a challenge to fit in so many different plants in this small space but using dwarfs and smaller plants makes it work well. Thanks for your visit. I’m glad you enjoyed the tour. Hope you’re doing well. 🙂
      peace,
      Steve

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  8. Posted by Crooked Tracks on April 21, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Your garden is absolutely amazing!

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  9. A great tour, thanks! I love all those different conifers, so different from the northeast!

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed the tour and got to see some different conifers. Many of mine do come from the West coast I guess, tho some are from the East coast too and from Europe and Asia. It’s so fascinating to see how they are different and yet so similar… 🙂
      Thanks for visiting!
      Steve

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