Greetings from Seattle

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Gig Harbor Garden tour: Garden 2 - Butler Farm

The second garden on the tour took us deep into the woods on a gravel road.
 The driveway was lined with a bed of roses, dahlias and vegetables. 

 One of the vendors here created pieces out of driftwood. 

 As we wandered toward the house, we found the foundation mosaic we had read about. Wrapping around three sides of the house, it took Steve 11 years to complete. 

Photography is difficult during very bright, sunny days, so I am doing my best to edit a bit in hopes that the photos reveal what we saw. 
 A sunny deck high up on the house has a tree top view. 

 In the back of the house the yard opens up to green lawns and flowers. 

Part of the garden shed serves as the produce stand for the farm. They sell fruits and vegetables on the honor system, but mostly apples. Their orchard has over 400 apple, pear, and plum trees. 

More vendors showed their wares. I loved the whimsical creations of Emerald Greens Yardart. 
I bought a railroad spike slug and a machine parts bird with a silverware tail. 
Trails lead into the woods if you want to go exploring. 
 Or you can stay in the cultivated part and enjoy the many dahlias just coming into bloom. 

 Did I mention that there are LOTS of dahlias? 
 I enjoyed a visit with this artist. 
 Top was eyeing the hammock. 
 Neither of us felt the need to go into the orchard, with it's 400 trees. But if the apples were ripe, we might have. 
 I talked to several other garden visitors at this point and we all agreed that this was way to much work for us to even imagine. But the Butlers, who have had this property in their family for 40 years, were obviously loving it. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Gig Harbor Garden Tour: Garden 1

The garden of Greg and Mary Hoeksema is at the end of the harbor that gives this area its name - Gig Harbor. It was the first garden on the Gig Harbor Garden Tour, a fund raiser for literacy featuring six local private gardens. In other words, these are people's yards, and it's always fun to be invited behind the fences. , 

Each garden also features a local artisan or two. Here is the artist who created the cover design for the tour booklet, Kathy Thurston.
From around the side of this renovated 1910 farmhouse we can get a glimpse of water. 

How about this for a place to settle and watch the action on the harbor. 

Artist's in action also showed up at various sites in the gardens. 

Yes,  I did. Comfy too, and a great view.  

Around the other side of the house, great stonework, 
a vegetable patch, and more vendors. 

On the front of the house was a colorful shrub and perennial garden full of sunshine. 

We spent most of the day visiting all six gardens. I'll post more photos as I get to them.

This is holly hedge pruning week here at the Reeder homestead, and with the temperature rising again, we will be doing the hard work in the mornings and catching up with other tasks as we can. Hopefully we can even enjoy our own garden a bit. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Another Busy Saturday - From Here to There

We were away early this morning to join up with members of our garden group for a tour of Wolf Haven International. 
Wolf Haven, located out on the mound prairie near Tenino, about an hour and a half drive south of Seattle, is a sanctuary for displaced and captive-born wolves. 

 The wolves live in large enclosures as couples, male and female, one pair to a pen. Native gray wolves, like these, are not bred, since they are not endangered. 
 As the docent was talking to us near the first pen, a wolf somewhere on the sanctuary began to howl. Soon there was a chorus of howling all over the compound. What a greeting!

 Another enclosure held Mexican wolves. This pair is past breeding and is on display. Since Mexican and red wolves are endangered, the sanctuary has a breeding a and release program for them. 

 There are about 50 wolves in the sanctuary, and I was disappointed that we only saw three pairs, but I do understand the reason. A sanctuary is for the animals, their needs and their comfort. It is animal-centric, rather than human-centered. 

 As we were wrapping up the tour, standing in front of a coyote pen, The howling commenced spontaneously again. Hello and goodby!

Since Tom and I had other places to be, we did not stay for the prairie tour, but because we arrived early, we did venture out just a bit. 
 I mentioned that this is a mound prairie. Scattered over a large area of this part of the state are mounds of earth, up to six feet high and 55 feet in diameter, evenly dispersed. While many theories have been offered as to why they exist, no one knows for sure. 
 Ox-eye daises and other wild flowers are in bloom on the prairie. 

 Here also is the cemetery for the departed wolves. Wolves live in the sanctuary until they die, enjoying a much longer life than animals in the wild. They are honored in death with marked graves. 

We were off by 11:15, headed back to Seattle, where, already geared up, we caught the 12:45 light rail train into the city. 
 The sky was clearing as we looked out over the valley from the train. It turned into a beautiful afternoon, perfect for soccer in Seattle.  The Sounders match began at 2:00. 
 It is Pride week in Seattle and the LGBT community is being honored with lots of rainbows,
 including tifo produced by the Emerald City Supporters. 
The afternoon was beautiful, the crowd of 47,000 was colorful, the setting was wonderful, but the game was not so pretty. It ended with a disappointing 2-0 loss to NYCFC. 

We marched off into the city, and caught the light rail back home in time to see most of the US Men's National Team play for third place in the Copa America. They lost too, to Colombia, but it was a respectable 1-0. 

And now we are tired, and settled in for the evening.
More adventures tomorrow.