Greetings from Seattle
Bellevue Botanical Garden

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Back In The Game

After almost a month of Sounders away games, we finally got to return to our stadium for a soccer match.  Here we are on the Link Light Rail, on the way into the city.
 We did the whole nine yards again, or maybe I should say the "Full 90, Plus" , including the march to the match with green smoke bombs and all.  There are no photos of that raucous event. 

We climbed the ramps to the top tier of the stadium and were once again able to "dine alfresco". 
 In honor of Memorial Day there  was a moment of silence
 and then a young woman in uniform sang a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem. 

 It was a hard fought game against Kansas City, a very physical team, that ended in an exhausting 0-0 tie. 

We walked off the tension by going up town to a more distant Link station for our ride home. 
It was good to be back!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Watson/Shelton Garden

Not all homes with lovely gardens are grand.  Just look at this charming cottage. That's LeRoy on the porch talking to Tom. 

 There was so much to see just in the front garden. 

 The bees were busy here. 
 Laura loves clematis, and has lots of them.  This one is spectacular!

 Here we go around the side, through the arbor and into the back yard. 
 Up against the house is a very tall Chilean fire tree.
 It's blooms are fire engine red.

 The cute little chicken coop
is home to equally cute chickens. 

 Free form raised beds will soon be filled with vegetable starts.
 The happy bees also have a lovely purple home.  I was assured they were much too busy to bother with me. 

What a fun garden!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Wearing Red for Public Ed, and Acting Up

There was no school in the Highline School District Thursday.  The teachers joined a rolling one day walkout, spreading across the state,  as several districts at a time close school to protest and prod the state legislature to fully fund basic education.  

The legislature is dawdling and in contempt of a state Supreme Court ruling to get the job done.  Instead of looking at raising revenue to fund lower class size that voters asked for, pay for teacher cost of living increases, which have not increased for seven years or more, and increase funding for basic education, the Republican controlled legislature is looking for ways to just shift money around. That won't do the job.  But of course, it is always the teacher's' fault when test scores show that not everybody is on grade level.  

As retired teachers, parents of a teacher, and grandparents of students, we rallied with them on the streets today.  Tom and I are old hands at acting up when it comes to teacher union business. 

Jill was out early as one of the area captains.   We showed up later with the kids.
Here's our corner.

Of course there was a Starbucks nearby.  They allowed us the use of their restroom, and even brought out coffee for the teachers.  I bought myself a latte, of course.

 Jill and I went visiting on another corner and found some of my former colleagues. 
Isaac wasn't into it much, but Irene was a trooper. 

 Oh, I should mention the legislature just approved an 11% raise for themselves. 

 After several hours demonstrating on the street corner, and after a lunch break, we marched through town to the park next to the central high school for a rally.  
 We didn't stick around for that.  We walked back into town to the Farmer's market instead, and then home to rest and recover.  Acting up is hard work. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

All In The family: Ferris Gardens

Dianne Ferris obviously taught her sons to love gardens.  The first garden I showed on this Sunday tour was that of her son Kent.  Today I will show you her garden and that of her son Lincoln.

Dianne's garden is notable for its huge old trees.  This is a landscape of age and veneration.  Of course, as with any true gardener, Dianne is always adding and subtracting and making changes.  No garden is static, and even magnificent old trees sometimes fail.  In this case, Dianne coped with the loss of a huge old cedar tree. 

 Dianne manages to garden on a steep hillside on part of her lot.  
 Working your way down the path is an adventure, and leads to some lovely close ups. 
Lincoln and Margaret Ferris have done a lot of work around their 1940's house to modernize and make it work for kids, who then grew up, and now to indulge their own whims. 

The first thing I noticed was this gladiola.  Blooming already?
 The front garden path leads into the deep shade of an acer palmatum. 

 In the back of the house a lovely deck overlooks the lower back yard. 

 A cool glass fountain. 

 The shrub border adds a lot of foliage color and texture around the sport court.  No longer a place for two young boys to play, it now holds two big pots instead. I suspect more will follow.