Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bayview Farm and Garden Center.

Not far from our cabin in Whidbey Island is this wonderful nursery and garden store. Even though they are undergoing extensive renovation, the owners still provide the shoppers with wonderful color and visual beauty. 

 Fall brings such fun plants and decor. 

 The drizzle was captured beautifully in this plant that I'm sure Peter can name. 

I don't approve of spray painting heather, but it does make a great display. 

Happy Halloween, everyone!
Don't forget to turn back time!

Friday, October 30, 2015


Monday afternoon we paid a visit to this lovely village by the sea, as Langley, on Whidbey Island, likes to describe itself. 

It has been a while since our last visit and there were a few changes.
Unfortunately, the old Dog House Tavern is still empty.  Development is supposed to be in the works, but it has been years now with no apparent activity. 

This clothing store for the well dressed hippie is new; the well-dressed, well financed hippie, that is.  Cool stuff though.  And I love the new paint job and the planter boxes. 

The Chocolate Flower Farm's Garden Shed is always a must stop. I bought a chocolate candle and fudge!
 Marie, the proprietor, has fun dressing up the store rooster for holidays. 

 Boy and Dog Park, so named for the bronze sculpture there, is looking festive.

 And, yes, of course, we stopped at the Useless Bay Coffee Company for a latte and a cookie. 
It's always fun to stroll through lovely Langley. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Working Trip to Whidbey

It was a dreary, drizzly Monday, so we took our time getting up to the cabin on Whidbey Island.

As we got settled in and had some lunch, the sky lifted a bit. We saved the work for Tuesday and took off to Bayview and Langley.  Those posts will come later. 

Tuesday morning was foggy and damp, but there was work to do, and we got on it. 
By noon the fog had cleared to expose an almost blue sky - a lovely day. Down there in the front garden, we weeded and transplanted and dug out old rosemary bushes and planted tulip bulbs that had come from last year's plantings at home. 
By 4:00 we were stiff and sore and tired, and done!
The rosemary bushes awaited on the fire circle?  Would they burn?
Tom got a little aggressive with his fire starter (lawn mower gas) and almost lost his eyebrows as the match found the fuel. 
It was much too peaceful a setting for such drama. 

A perching heron just ignored us. 

The gulls continued their house sitting next door. 
A belted kingfisher chattered in for a landing.  I love these guys!

And burn it did.  Smelled good too. 

I went off with my camera for a little walk, to enjoy the late afternoon sun. The view of the lagoon from several doors down the road was equally lovely. 
There was more heron watching on a pier at the end of the beach road. 

Over on the bay side, the tide was in and lapping on the shore. 

There's more subtle color in the garden in autumn. 
I found Tom enjoying a glass of wine and reading his phone by the lagoon, where he was on fire patrol. At least that's what he told me was the reason he couldn't go for a walk. 
Sunset brought a bit of color as the light faded

and finally gave way to a full moon rising as fog formed over the wetlands. 

Rain returned Wednesday morning, and we returned home, still stiff and sore, but satisfied with a job well done. 

We couldn't linger because we had another Sounders match to attend Wednesday evening - the knockout round of the playoffs. 

I am happy to report that Seattle knocked off the LA Galaxy and the Sounders live to play again - Sunday, at home! 

Our life is full. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Coenosium Gardens

For our October meeting our garden group scheduled a tour of Coenosium Garderns near Eatonville, just off what is called The Mountain Highway, that leads, of course, to The Mountain - Mt Rainier. 

It was a foggy, chilly Saturday morning as we found ourselves well out of the city and urban sprawl and at the gates of this labor of love created by Robert Fincham. 

 Bob is a retired high school science teacher, but he is also a lifelong botanist, specializing in the development of ornamental conifers, especially dwarfs. 
 Bob's beloved wife died two years ago and, as he explained to us, he just let things go for a year, so his gardens are not in tip-top shape as far as grooming goes.  And then there was this summer's drought, which proved which plants were able to survive without being babied.  He believes in tough love once his specimens are in the ground. 
 But with inspiration from a new partner, Bob is back to rejuvenating his gardens and planting more. 
 What follows is a two hour tour of these gardens.  You, my dear readers, are a varied bunch.  Some of you are knowledgeable plantspersons.  Some of you are casual gardeners.  Some of you enjoy looking at gardens or interesting plants, and some of you just like pretty pictures.  I hope there is a little something here for everyone. 

 The Asian garden was inspired by this hemlock tree. Bob has plans to redo this section next year. 

 Fun fungus among us. 
 To everything there is a season, and a time .... to change color. 

 Bob still has many grafted plants, even though he is no longer in the mail order business. 
 Going down into the rock garden on the hillside. 

 A pretty patch of puffballs. 

 For the less knowledgeable, conifers are plants that produce cones. 

 Bob says he plants the maples for the deer, so they won't eat his conifers, and it keeps the maples pruned.  Whatever the reason, I thank you for the colorful maples!

Bob and Tom talk cones.  Bob grows them and Tom collects them.

Tom with his collecting bag. 

The dawn redwood is a deciduous conifer.  It's needles turn lovely colors before they drop. 

Notice that weird little tree in the forefront.  The green top is a mutation that has been grafted onto other rootstock, in this case, a blue form. That's how these trees are formed. The trunk will grow on before the lower branches are removed. 

Bob collects other trees too, like this exotic ginko. 

It's easy to appreciate how much work has gone into creating this garden, how much there is yet to do, and the devotion Bob shows for his chosen purpose.  Many speciality gardens have specimen plants created by Bob.

Thank you for sharing your life's work.