Monday, May 30, 2016

Highline Botanical garden

Monday morning, Memorial Day, we wanted a destination walk, but we wanted to stay close to home. We chose North SeaTac Park for walking, and started out with a stroll through the Highline Botanical Garden in the park. 

This area, the park and the garden and the Community Center, were all developed in the clear zone when houses were removed in advance of construction of the third runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. 

This botanical garden was the answer to what to do about Elda Behm's Paradise Garden, a private garden and nursery at her home in an area to be cleared for the new runway.  Volunteers spent many hours and days and months moving many of Elda's mature plants from her garden to this location. They nursed them along, raised funds, and eventualy built a stream and pond water feature. 

The garden has been added to as the older plants settled in. Elda has passed on now, but not before she saw this dream realized. This is Elda Behm's legacy.

Along side Elda's garden is a rose garden.
A bed of day lilies will soon burst into bloom.
There is bed for an iris collection.

Down the hill is another rescued garden. 
The Seike Japanese Garden was created by the family that owned the Des Moines Way Nursery. It too had to go to make way for airplanes. 
The garden was painstakingly recreated here. 

After this lovely beginning to the day, we walked the trails of North SeaTac Park and accumulated about three miles before heading home, where we spent most of the rest of the day working in our own garden. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Grave Search in the Tacoma Cemetery

Tom's mother's people are buried in the old Tacoma Cemetery. We have visited here before, and have located some grandparents and great grandparents, but had failed to locate Tom's Anderson grandparents, people who were very significant in the young lives of Tom and his sister and brother. 

We knew where they were supposed to be buried, and we had a map. We knew that Tom's mother, the only surviving child at the time of their deaths, did not care to deal with death and did not have a headstone placed. We thought we had ordered one placed about 20 years ago.

Since the cemetery office was open, we asked for help, and after looking again ourselves, we had the cemetery superintendent come out with us. We found the grave site, but, alas, there was no marker.
I felt sad to think that in all these years there had been no one to visit these graves and no way to acknowledge them.
 Maybe it doesn't matter anymore. I'm not sure. We will try to check with the monument company that now operates the company where we recall ordering a headstone and see if we can find any paper trail. At any rate, Grandma Mary and Grandpa Bill Anderson were remembered today. 

 With a bit of searching we found step-Great Grandpa Swanie's grave.
 We found Swanie's wife, Great Grandma Margaret Swanson.

 And lastly we rather easily found Great Grandfather Emil Anderson. We never did find Volberg Anderson Smith, Emil's divorced wife, who was buried with her second family. We know she's there, and we gave her close to a half hour of looking, but finally had to give up. Sorry, Granny. 

This was our only cemetery stop this year, but just one of the places we visited in what turned out to be a very full day on Sunday. 

There will be more to come. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Glass Flower Making

When I posted recently about Irene and I making glass flowers, there were questions about how they are made, and how I use them in the garden.  I have posted about this before, but it has been several years, so I have produced a new tutorial.

For those of you who don't care about how, just skim through the "how" until you get to the "where". 

We buy household glass at thrift stores. Here are the elements of a glass flower. 

Start with a plate.
 Rubbing alcohol works to remove sticky price tags, or just wash everything in dish detergent and use a scrub brush.  
 Second, add a smaller diameter bowl or plate. 
 Then a third bowl or plate.
 Finally add a candle holder or small glass and perhaps a center embellishment. 

Then glue the pieces together using one of these sealants. 

Let them rest overnight to set up. Then glue a bud vase to the bottom of the flower and let that set for 24 hours.
Cur re-bar to the desired length and bend one end of it to fit the length of the bud vase. 

 Tom uses plastic tubing over the bent portion to protect the glass. 
The bent portion slips into a bud vase to hold the flower at an angle
We went a little crazy then, using up all of our new supply of glass and most of the old stuff. 
Most of these are still on the work bench, but we did add two new ones to the garden. This is the spot where we removed a dead dogwood. It called for a glass installation, which is what I call placing several glass flowers together, along with several "bottle buds". 

We already have singles and installations throughout the garden. 
 That piece with the three suspended lenses Tom just made using copper wire and conduit and recycled glass from Bedrock Industries in Seattle. 

 We also have a few towers.

 Forgive me, but I went a little crazy with my camera at this point because  Wednesday morning the garden was so beautiful. 

 The yellow flower in the center here is the only one I purchased. It is hand blown and on sale cost $80. I wanted glass in the garden but couldn't afford those prices. We saw some homemade glass flowers in a garden, which gave us the idea of creating our own. From there we went bigger and bolder. And maybe even a bit over the top. 

The new ones still on the work bench will find homes. We'll swap out a few old ones we don't like as much now, add a few more, give a few away, and perhaps offer some for sale at our open garden in July. Then we'll go out of business for a while.