Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Saturday in the Garden With Irene

Actually, we were in lots of Gardens.

Jill got recruited to help take Isaac's scout troop on an overnight camping trip. We got to keep Irene. Since we had planned to visit NPA Open Gardens in the northeast Seattle area, we just took her with us. 

For the most part, I concentrated on sharing the garden experiences with her, taking only a few photos. 

Here we are on the deck of the Brenneman/Harris garden, a place we have visited before. 
 The next place was new to us, just opened for the first time. It is in the stately Ravenna District. This is the garden of George Cooper

 Irene and I discussed the use of color here. She pointed out that the bush (smoke tree) had purple leaves too. 

 Just up the street is the Ferris garden, which we visited for the first time last year. 
 Until it got too wet, Irene continued to try out all of the garden seats, as well as taste all of the cookies left out for visiting guests.

 The Ferris garden is bordered by Ravenna Park, part of a link of parks running through Seattle. 
 By the time we got to Beda Herbison's garden it was raining lightly but steadily. 
 The last garden we visited was the McNulty/Walter garden, also new on the tour this year. It was magnificent. 

 Unfortunately, in following our GPS through a circuitous route, we fell into a speed trap. Where we had been in a 35 MPH zone, for two blocks, downhill, we were apparently in a 25 MPH zone. Officer Friendly followed us into the driveway at our destination, which was right around the corner from where he must have picked us up. I took photos while Tom waited for his speeding ticket. Apparently Officer Sneaky was happy to fulfill his daily quota and didn't care that we were just trying to find our next garden. The City of Kenmore will be $166 richer when we send them our check. Good thing the gardens were free. 
 We decided not to think about it and enjoy the garden until we got back into the car and read the amount of the fine. Sheesh!
 The use of color here in this garden is wonderful, especially in the seating areas. It was raining steadily now, so we didn't sit. 

 Irene enjoyed one last cookie before we headed for home.
 Back down south of the city, it hadn't rained! So we proceeded with our plan to finish emptying out the shed and helping Irene turn it into her flower shop for the summer. 
 She sorted through the treasures that had been stored in the attic, culling out a few "not needed" items. 
 Then she set things up just the way she wanted them.
 And began working on new signs for the shop. 
Later in the day, we ate pizza and watched the Sounders lose their away game in Dallas. Then Irene and I watched a movie, Malificent, that we found free on Xfinity On Demand. She loved it. I thought the costuming and imaginative, fantastical characters were very interesting. 

Now Irene is tucked in her Gramma's house bed, and I am soon to retire to mine. 


  1. sounds like a fun rainy day-glad you had umbrellas...beutiful never ending gardens!

  2. That is a whopping fine for going only 10 mph over the limit. But despite it, it still sounds like you had a fun day with Irene, and saw some lovely gardens.

  3. It is a shame about the fine. We were caught like that in small town when traveling where for a short distance the speed limit changed from 45 to 35, but lucky for us, the officer just gave us a warning. But the gardens are really lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Sorry about the marring of the day by an over-zealous police officer, but overall, a splendid day. Your granddaughter is lovely, and I'm sure the day will be memorable for her, for all the right reasons. :)

  5. $166!?!?!???? Aggravation! I'm glad you didn't allow it to spoil your day. It's wonderful that Irene still enjoys her flower shop. What fun to see everybody's garden. Everything is so lush and green. I guess it's the rain.

  6. The houses are as beautiful as the gardens. Nice outing, though that speeding ticket was a bummer.

  7. What a marvelous day. My oldest grand girl (6 yo) calls outings we take Adventures. And they are. I think it is so great to share nature with our grands. Grand girl also loves to comment on the shapes and colors. I don't know if you can make a living as a botanist but I think she'd enjoy it if she stays interested.

    The yards you showed were just gorgeous. Although I'm often a little jealous, I love to see what other people have done with their yards - and if you add in a cookie - a perfect day.

  8. No wonder my transplanted daughter (from Hawaii to Seattle) likes living up in the Pacific Southwest! So much to see and the plants are wonderful!
    Loved the little garden shack - it has a chandelier ?!? and is a perfect little space for your lovely granddaughter.

  9. What lovely gardens you were able to tour. I love seeing how others garden and look at the big old homes.
    Irene has got herself a neat little place to have fun!!

  10. Down hill speeding tickets should not be allowed. You saw some very colorful gardens.

  11. The gardens are beautiful, and so is Irene. She is so sweet looking. I love the picture of Irene, near the top, sitting in a lawn chair. It reminds me of Alice in Wonderland.

  12. Great gardens! I would have loved to have seen them and you; not so much officer friendly. Instead, I made a small dent in my own garden chores and was happy to spend the day being productive. I'm thinking of opening my own garden for the NPA next summer. The point is to share the differences in our gardens. My garden can always serve as an example of what not to do, right? Perhaps I'l have a sign printed - “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.”

  13. Hi Linda. I am also Linda,an ex-teacher, but newer grandma! I live in the South West of the UK and found your blog whilst looking for ideas for my new garden.Whilst new to us as we moved in last year,it is actually a very mature but neglected garden, full of treasures. So far I have re-instated a stumpery and am reclaiming a hidden cut flower area with touches of whimsy, thanks to Lewis Carroll! My feelings about the garden veer between daunted and excited, but blogs such as yours inspire. Thank you!

    1. Linda, if you see this, I would love to have some contact information. Do you blog or post on Facebook? Would you you willing to email me some photos of your garden. I would love to follow along on your garden progress. A stumpery! It all sounds wonderful!

  14. It didn't rain here at all this weekend, and I was really looking forward to getting a little bit for my garden. Instead I had to water by hand. I loved Malificent, too. And the gardens are sure pretty. :-)

  15. My son was going out for a long bike ride yesterday. I said, "In the rain and this wind?" He said, "Mom, you can't sit around waiting for ideal conditions to do stuff." Wise one.
    Your tour looked delightful even in a drizzle. Sorry about that speeding ticket. Getting a ticket for going 35 is just wrong but I suppose cities have to supplement their income somehow. Grrr.

  16. Ouch! Sorry about that fine. (I'm still trying to recover from a speeding fine I got about 15 years ago. It hurt. A warning would have sufficed.) Irene is a girl after my own heart. I'd have scoffed up cookies, too. You visited such beautiful gardens, as usual.


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