Susanna Farm Nursery Visit

Photo of landscape

If you’re looking for specimen trees, Susanna Farm Nursery is a great destination. It feels more like an arboretum than a trade nursery, and you can easily spend an hour or two strolling through the grounds. I was looking for some good-sized maples to use as accents in a client’s back garden, but I also came across some wonderful willow standards for another project. Well worth the trip for the beauty and inspiration and just a relaxing afternoon out.

Veggie Report

My tomatoes are certainly thriving. As always, my favorites are the Sungold variety. They are so sweet and perfectly bite-sized. I was worried about critters getting to them when the plants were small, but we’re well past that now. However, I do see evidence of my chipmunks having a little snack most mornings.They don’t seem to like the skin much. I wish I could catch one in the act- just to take a photo, of course.

LaDew Topiary Gardens

Photo of building at LaDew
The Cafe and Studio at LaDew, seen from the Cutting Garden.

I’m so glad I finally made it to LaDew Gardens. I’m seeing so many new things this summer. This building is now the little cafe and artist studio area. Highlights of the garden are, of course, the topiaries, but also a wonderful butterfly pavilion and so many different garden rooms. The house tour was also so interesting, thanks to their great volunteers. Definitely a trip worth making.

Finally Made it to Bloedel Reserve

I finally made it to the Bloedel Reserve. We had a wonderful time walking the paths and enjoying the quiet. There are no signs or plant labels to read- one simply wanders through. It was a truly relaxing experience and I would gladly go back. Anyone who lives locally can buy an annual pass and walk the grounds as a regular activity. Delightful.

My Mother’s Garden

David Austin roses grow incredibly well in the Pacific Northwest. My mother has a garden full of them. I’m growing my first in Virginia, ‘Gertrude Jekyll’, but I don’t think it will ever reach this level of splendor!

Artificial Turf is Perfect for an Urbanscape

We were in the Shaw neighborhood a couple days ago where I saw this wonderful streetscape. The new artificial turf products are fantastic! I love the green stripes. I’d enjoy seeing this on my daily walk or from my apartment window. We’re starting to see some progressive clients using this turf in their residential projects now. Don’t knock it until you’ve seen it and touched it! (I personally still have about 300 square feet of lawn that I love to mow.)

Cityline Hydrangeas

Photo of pink hydrangea
From the Cityline Hydrangea collection- ‘Paris’

You may have noticed some intensely pink hydrangeas at your garden center. They’re probably part of the ‘Cityline’ collection from Proven Winners. I’m testing out this one (‘Paris’) in a pot this year. So far, the shrub is still tiny but it has plenty of blooms. This group just started opening a couple days ago. I think I’ll use it for a new bouquet!

Cutting Gardens

Plant photo
Hydrangea, boxwood, basil and salvia from my garden.

One of my goals for our new sunny front is to create a cutting garden. I’ve added the usual suspects like Coneflowers and Black-Eyed Susan, but I’m trying to bring in more subtle choices like Black & Blue Salvia, Veronica, and colorful herbs. These ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea actually grow along the back fence in a shady area I don’t see every day, so they’re perfect for bringing indoors.

Cicada Moment

Photo of Cicada
Carpe Diem!

I took advantage of the cool weekend weather to do some weeding and clean-up. Of course, I had to share the garden with these creatures, who apparently have hatched off-cycle due to the hot weather we’ve had. This is the first time I’ve seen live cicadas as opposed to their empty shells scattered around. They’d be almost cute if it weren’t for those red eyes!

American Wisteria is the Best Choice

Photo of Wisteria frutescens
American Wisteria won’t pull your porch down.

We planted this Wisteria frutescensĀ at the corner of my neighbor’s porch about 5 years ago. It is such a gorgeous and reliable bloomer. If the idea of Wisteria makes you nervous, just be sure to select the American variety. It doesn’t get nearly as big as the Asian varieties and won’t end up pulling down your structures over time.