I had a wonderful trip to Far Reaches Farm in Port Townsend, Washington, yesterday. My mother, aka The Plant Collector, goes there on a regular basis, and we finally got to go together. If Port Townsend is in reach for you, go for a visit ASAP! The demonstration gardens were wonderful, particularly the greenhouse, which felt like a trip into the Rain Forest with towering lilies and enormous foliage in every direction.
If you don’t live locally, you’re still in luck, because they have a very popular mail order business. As for me, I had 2 takeaways: 1) I must track down some Melica uniflora f. albida as soon as I get home; and 2) When visiting, always plan to have lunch up the road at the Spruce Goose Cafe at the Jefferson County International Airport!
Inspiration is everywhere! I alway enjoy looking around my client’s neighborhoods to see what people are doing with their gardens. This neighbor made clever use of a sliding door to create a movable wall at the end of their front porch. What a great way to create privacy without completely blocking access to the side yard. I’ll definitely keep this idea in my back pocket!
Whenever I go for a site visit, I like to look around the neighborhood to see what’s growing. This gives me a sense of the area and also helps me identify plants that might thrive, especially with regard to deer. This lovely garden is at the edge of a long driveway on a very wooded lot. I was surprised to see the host looking so good, but you never know what route deer will take as they pass through. Maybe the proximity of the hellebores acts as a deterrent? I don’t know, but I enjoyed seeing it.
I have a goal to bring something from my garden indoors all year round. We’re at the end of the Peonies and Baptisia right now, so I got one more bouquet out of them (looks like I didn’t quite dust the mulch off some of them!). I love this combination. I used some variegated Red-Twig Dogwood leaves but they’re a bit limp to be on their own.
We’re on the verge of summer flowers now. I see the Coneflowers close to blooming, and the Black-Eyed Susans are starting. I’ve got some Dahlia tubers coming this week, too, to get started for fall. Better late than never!
It seems as if there’s something new blooming every day at this time of year. Walking around the neighborhood I see iris, lilacs, late bulbs, early roses, dogwood, salvia, tree peonies, azaleas, bluebells, weigelia- an embarrassment of riches. Here at my house I have dozens and dozens of irises blooming, all thanks to a friend who transplanted some from her home almost 6 years ago. I want time to stand still now, but of course it’s their transience that makes flowers so special.
Several times a week I jog through Rock Spring Park, one of our wonderful green spaces here in Arlington. There’s always something to stop and admire, whether it be blooms, new green growth, ducks in the water, or someone’s adorable canine pal out for a walk. In addition to Arlington Parks & Rec, a lot of volunteers make sure the park stays healthy, and I appreciate them every time I go through. And if you have part-shade in your garden, you can be sure that anything thriving here in deer territory will do well at your house, too.
We had a superb visit to the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida. It was a perfect day to enjoy the grounds. In the central museum courtyard are enormous terra cotta pots with bougainvillea as the only color spots- and nothing more is needed. Classic and simple, and I wanted to live there! Although if I did live there, I would add lemon trees. Then nothing more would be needed.