Posts Tagged ‘coastal gardening’

October Splendor in the Garden, at the Coast

October 1, 2017

I went out to the garden to cut flowers for a bouquet.  Before stepping outside, I wondered which flowers, if any were to be found, would work for my bouquet because it is so late in the flowering season and most flowers have already done their blooming. It is already the first day of October and the leaves are starting to turn red so you can imagine my delight at finding many blooms for my bouquet!

How can flowers make me so happy?  Flowers and sunshine!  Below are the flowers I cut and you can see the bouquet I created from the autumn blooms.

The hydrangea below is a very special type called Ayesha Hydrangea.  One of my favorite aspects of this hydrangea is the cupped petals.  Each petal looks like a little spoon.  When it rains, each petal holds a drop of water.  The flowers are heavy and precious!  Sadly, I’ve heard another name for this species of hydrangea is called “mop-head”.  I hesitated to include that bit of information.  I don’t like the name.  It takes away from the beauty of this remarkable flower. Everyone who sees my Ayesha instantly falls in love with “her” and wants a cutting or a start of this bush.  I need to buy some rooting hormone and get some promised starts started!

Long ago, I taught a little girl by the name of Sophie.  She was very young and yet her parents insisted she learn Italian from me.  We are talking some 20 years ago.  I believe Sophie was four years old at the time. So I taught Sophie Italian using the TPR technique.  Total Physical Response technique is a method used to teach children language, using physical responses and physical exercise as a means to engage in interactive learning.  It worked well with Sophie! In return, in lieu of payment in cash, her father, a landscape architect, paid me in bushes, rare flowers, and trees!  Talk about a cool barter system!  This rare Ayesha hydrangea is one of the plants I earned in the teaching/plant barter.  After 20 years, Ayesha is still thriving and as beautiful as ever.

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Here are a few other hydrangeas in bloom today, October 1st.

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Other flowers to make it into my vase were fuschias and the fronds of Lucifer Crocosmia.  You can correctly suppose the flowers of Lucifer are a hellish (or heavenly) RED.  I didn’t have the heart to cut the last of the crocosmia flowers, especially the rare yellow ones that seem to bloom only every other year (also part of the teaching/plant barter deal).

Below are the last of Lavatera (Mallow) flowers. They also made it into the vase.

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The rhododendrons have already set their gigantic buds for next year’s spectacular flowering performance!  I am a garden nut for good reason.  Flowers are my garden’s song.  Flowers are life unfolding!

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And the bouquet!  So pretty.  I was surprised to see how well the white single petaled anemones did this year.  They made it into the bouquet, too.

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Sunshine, don’t be fooled!

Big fat billowing clouds give no hint of the sudden squall that will soak me, within seconds, to the bone.

Upon arrival to the beach, a blue kite dances in the sky, a girl with yellow boots frolics in the sand, chasing waves.

Sweet youth mock me not!  Like a child, I search for moonstones and agates and fill my pockets with gems.

The grass seed-heads on the dunes are illuminated by the early October sun.

Today’s clouds, a painting waiting to be painted.

This is your lucky day! This is my lucky day!  Ours to celebrate!

Happy October!

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Splashes of Color for the Fourth of July

July 5, 2015

It is 10:28pm as I begin posting this blog.  It is Independence Day and the city of Ocean Shores is celebrating America’s birthday along with the rest of the county.  As I write, there is a constant boom, bang, pop in the air as people light their fireworks on the beach.  So much excitement in the air, literally!  This has been an unusually dry summer for this part of the world, so the city of Ocean Shores, Washington has forbidden fireworks anywhere but on the beach.

Meanwhile, as I walked through the garden today, admiring yesterday’s weeding and maintenance work, I thought about how the garden, too,  seems to be celebrating the 4th of July through bursts of color that rival tonight’s fireworks.  My garden seems to be saying, “Happy Birthday, America!”

Crocosmia "Lucifer"

The hummingbirds go crazy for this: Crocosmia “Lucifer”

Potted plants on the deck

Potted plants on the deck drenched in sunlight

A collection of rocks and shells welcome you as you enter the house.

A collection of rocks and shells welcome you before you enter the house.

Sword ferns love the moist environment of the shade garden

Sword ferns love the moist environment of the shade garden.

Bright as fireworks

Bright as fireworks

This fragrant antique rose that I started from a cutting dipped in rooting hormone is as big as my hand

This fragrant antique rose that I started from a cutting dipped in rooting hormone is as big as my hand!  The color says POW!

Liberty Apples.  We vie for these along with the raccoons.  Who will get to them first this year?

Liberty Apples. We vie for these along with the raccoons. Who will get to them first this year?

My dad's fig tree grows big beautiful leaves in the fruit orchard.  I have yet to taste the figs!  We need more sun here at the coast, but maybe someday, it will yield figs for me.  I already dream of eating them plucked fresh from the tree as well as making a fig and goat cheese pizza...and why not?  I will make an amazing jam of these figs when they finally grow on this tree!  My dad brought a cutting over from Sicily.

My dad’s fig tree grows big beautiful leaves in the fruit orchard. I have yet to taste the figs because they never ripen in our coastal climate. We need more sun here at the coast, but maybe someday, this tree will yield figs for me. I already dream of eating them plucked fresh from the tree as well as making a fig and goat cheese pizza…and why not? I will make an amazing jam of these figs when they finally grow on this tree! My dad brought this tree cutting over from Sicily.

Climbing roses

Climbing roses and butterfly bush intermingle.

Firecracker colors

Firecracker colors!

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Blue blue sky for the 4th of July!

Blue sky as backdrop for the 4th of July!

Garden view from the house

Garden view from the house (with my brother-in-law Jim’s birdhouses…many have resident chickadees busily feeding their chicks!)


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