Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Heading East

Another bright, sunny day here in Seattle. This is my last day here and it has been an enjoyable experience. From my vantage point this morning, I'm looking out over Lake Washington kind of wondering what this place looked like 250 years ago when this house site was one of thousands of summer camps. If I had some time it would be fun to locate the local historical society and relive the past.

The gardens of the west coast are so much different than what I am returning to in Vermont. The climate allows so much more plant material to work with and there is an obvious interest in home landscaping which in comparison is almost in its infancy in Vermont. The contrast is fun to observe and there are always new ideas which will fit nicely.

Last night I drove down a couple miles from my son's home to Kubota Gardens. The neighbors had recommended the gardens on my last visit but I never made it. The high temperatures of yesterday afternoon suggested this might be a cooler place and it met our expectations.

Kubota Gardens has a heritage of well over one hundred twenty five years. You could easily miss the entrance if not on the lookout as it's located in a residential area. From the time you get out of the car and walk through the entrance you feel like you're in a different space in a different time. The conifers in the plantings are mature and I hadn't seen some specimens in such mature form before. The sun was still too bright to take pictures but my memory of the place will carry forever.

I sat on a bench by a waterwall and listened to the water and enjoyed the cool air generated by the water and the pool. I traced the water source to the top of the mountain but took a path that headed me back to a series of pools and eventually back out of the garden. It is a tranquil place and a fine garden to end my thoughts of Seattle and Portland with.

Going to look at other gardens made me rethink what I have to do when I get home. The weather there this week has been terrible with constant rain and some flooding in low areas. I'm worried about the odds that the lilies will have some botrytis even though I sprayed well before I left. I have a large commitment to prepare a portfolio of pictures of the sunken hosta garden and adjacent bog garden. I'll try to work on the narrative a little on the flight home. As gardeners, if you have a chance this summer, get away from your geography and visit other gardens. The contrast makes you feel good about what you have accomplished and helps with new ideas. I know this trip has helped me.

From the hill above Lake Washington in Seattle, and soon to be heading back to Vermont,
gardening wishes from

George and The Vermont Gardener!

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