Take a Walk Through the Garden: The Front Yard
Our "Critters"

[Front Yard from Deck Bed]

Looking from the bed west of the deck into the front yard. Rhododendron 'Mrs. Charles E. Pearson,' R. 'Odee Wright' and R. 'Van Nes Sensation' are pictured in the center. The area in the foreground started off as a "white" bed, but there are blues and soft mauves mixed in. I couldn't live with plain white. It's still a cool blend, however.


[Hosta and Geranium macrorrhizum]

A closer look at the variegated hosta and Geranium macrorrhizum growing in the "white" bed.



Rhododendron 'Pink Pearl' ... an old reliable! This grows in the front bed behind R. 'Van Nes Sensation.'

[Rhododendron 'Pink Pearl']


[North Rhody Bed]

Here is a closer look at the rhododendrons growing along the north side of the house. This was the first bed I had with any REAL shade in it! We were almost totally exposed when we first moved in. That's the Japanese Maple in the background and the four rhodies seen blooming in front of it are, from back to front, R. 'Hurricane,' R. 'Moonstone,' R. 'Hotei,' and R. 'Mrs. W.C. Slocock' (same cross as 'Unique').


If we walk back to the front entry and head out to check the mail, we will see the orchard to our left. It hasn't had the best care for a few years, but whatever it produces we try not to waste. I usually dry a lot of the apples and we try to pick as many blueberries and cherries as the birds will allow. We hardly ever get cherries from the big sweet cherry seen in this photo. The crows pick them off before they are even to the edible "green" stage and drop at least half of them in the flowerbed. It's really irritating. On a good year, we can snag a few for eating off the low branches if we're quick.

[Orchard area]

I love the way this photo looks so inviting. This is the south edge of the orchard. We had to have a deer fence for quite awhile (until the posts rotted) in order to get these trees to bearing size. The deer here are terrible. In late April-Early May this bed features Forget-Me-Nots, Lamb's Ear, old fashioned columbine (Granny's Bonnets) and this old variety of bearded iris, which I suspect is the species, Iris pallida. It is the first to start opening and the last to quit. Even though the flowers are smallish and thin of substance, they bear a wonderful smell that is just like grape Kool-Aid! The pink rhododendron in the background is a R. decorum that I grew from seed. The flowers are not so showy by themselves, but they have a wonderful soft mauve color that is ethereal looking and blends well with anything. The bright reddish spot to its left is a tree peony, which you can get a better look at below. In March this area is blooming with crocus. It is situated across the driveway from the first tree in the row of flowering cherries.


Tree peony which I bought years ago and was mislabeled. It doesn't last long but is spectacular and the seed heads hold interest for the whole season. The foliage is quite attractive in the fall as it changes color. I believe the variety to be 'Hoki.'


[Tree Peony 'Hoki']

[Rose Arrangement]

One of the joys of gardening is cutting flowers for church or the house. This is something I should do more often, as I tend to enjoy the plants outside and neglect to bring them in. The rose to the left is R. 'Sexy Rexy,' which is a wonderful floribunda. The one to its right is R. 'Tournament of Roses.' The blue spikes probably belonged to one of the darker shaded veronicas. These two rose bushes are struggling since this was taken, but if I lose them, they are both worthy of planting again.

The following are for fun and mostly so that you can see the domesticated wildlife in our garden...the cats!

[Laceleaf Maple in Fall]

The northeast corner of the house again, showing the Dwarf Laceleaf Maple under the Japanese Maple. This spot is so beautiful in the fall, I just had to put it here now! Can you find the cat below?



[Tawny in Fall]

This is "Tawny." She was one of a litter of three that we kept after taking in their mother, who was a stray. (Almost all our cats here have been strays.) You can't tell by this picture, but she has gotten the unfortunate nickname from my husband of "Lardbucket." When she walks, her tummy swings back and forth, making her look more like a cow than a cat. She's very affectionate and neurotic.



This is Tawny's sister, "Puff," who got that name because she is SO soft. They had a brother, Max, who we lost last year and he was probably my favorite. Puff is very affectionate also, in a rough way (! sometimes) and she is VERY territorial. If the raccoons come onto the deck to dine on cat food, she will try to take them on singlehandedly. The trees beyond her are the flowering cherries along the driveway in the autumn. The year this was taken was a particularly showy fall.


[Puff the Cat]

[Sunset over Olympic Mountains]

You can't have enough sunsets...taken last fall (1997). This was snapped from our deck, looking west onto Hood Canal toward the Olympic Mountains. Those tall peaks in the middle are called "The Brothers."

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