Winter is starting to wear on me. Frigid cold for a week, followed by a day in the 50s, then back to cold then back to 50 with little to no snow cover protection for the garden. Both the snow blower and the hot tub went on the fritz. Yesterday morning a wind and rain storm blew the power out at my house again. I know...wah wah wah...how many days til spring?
Since only so many pictures can be taken of evergreens adorned in snow and statuary shivering in the sub freezing cold, it's time to break out some material from last summer. Let's go back to a time when the air was warm and the plants were green (or in my case, green, chartreuse, purple and variegated).
Over six months have passed since my garden trip to the Pacific Northwest. Although I didn't take anywhere near as many pictures as my traveling companions, by my standards I took alot of pictures. Some I've already posted HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE but many are still languishing in folders on my laptop.
Another one of the gardens we visited on that trip was the Bellevue Botanical Garden in the city of Bellevue Washington. I was surprised when I read that Bellevue Botanical Garden was 53 acres. I would have guessed it was smaller but we didn't venture beyond the cultivated gardens and there is also a wetlands and a woodland both traversed by hiking trails.
|Gunnera tinctoria growing at the Visitor's Center. Grow it if you can. I can't.|
Based on the number of pictures I took of these cool little cairns, one would think I would have taken the time to learn more about them but I didn't. Maybe Growing Obsession Denise caught hastily exiting the second photo will stop by and shed some light.
How could you not love a Fuchsia garden? Especially when many of them are actually hardy in your zone. Every season I plant Fuchsias in my mixed containers with varied results. Last summer I got very few flowers even on the reliable cultivars like 'Gartenmeister'. Fuchsia magellanica is the the only variety that can be winter hardy in CT. I've never tried it but my friend, Monique has had one return in her central CT garden. So far I've had little luck getting them to winter over indoors.
|Fuchsia display garden at Bellevue Botanical Garden|
Hydrangeas appear to thrive in the PNW climate. Although I've had fairly decent luck with them lately, especially some of the H. serrata cultivars, I think the only way I could grow them this well would be to move.
Sunny, middle of the day light conditions made for challenging photo ops. A little digging on the Bellevue Botanical garden website yielded some details about the well designed and meticulously maintained Perennial Border. Sponsored by the Northwest Perennial Alliance and maintained by volunteers, the border has been a featured attraction in the garden since 1992. In 2008 it was renovated by the same garden design team who were instrumental in the original installation. I'd say they done good, wouldn't you?
|A section of the NPA Perennial Border at Bellevue Botanical Garden|
In central CT the average annual rainfall is somewhere between 45 and 50 inches, which I was shocked to discover is an average of ten inches more than Bellevue. Wild swings in weather seem to have become the norm in CT. Some years I never have to haul out a sprinkler and some years I have two on rotation every night. Since sections of my garden tend to be dry no matter what, I am always on the lookout for plants that don't require lots of water to flourish. Maybe it's time to toss some Helenium and Crocosmia in the front curb garden.
We didn't get to spend too much time in the Seattle area on this trip but I'm glad Bellevue Botanical Garden was on the itinerary. Next time I go back I'll make a point to get around to more of the sights both horticultural and otherwise. Feel free to let me know what I missed.