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Sacred Spaces Design | Archive for 2011 November

Archive for November, 2011

Last Harvest

I cut this rhubarb at the base. I later learned through GardenFork that no cutting is required. Snap.

It would have been ideal to have posted this before Thanksgiving, which is when this happened. This is the last round-up of veggies and seasonal annuals harvested from a garden before I began my grocery shopping for the Thanksgiving holiday. And before the cold snap. Peppers: jalapenos, green Bell, banana, green tomatoes galore, lemon cucumbers shape-shifting into pumpkins, those citrusy smelling marigolds, trombetta squash, and rhubarb. I forget the variety. I am hoping it’s not too late to dig up the scented geraniums, pot them, and bring them inside  for winter.

The last harvest is a ritual I welcome.  It’s a time to sort and assess, make notes for the garden to come.  Nothing urgent is happening. We “lean” into the gifts of winter: cinnamon-colored bark of my newly planted oak-leaf maple, the fire-red stems of dogwood – some, I have rooted first in water or simply stuck in the damp earth. It’s time for new forms. I just picked up some Euonymous ‘Greenspire” to use as a solid evergreen centerpiece for some holiday containers across town.  I think I will plant one in my front yard this week.  Our front garden bed, as I look out our dining room window looks sparse. The rich green color and upright habit of the Euonymous ( I love saying this word. Spelling – not so much) will give me something to work with throughout the year. However, I think winter is it’s season to shine.

I have other tasks: move the compost bin, untangle some Christmas lights so I can be-dazzle our two Monterey cypresses, contribute to the leaf mulch pile, start forcing narcissus. I am confident there is more…

Welcome sweet winter and your offerings. Remind us to sit tight and relish the warmth that comes from the heart and home.

Fall-ing for Green Lake

Birch, "Bob," and little boy.

Green Lake is a feast for the eyes right now. No, I’m not talking about all those power-walking “Bob-Mom’s.”  I’m talking about the trees. Have you seen them lately?  Living in the PNW, it’s easy to take trees for granted.  We’re surrounded. I mean, our city gives us trees to plant for heaven’s sakes.  I love it.

My favorite part of my run or walk around Green Lake is the north end – that is, if you are heading counter clock-wise, before you hit the wading pool. There’s a grove of river birch that make me pine and conveniently stop to catch my breath and linger.

I’ve noticed, that at the lake wherever there are river birch trees there is a bench. You can see why. The lovely textured bark, the long lean limbs, and delicate shelter these trees offer really invite you to observe them and receive their embrace.

You have all heard of a tree-hugger. Well, trees also do some hugging by creating form and dimension to your landscape or garden. Fall is the time to plant them too. As the weather above ground becomes mild, the ground below becomes full of activity, fostering hearty root growth.  Come spring, your plants will be stronger and ready to put out (or leaf out) what you have been putting in (Mother Nature’s rainfall, compost, leaf mulch…)

So plant those trees and shrubs now.  Perennials too.

On another note, there’s a saying that knowing the name of every plant doesn’t make you a good gardener but knowing where to find the answers to your plant questions, does. I have a feeling that that adage applies to any career, but I’m not afraid to play the good gardener card here. To confirm my birch identification I came across Arthur Lee Jacobson’s website which lists the names of all the tree species at the lake. Fun stuff. He seems to be an interesting guy too.

Seattle Parks and Recreations also have some interesting documents for you peruse online if you get a kick out of reading up on Green Lake’s vegetative history. Go Parks!

Now, go plant those trees.