Saturday, November 24, 2007


It's seems that when one looks forward to life slowing down a bit that it actually gets busier. That is definitely the case for me. This weekend I will try to finish the end of season clean up in the garden and the 2008 edition of the BOBSGARDEN.COM calendar. That being said, I thought that it would be nice to share the pictures of last years calendar. The photos were selected to coincide with their bloom time or the celebration of a holiday during that month (i.e. red in February for Valentines Day, green in March for St. Patty's day, etc). All pictures are of the garden during different times of the year.














Even though putting together the calendar is a lot of work, it is something I do really enjoy. And for friends and family it is something that is look forward to, certainly making all the effort worth while.

Monday, November 12, 2007


In a final installment of the series "When Autumn leaves Fall" I've selected several photographs of trees in the neighborhood. These shots were taken 2 weeks ago at the peek of their colour. Since then, they have succumb to our Northwest rain and wind storms. Now, after serving their purpose, they litter the ground, fill gutters and storm drains, and hopefully compost piles returning to the dirt to nurture the trees they came from.
I feel very lucky to have captured them in their prime and truly enjoy sharing them with you.
All the best of Autumn to you all, Bob

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


The final days of our Indian Summer were this last weekend, so I figured I'd take a stroll in the Yao Japanese Garden located in the Bellevue Botanical Garden and enjoy the end of Autumn. I have always been a big fan of Japanese gardens. It always seems that when I frequent them, that they completely ground me. Most Japanese gardens are not filled with riots of blooming colour, but with carefully placed plant material and layer upon layer of foliage colour and texture. Maybe that's what touches me is all the greenery, but in any case, they are tranquil and special, and I really enjoy them.

I find that Japanese gardens are incredible all year long. In Winter, the beautiful structure of the deciduous trees and shrubs are shown and accented with evergreens and bamboos. In Spring, all the rhody's and azaleas are in bloom in mounds of colourful displays. In Summer, the Maples and other trees are fully leafed out sheltering drifts of ferns and other complements. And in Fall, the trees have changed the coats in a serene Autumnal display and mosses carpets the ground in emerald splendor.
The Yao Japanese Gardens and others like it always bring me back to reflect, to contemplate, to dream. They create a beautiful place where the natural process of life seems to slow down. Certainly something more of we all can use in our hurried busy lives.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


In the craziness of Spring and Summer our thoughts when visiting the local nurseries are focused on the beautiful colour. We walk in, being greeted with drifts of bountiful floral displays, rows of new starts promising immediate flowers in weeks and impulse treasures waiting for purchase. It's hard not to be mesmerized by all the perennials and annuals in full bloom ready to be added to our gardens for instant gratification. I love going to nurseries at this time of year and relish in all the excitement, really enjoying all the sights and sounds. In all this hustle and bustle though, it easy to forget about what's going to be of interest when all the flowers are gone. What's going to add that little something special towards the Autumn months. Sure there are some fall bloomers like Japanese Anemones, reblooming Bearded Iris, Phygelius, and others. But what is going to add that punch to our often tired retiring borders?

This is where Autumn shrubs come in to play. Few of us would even consider a Euonymus alatus (Burning bush) in Spring unless we saw what it colours up to in Fall. And what about Fothergillia? It's a attractive shrubs that has pretty little honey scented flowers. A very nice plant, but when Fall comes around. Wow! The leaves come on fire. This list of the Autumn treasures can go on and on.

I often feel that Fall shrubs come in more colour combination then trees. I look around in my own yard and that of the neighborhood and see so much variety. Maybe it's because the shrubs are more at eye level. But in any case, you can really find a leaf colour in every shade of an Autumn sunset.

The colour variations can be incredible. Even on one plant. Take the Rose Glow Barberry pictures above. At it's peak in natures transformation it has leaves in lemon yellows and pumpkin oranges, peaches and apricots, melons and apples reds. Nature deliciously paints in the most amazing colours.

So next time you are at your local nurseries or garden centers in Spring and Summer, after you have selected some annuals and perennials. Remember that some of those basic, plain Jane, green foliage shrubs, looking rather drab and ordinary, often turn into brilliant stars in Autumn.