Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Final Fling Day Four -- The Bloedel Reserve and Dragonfly Farms Nursery

On Day Four the group crossed the Sound on the Bainbridge Island ferry and visited The Bloedel Reserve, and then went on to Dragonfly Farms Nursery in Kingston, WA. The day started out overcast and cool, but as we arrived and alighted from our tour buses at Bloedel, the heavens opened, and it began to rain quite hard, precipitating a mad dash into the gift shop to borrow umbrellas.

I have visited Bloedel previously, this past spring for a tour and a marvelous plant sale. You can see photos from that visit and read about it here and here. Their spring woodland ephemerals such as trillium and trout lily were blooming (and it wasn't raining that day).

So this time I decided to try to see and photograph areas that I missed on that previous visit  -- the wilder areas called the Bird Refuge and The Woods, as well as the Japanese Garden, which I strolled through briefly last time but got very few pictures.

While at Bloedel I also attended a short class/workshop on photography given by David Perry, a Pacific Northwest-based photographer. He had given us a "make believe' assignment for the day, to shoot a cover photograph for a magazine known as "Insert Your Blog Name Here," as well as a picture called an establishing shot, that could serve as a two-page spread. He was an entertaining speaker with lots of wonderful advice about f-stops and apertures and many other photography terms that unfortunately went right over my head. Anyway, many of the photos I took at first were all verticals.

Here's my cover shot. Dreadfully trite.

This time I took the road less traveled, at least by me.

This marvelous stump right beside the path was being eaten up by some colony of insects.

A nurse stump with two new trees growing from it.

The woodland path meandered through a wetland area that required raised wooden platforms.

And here's my establishing shot. It's not an overview, but I hope it gives you a sense of place.
This should give you some idea of how much it was raining.

Fungus and moss abound.

They say it's bad luck to cross paths with a black cat, but I've never heard any admonitions about slugs.

The view from the back of the visitor center (formerly the Bloedels' house).

This Japanese maple sits on the bank of the pond in the Japanese Garden.

It has fascinating, mossy, twisted branches.

The path to the teahouse is lined with ferns.

You can get an overview of the pond from the teahouse.

The second half of the afternoon was spent at Dragonfly Farms Nursery in Kingston, WA. Dragonfly is a marvelous nursery with an amazing selection of rare and choice plants. Yes, I bought some.

It also has stunningly beautiful display gardens, with an interesting mix of garden art.



Why is it everyone's poppies stand straight and tall, but not mine?

This gorgeous Abutilon was for sale; one of my fellow Flingers snagged it..

Purple Angelica in the display garden; I hope mine looks this good next year.

Hardy Geranium

Isn't this the coolest rusty metal nest?

I love this bottle border, with the bottles laid on their sides, instead of stuck vertically in the ground.

Well, I am back home now. I had a blast, visiting all the gardens I've shared with you, and meeting other bloggers. It's time to check out my own gardens and see what flowered while I was gone. I'm sorry I am so behind in visiting other blogs, I will try to catch up!