Tag Archives: roses

a flowery day

This morning my friend Delinda and I went to Tacoma, ran two errands, and then went to Point Defiance Park to see what I thought was going to be the last of the fall flowers.

Turns out that the dahlias were still in full bloom, and the roses were still going strong, too.  I managed to stroll and photograph for almost an hour, too!

These tightly petalled ball dahlias are my favorites.
This one reminds me of peppermint.
Positively shaggy!
This one almost glows in the dark.
My dad loved red dahlias (and lots of other red flowers).
My mother, OTOH, was fond of salmon-colored flowers.
This one was just cool.
A purple rose!
I’d never seen a rose quite like this one.
And this rose looks like it could glow in the dark, too!
One of many other things Point Defiance is famous for is its mini-arboretum.

All in all, so pretty!

salt water and gardens

Point Defiance Park is one of the most beautiful places in Tacoma, Washington, and that’s saying a lot.  It’s a huge city park (708 acres) on a point sticking out into Puget Sound, with a zoo, a waterfront promenade and beach, a replica of a historic fort, extensive gardens, and expanses of old-growth forest laced with hiking trails.

I had a meeting in Tacoma yesterday afternoon, and afterwards I decided to go walk the promenade, enjoy the gardens, and take some photos.  Here’s a selection:

An iconic western Washington view -- the Pt. Defiance-Vashon Island ferry making its run.
An iconic western Washington view — the Pt. Defiance-Vashon Island ferry making its run across Puget Sound.
Shaded in the foreground to the right is the waterfront promenade walk at Pt. Defiance.  In the background is Mt. Rainier.
Shaded in the foreground to the right is the waterfront promenade walk at Pt. Defiance. In the background is Mt. Rainier.
It's the time of year for dahlias, and the dahlia test garden at Pt. Defiance is in full bloom.  This is my favorite kind of dahlia, known as a ball dahlia.
It’s the time of year for dahlias, and the dahlia test garden at Pt. Defiance is in full bloom. This is my favorite kind of dahlia, known as a ball dahlia.
This dahlia looks like a peppermint stick.
This dahlia looks like a peppermint stick.
These white dahlias were bigger than my outspread hand.  Some of the dahlias on display were bigger than my head.
These white dahlias were bigger than my outspread hand. Some of the dahlias on display were bigger than my head.
One of a dozen rows of dahlias in the test garden.
One of a dozen rows of dahlias in the test garden.
This pretty walkway lined with yellow rudbeckias and green hostas, among others, is near the dahlia garden.
This pretty walkway lined with yellow rudbeckias, white Japanese anemones and hostas in lots of shades of green, is near the dahlia garden.
Pt. Defiance also has a huge rose garden, which is still going strong now in late August.  I don't know what kind these are, but they're profuse.
Pt. Defiance also has a huge rose garden, which is still going strong now in late August. I don’t know what kind these are, but they’re profuse.
This is my favorite color of rose, kind of an orangey salmon.
This is my favorite color of rose, kind of an orangey salmon.
And here's a view of part of the rose garden with its gazebo, which is popular for summer weddings, and for good reason.
And here’s a view of part of the rose garden with its gazebo, which is popular for summer weddings, and for good reason.

Two weeks ago today, day 3

And now we start having photographs.  Lots and lots of photographs.

I left the hostel fairly early in the morning, and drove up into the west hills of Portland to the Pittock Mansion, where I wandered around the gardens, then sat in the car and read for a while before the house itself opened up for the day.  The Pittock Mansion was built around the turn of the last century by the owner of the Oregonian, Portland’s newspaper which is still published today, who apparently had more money than he knew what to do with.  It’s perched on a site with views that reach clear to Mount Hood in good weather (which did not happen while I was there, alas, although I could still see almost all of Portland from up there), surrounded by beautiful gardens, and the house itself is incredibly elegant.  So he had taste as well as money.

Here are some photos, although I have to say the website does a much better job of it than I do.

The Pittock Mansion on a misty moisty day.
The Pittock Mansion on a misty moisty day.
The gardens behind the mansion.
The gardens behind the mansion.
The view from the back garden.
The view from the back garden.
The back of the mansion.
The back of the mansion.
The view from one of the windows.
The view from one of the windows.
The best view I got of the inside -- this is the entry and double staircase.
The best view I got of the inside — this is the entry and double staircase.

After I left the mansion I drove back down into town looking for an on-ramp to I-5 or I-405 southbound, and could not find one for love or money.  I ended up on U.S. 99E, down through Milwaukie and Clackamas County.  Which didn’t turn out to be such a bad thing, since I found lunch along the way.  I had originally intended to get on I-205 from there, but I discovered that staying on 99E was actually going to take me where I wanted to go, anyway.

That was the Aurora Colony, which I’d read about in the book Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt, Community, and Craft by Jane Kirkpatrick, who I met online through a writers’ organization I used to belong to.  I have to say I was disappointed in the Aurora Colony itself, which was mostly a bunch of antiques stores strewn along the highway.  Somehow, in spite of their website, that wasn’t what I was expecting.

So on I went.  Someone on the Hardy Plants email list had told me about a place called Heirloom Roses.  This place did live up to what I was expecting.  In spades.  Acres and acres of roses in full bloom, mostly heirloom and species and shrub and climbing roses, although they did have some floribundas and hybrid teas.  The whole place smelled like sweet tea tastes, which is the only time I like the way sweet tea tastes (despite having been born in the South, I prefer my tea with lemon and no sugar, thanks).  By this point the weather had cleared up again, too.  A perfect place to spend a perfect afternoon.

Anyway, here’s the pictorial proof of how gorgeous this place was.

Some of the roses at Heirloom Gardens.
Some of the roses at Heirloom Gardens.
A rose blossom.  I think it's one of the many kinds of Peace roses.
A rose blossom. I think it’s one of the many kinds of Peace roses.
A David Austen rose.  These are hybrids of old shrub roses.
A David Austen rose. These are hybrids of old shrub roses.
The miniature rose garden.  The roses were miniature, not the garden.
The miniature rose garden. The roses were miniature, not the garden.
A miniature climber.  I hadn't known there was such a thing.
A miniature climber. I hadn’t known there was such a thing.

And, on top of that, I heard a hawk crying over my head, and saw a California quail in the greenhouse, of all places.

The California quail in the sales greenhouse.
The California quail in the sales greenhouse.

After that, I stopped at Champoeg (pronounced sham poo’ ee) State Park, the site of some of Oregon’s earliest political efforts and a pretty riverside park.  I’d been thinking about camping there, but decided against it, so I drove on to Salem and ended up in a motel.  Which was fine, too.