Ginkgo in Black and White

When out looking for colorful leaves to photograph yesterday, I couldn’t find much…except for these few Ginkgo leaves still hanging out. I found out that they looked great in black and white in this particular composition, as well as their original, pale yellow color. Any preference?

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Chrysanthemums Display

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What to do on a drippy day in the Pacific Northwest? Here’s one suggestion: a trip to the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory at Wright Park,  Tacoma. Their autumn exhibit consists of a beautiful display of Chrysanthemums and will be available for viewing until Nov 13. Also, as a special treat for Halloween, there are some spooky displays spread throughout the conservatory. Be on the lookout for the witch, black rat, several black crows, a giant skull, lots of jack-o-lanterns and pumpkins, and watch out for the snakes coiled around branches. Don’t worry! They aren’t real!

Not having photographed or studied Chrysanthemums before, I had to give myself a crash course on these beautiful blooms. I found the most useful information at the National Chrysanthemum Society, USA. Come to find out, there are 13 classes of Chrysanthemums, many of which the botanical conservatory currently has on display. Below are sample images of some of the classes of these flowers. Use the link above to the National Chrysanthemum Society to help you identify which class the bloom belong in.

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I hope you enjoyed the Chrysanthemum images! If you do plan a visit to the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory, please drop a few dollars in the donation box, as your donations help to support the conservatory to put on these wonderful, seasonal displays. Thank you!

 

All photo property of Peggy A Thompson

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Enter the Autumn Season

007Yesterday I paid a visit to Lakewold Gardens, located in Lakewood, Washington, another little paradise that I had visited for my very first time during this past spring season. I had promised myself that I would return in the fall, to take in the leaf colors. I had been waiting all month for the rains to settle down, and yesterday was the day for me to finally visit the gardens.  Below are images from the garden, consisting of many colors, lighting, and textures. Enjoy!

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033Japanese Forest Grass

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036Woodpecker Holes in Birch Tree

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052Oregon Grape Plant

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025Nerine Lily

056Hydrangea

058Hydrangea

The gardens are only open Friday and Saturday this month. They will then be closed for renovations for the rest of the year, although the garden shop will be open for holiday shopping.

 

All photo property of Peggy A Thompson

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The Calm Before the Storm

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064Point Defiance Park Japanese Garden

I ventured out to Point Defiance Park on Wednesday of this week. The day was one of those overcast, calm and so still, autumn days that I just love. It was, literally, the calm before the storms that were approaching off the Pacific coastline that were scheduled to hit this weekend.  I wanted to check out the leaf color conditions of the Japanese maple trees in the park’s gardens. Some of the leaves were quite colorful while others were just getting started. Many of the flower beds had been already dug up, a few blooms scattered here and there. The mighty dahlia was still standing tall with its beautiful blooms, but you could tell that they were on their last legs, so to speak.  I wonder how many would be left after the big blow this weekend. It’s already started last night, with torrential rainfalls and gusty winds. The worst is yet to come on Saturday, with expected gusts of up to 70 mph in the region. Woe to the leaves on the trees! Woe to the any still standing flowers! I feel this weather system will put an end to anymore of my floral photography excursions. The dahlia flower images below may be the last ones you’ll see until next summer. Enjoy!

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All photos property of Peggy A Thompson

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Pumpkins and Gardens

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I’m so glad I took advantage of last week’s fine weather, as conditions have now turned more cool and damp, and snow has dusted the higher elevations in the mountains. Late last week I visited a favorite garden of mine, Bloedel Reserve, located on Bainbridge Island. I have blogged about my visit there in the past, but it has been a year since I last visited. It so happened that the groundskeepers were setting out colorful pumpkins and squash throughout the reserve, in what they are titling as the “Super Squash Scavenger Hunt.” The squash displays will be present through all of October. I probably did not get to see all the displays while there, but what I did see was pretty impressive. The colors and varieties of squash were fantastic! There is one display, in particular, that was drawing a lot of attention. In the Moss Garden, there is a big, uprooted tree in which the roots were elaborately decorated with all varieties of squash. It is really something else to see! Below is a photo I took of it. How fantastic is that!

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I’m not going to post anymore photos of pumpkins and other squash, so as not to ruin any surprises for those who would like to visit the gardens on their own. I do want to talk about the rest of the gardens (made up of several mini gardens, such as the birch garden, moss garden, Japanese garden, the forest, bird marsh, meadows, etc.). When visiting the reserve, you’ll be given a map to help you find your way around.

Here are some photos to help one get acquainted with the different areas of the reserve, some but not all.

011This lovely tree is the first thing you will spot as you traverse the meadows, just before the sheep sheds. (Hint: There is a squash display in one of the sheds.)

026I love the attractive Red Alder trees that grow around the perimeter of the forest. They have the most interesting patterns on their bark and are very photogenic.

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043 The trees in the forest area consist mainly of Cedars and Douglas Firs. There are lots of old, rotted trees in which new growth has entwined their roots around. These are most fantastic to look at and show how nature strives to exist.

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Crossing the zig-zag boardwalk across a bog, I encountered a lone Foxglove, still managing to blossom so late in the year.

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I stopped by the Bloedel residence to take a peak at what was growing in the gardens around the house. (Hint: More squash displays here.) I found lovely Hydrangeas blooms still thriving, along with Fuchsias and Toad Lilies. I do not know what the plant species is that has the large branches of tiny, white blossoms in the image below

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069Toad Lilies

072Pink Lacecap Hydrangea

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Moving along, here are some images from the Japanese garden, always a favorite spot of mine, especially during autumn. But the leaves have not started turning yet on the varieties of Japanese Maples.

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113I love how the groundskeepers made an attractive sidewalk border consisting of black Mondo Grass.

Here is a photo of an Asian Dogwood species that is loaded with beautiful, red berries.

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I made my way out of the Japanese garden area into the Moss garden. Here is a photo I took of branches covered with moss.

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I don’t know what type of tree this is below, but it has beautifully colored stripes running up and down it’s length.

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I slowly made my way through the other sections of the reserve’s gardens, back to the meadow where I started from. There is so much to experience and photograph in the reserve, and so I recommend setting aside a couple of hours to take it all in. Refer to the website link at the beginning of this post for hours and entrance fees.

Photos property of Peggy A Thompson

 

 

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