Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nature's Classroom

The recent trip to Silver Falls was supposed to be about exercise and breathing fresh air, getting "FIT" or at least working towards it. It didn't take long though for our revved-up hike to devolve into a lengthy photo shoot. Two of my three daughters, each equipped with their own [much fancier] camera, me with my point-and-shoot and a very patient hubby, trudged along and snapped away.

I got to thinking about how we design our gardens.

We want clearly defined pathways with lush borders.

We'll install a nice water feature.

With several vantage points.

With a diverse riparian planting scheme.

We'll plan for focal points, both large...

And small.

We'll be aware of our microclimate and take advantage of our sense of place and growing conditions...

And use plants that thrive in these conditions.

Never discounting the luster of GREEN...

The beauty of foliage...

And the quiet allure of serendipity.

 We'll celebrate the garden's own symbiosis...

 And the small part we play in its many seasons of success.

If we're feeling particularly adventurous, we'll take on a particular theme. Such as growing large-leaved plants.

Or plants with juxtaposing architectures. 

We'll relegate a certain area to one specific type of plant and call it a "fernery," for example.

Make good use of succulents.

Grow spiky, dangerous plants.

And perhaps if we've read up on the subject, we'll create a living wall.

I want to thank you all for being so generous with your accolades on my publishing success. It is so much appreciated. To each of you, a big hug!


  1. What a lovely, peaceful, serene walk to end the day. Here in England we are so worried and sad at the moment, and it was a quiet few moments for me to get away from it all. Thank you for sharing. Jane Gray

  2. I love Silver Falls. I must get there soon. The ferns and moss are always so awe- inspiring in this beautiful state of ours! Heather

  3. What a lovely place you visited Grace. Mother Nature does know how to include all the features for a beautiful garden doesn't she? That succulent looks like the wild portulaca that grows everywhere here.

  4. What a cool post, Grace! I loved taking a walk with you. Nature's Garden is pretty awesome, and has some great lessons.

    And belated congrats on getting your story published in the book The Moment I Knew.

  5. I guess mother nature does a good job at landscaping. I think she needs to take some advice from you and add a little pink in the mix.
    Looks like you all had a pretty hike.

  6. Great post. Interesting to realize that we mimic in our gardens what nature does "naturally." That said, I'd have to compare my garden to a clearcut mountainside ... lots of foxgloves, not much else. LOL

  7. What a beautiful place to stroll. I love the 'fernery'..lush and green, and the darling little sweet.

  8. What a wonderful place and post Grace. Nature really knows how to do it!


  9. I enjoyed reading your post, Grace. You are a great writer, while I just talk in writing. It is so pleasing the way you put your words together.

    Your flavicon is a flower on your blog. It was when I clicked to leave a comment from my email that the "B" showed up.

  10. What a delightful post, Grace. I can see that the nature walk inspired the whole family. Gorgeous pictures (again).

  11. Wow. Those ferns look almost frosted. I don't know that you could find such a lush place anywhere near here!

  12. As I read and enjoyed your pictures I was thinking "but really the garden is just where I plant all the plants I buy! I don't thing that much about it"...then you snuck in that part about the spiky dangerous plants! Thanks, and congrats to you!

  13. Grace dear,

    I will gladly take that water feature...anytime.

    Love all the photos and you deserve every accolade!

    Love to you,


  14. Beautiful Grace. My kind of scenery for certain. We do try to bring in the aspects of nature into our gardens don't we. No wonder when these sights make us feel so at peace.
    Ahem! Well I am so slow sometimes. I kept wondering where you went and what was wrong with Grace? Your blog got rerouted somehow or sometime and you disappeared girl! LOL! Thanks to Flower Lady's favicon posting I started checking on you. LOL! There is no escaping me you know. LOL! I feel so silly now but I am glad you are okay. Phew! I did get a favicon made so thanks for the tips.

  15. You sure live in a beautiful state.
    The tour was very relaxing. Shame no waterfalls around here.

  16. great lessons from nature! It's basically all there, isn't it!

  17. Very nice walk! Nature never fails to disappoint me.

  18. Your images are lovely and the thoughts you express are poetic and so mindful of the beauty you have walked through. I will never go on a hike without thinking again of walking with you through these images. Thank you, Grace, for a beautiful, beautiful post!

  19. Grace, Those with a tendency to turn hikes into extended photo shoots are wise to hike with like-minded companions. In my younger days, I had a reputation among my eye-rolling, but tolerant, friends for spending a good chunk of any hike lying on the ground trying to get a close-up of some tiny plant. One year, the New Yorker published a cover image of a woman with a very long lens bent over a tiny mushroom and 5 different friends ripped it off the front of their magazine and sent it to me! LOL. -Jean

  20. What a fun and beautiful post! I love Silver Creek, and the way you read the park like a planned garden was perfect. I had to laugh at the "water feature" -- where do I get one like that?!

  21. Bravo, Grace! Love your pictures (of course! because they are green, and that is my favorite color!) and clever commentary! Some plants reminded me of the rain forest which we visited recently. Thank you!

  22. I feel that same sense of wonder when I walk through Mother Nature's garden and see the handiwork. Amazing combinations of foliage and scale. It always works together so beautifully.
    Glad you and the family enjoyed such a lovely hike/photo excursion. :)

  23. I enjoyed the nature walk. The surroundings are so serene and beautiful.

  24. That was stunning, especially the fern wall...sigh.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  25. Can't plant a more beautiful garden. Mother Nature knows what she is doing. Silver Falls sounds like a beautiful place to be - our hikes end up being photo taking sessions also.

  26. Grace, I so enjoyed this post. And belated congrats on publishing your short story.


Thank you for being here! Your comments feed my soul.