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Showing posts from September, 2018

The Island Bed

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I will sheepishly admit that I don't remember what year my family and I moved into this house, but I'll guess it has been close to  25 years since we migrated here from the house next door. The island bed in my back garden was a lawn and the neighbors behind me to the west had a solid row of trees along the fence -birch, Japanese maples and 2 miserable Leylandi cypress, along with the damn Ash tree which still lives on. There was a lot of shade. Birch, cypress and maples are all long gone, and as of this spring so is my 30+ year old Liquidambar. I can't tell you what a thrill it was to get rid of that hellacious tree. It brought glorious sun into areas of my garden that had been subject to chronic flopping and stretching for years -much to the irritation of this gardener.
   I started digging out lawn for what I now call the Island Bed just a few years after we moved in, once my children had moved on from grass-romping, and  have been slowly expanding it ever since. The l…

A Walkabout at McMenamins Kennedy School

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Business trips often install you at uninspiring convention center-centric hotels. These are convenient places if you need to work remotely and be close to whatever meetings or trade shows you might be attending. I had a brief window of opportunity on a recent business trip to the Pacific Northwest to escape the business gig and stay somewhere with a bit more cachet for one night before departing the area for my next destination. I bailed from the soulless convention center hotel and headed to lodgings at McMenamins Kennedy School-congratulating myself on the opportunity to photograph the gardens there in both evening and morning light. I had visited this garden before, both times in mid-day. Naturally, my dreams of golden hour images were dashed by grey skies and intermittent rain. Gold was nowhere to be found. The evening photo shoot was a complete bust; the morning before I took off for the coast was tolerable i.e. not raining. Bright overcast is preferable to contrasty mid day sun…