Lovely and Subtle Changes Amid Construction
I am so fortunate to have an intimate link with the elements of this garden, and to share them with others.
In the course of my daily duties at Leach, it’s a pleasure to share observations and feelings associated with the transition from winter to spring. On one occasion, the arrival of ruby-crowned kinglets was discussed; on another, it was the emergence of false Solomon’s seal.
The construction activities that began last August disturbed much of our landscape, but opportunities to transplant a great number of plants to areas that are underplanted or ordinary were created. Eighteen shrubs (Rhododendron, Edgeworthia, Acer pentaphyllum, and more) and several dozen Pacific Coast Iris hybrids were moved to new locations in the upper garden. Many are pushing new growth as I write this.
Maianthemum racemosum – false Solomon’s seal
In addition, I relocated approximately 200 Erythronium (fawn/trout lilies) and Trillium plants. Erythroniums are out in force and grouped in the riparian zone, near the entrance kiosk, and south of the Carriage House.
Overgrown plants have also received attention, particularly those surrounding the Manor House. The large patch of black bamboo and neighboring shrubs, the Mahonia ‘Arthur Menzies’, the winter jasmine, and Leucothoe (dog hobble) have been aggressively pruned. The result is conspicuous, with improved views and sunlight penetration.
Mahonia ‘Arthur Menzies’
Finally, I am excited to report a newly identified fungal resident on the property. Of all the splendid varieties of Pacific Northwest mushrooms I’ve encountered, the types commonly called elfin saddles are very compelling. I stumbled upon eight specimens of Helvella compressa on a late February afternoon. This species is endemic to the PNW, ranging from Alaska to Northern California, and east to Idaho. It is associated with Douglas fir, Western red cedar, alder, maples and snowberry.
Scott Hoelscher, Head Gardener