Photo courtesy Flickr
The most hauntingly beautiful European-American survivors turn up on old homesteads. It’s a revelation to run across the remnants of a hearth, a patch of day lilies, and a spiny fountain of roses or an apple tree that has repeatedly grown, fallen, and “walked” downhill in the process. The odd iris on a roadside, an isolated daffodil, these say more to me than formal, meticulous grounds that skirt a Norman mansion surrounded by second growth.
Shifting toward native plants has made me aware of the dynamic evolution of the garden. All gardens do this, but the natives have initiated their half of a dialogue that grows richer every season. The property is approaching the point where a few choice and a few ordinary imports stand apart from a native matrix and say what they have to say in their own green dialect.
P.S. I found prettier images to illustrate this post, but this one is the real deal and the Flickr site is admirable. Cabins like this still survive in my neighborhood blocks from downtown highrises. Look behind the "big house" that people put up after they prospered. Also look for ancient commercial buildings with siding that is beveled top and bottom and with windows that really daylight the interior. Note the date on the photo: that's the truth about how recently Seattle was settled by Euro-Americans. The virgin timber (like Amazon rain forest) north of Northgate was not logged until after World War Two.More after the jump.