• Field Notes A blog compiling the writings of
    the Heronswood Team

In Honor of Mothers

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I am who I am because of the nurturing guidance and enthusiasm of my mother and grandmother. My love of plants began at a very early age. My mom would say I came out of the womb with Latin names …

Oregon Irises Inspire

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Adventure and exploration is the reason I went into the field of plant taxonomy and ecology. I wanted to discover the wonders of this world and I wanted to understand how they were connected to all facets of their environment. …

Smoke and the Art of Phototropism

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Two weeks ago, while entering Heronswood, I noted to myself how early the autumn color had arrived, particularly so in our big-leaf maples, Acer macrophyllum, along 288th St. This is a tree species whose autumn color intensity can vary …

Heronswood Biodiversity Audit

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(10.01.20)

A SENTIMENTAL SOUND

During quiet moments of Heronswood’s open days in summer and those leading into fall, there’s often a sound that can be heard carrying over the distance of the parking lot that lasts mere seconds before going …

Hedychium

Novel Plants for Novel Times

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What a year this has been!

Events in the world outside rarely penetrate the tranquility of this garden, but 2020 hasn’t played by the usual rule book. While this year’s plague of slugs and snails has been devastating in the …

Heronswood Biodiversity Audit

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(09.15.20)

FLY FRIGHT

First impressions are undoubtedly difficult to dispel, especially at a young age when a child is trying to learn a bevy of subjects. The association of a mosquito to an annoying, high-pitched buzzing bug that causes itchy …

Heronswood Biodiversity Audit

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(09.02.20) Spiders, Part III

A GLOW UPON THE GROUND

As many variable forms that spiders possess, there exist several different strategies to employ when catching prey. The passive hunters who wait combine elements of webbing, tunnels, and camouflage. Those less …

Brilliant biennial blooms but briefly

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Almost all the plants at Heronswood are perennials

Not herbaceous perennials, but perennials nevertheless. Woody trees, shrubs and vines are perennial, because they live for multiple years but when we hear the word “perennial”, we tend to think herbaceous. Herbaceous …

Heronswood Biodiversity Audit

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(08.18.20) Spiders, Part II

A WEB OF UNSEEN HAZARDS

There’s nothing quite like the sensation of escaping the harsh sunlight of a summer afternoon and retreating to the cool understory of a forest. Once sweaty skin is now soothingly cool, …

Heronswood Biodiversity Audit

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(08.05.20)

THE EYES HAVE IT

I’ve been reflecting on the ways humans anthropomorphize non-human organisms and it seems that there could be a correlation between leg count and the perceived threat of a life form to us. For example: our …

Eucryphia glutinosa

Here Comes Eucryphias

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The Genus Eucryphia

I have related the story so many times to so many people that I will assume you have already heard it before. But precisely when has that stopped me from telling it again? In the summer of …

Hankering for Holidays

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Vacation season is upon us and yet the usual exodus is largely on hold this year. As much as I love Kitsap County, I’m becoming increasingly frustrated by my inability to drop everything and fly to some faraway place. Of …

Heronswood Biodiversity Audit

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(07.14.20 & 7.21.20)

BUGS THAT PUT A SPRING IN OUR STEPS

A spongy forest trail is a fun aspect to feel underfoot while hiking through natural areas of the Pacific Northwest. Sponginess is often a sign that high levels of …

Phormium tenax

Flocks and Flax

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The Remarkable Foliage and Flowers of the Genus Phormium

Although gardeners of the Pacific Northwest have long considered New Zealand Flax to be indispensable in adding an exclamative lift to any landscape composition, there is, as there are with many …

Hostile Takeover

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For many gardeners, an important principle is ‘year-round color’. We strive to ensure that there are flowers, fruits or fancy foliage to view and enjoy for twelve months of the year. At Heronswood, one of our most popular approaches is …

Heronswood Biodiversity Audit

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(06.30.20)

A GARDEN NEEDS HEROES

Y’know, I’d like a sidekick. Now, I’m not actually thinking of a person who’d just tag along and act as my own shadow, but an entirely different organism. Gardening is often a sweaty task, especially …

Horse Chestnut

Onwards and Upwards; Horse Chestnuts

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When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, and Heronswood has been learning to love lemonade. We’ve had some difficult months with greatly reduced staff and few or our excellent volunteers on hand. With the garden closed, we’ve also missed …

Heronswood Biodiversity Audit

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(06.14.20)

OF BUGS AND BATS

Days are becoming longer as the solstice approaches, and with additional light, plants are able to grow to their chloroplasts’ content. Long days also bring greater warmth, yet night does eventually come to blanket the …

 
 
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