Saturday, July 23, 2005
As of today, it's been one week since we got home from the vacation, but my mind is still back in the Pacific Northwest. It's been five years since I called Seattle home, and I'd forgotten how beautiful the area is. While I lived in Seattle, I never did any gardening. For one thing, I was a renter, and for another thing I was swamped with grad school and a crazy job--all the old excuses. It wasn't until I moved to Illinois that I had a patch of earth to call my own. So, I've learned a lot more about plants and what it takes to grow them since the last time I visited Oregon and Washington.
Everywhere we went while on vacation we saw beautiful gardens. Little towns, rural homesteads, and city plots--everything seemed to be blooming and lush. For one thing, while the Pacific Northwest is behind in the amount of snowfall they've received in the last few years, they've gotten plenty of spring rain this year. So this wasn't a drought year. I think there's something more, though, that accounts for the success of plants in this area. We saw so many beautiful gardens, that there must be something about the climate and weather and rain that just makes things GROW.
While we were visiting Rosyln, WA, I made a point to snap some pictures of a few of the local gardens that really stood out. Rosyln's claim to fame is that it's Main Street was featured in the TV show Northern Exposure. It's an old coal mining town that basically fell into disrepair sometime in the 1960's when the last coal mining operation closed. Rosyln is a classic example of "preservation due to neglect." Because the town had been in decline since it's hey day in the early 1900s, no one had any money to fix anything up. So the old turn-of-the-last-century Main Street is still pretty well intact.
Nowadays, Rosyln is a tourist attraction. Thanks to the TV show, and thanks to it's convienient location right of an interstate, it's a vacation spot. There are a couple of new pricy developments going in outside of the city limits. But Main Street retains it's charm.
Just off the main steet were two gardens I loved. Color and kitch. Yes, those are plastic flowers entwined over the archway. And yes, that is a "Saw Mill and Water Wheel" feature.
I had to get a picture of this garden. In fact, I made Randy drive around the block twice so I could snap a shot. The house is pretty run down. I think this might actually qualify as a "tar-paper shack." But it has got a garden, a blooming garden right out front. If you throw a few seeds on the ground in the Northwest, green things and flowers follow.