A Resident’s Perspective – Waiting for the Bloom

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. April 2017

Well, after four years living here at Panorama, we are almost Washingtonians….I know, I know, not really. We are hearing from all quarters how unusual these past two months have been….not just the extra foot (!) of rain, but the cool to cold nights.

The Pea Patch folks have been waiting to dig and plant and then along came that quick squall that produced hail that covered our patio. That was only five days ago!!!

What we have been waiting for is the opening of our gigantic magnolia blossoms on the very old and gnarly magnolia tree at the edge of our patio. It seems the buds are gigantic now and everyday when I get up and open the slider curtains, they are still there, and unopened.

Sandy Bush Blog 4-14-17

Walking around the campus, we see the pinks blooming and many white sprays of trees blooming. The wind is taking many of the petals and clearing them off, but it does seem the first two years we were here that everything let go at once and made a colorful circus everywhere you looked well before this time in April.

Our climate IS changing. None of us will be here 50 years from now to see what else it will do or how it will affect the flowering community. Many birds arrived early and with a dearth of insects as yet to move in, they may be in some trouble. It will be interesting to see what nesting success the mated birds produce this season.

Some azaleas and many camellias have blossomed. The rhododendrons are lagging but will be showy soon. Campus pruning and thinning are going on apace.

And near the end of April, the Activity Fair will present a wide array of interest and activity groups all over campus.  Perhaps it will be totally sunny then. Regardless, it is a great time to find some things to get involved in and to meet new folks.

Waiting for the bloom……………

Sandy Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – December is Here

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. December 2016

Sometimes we forget the beauty of seasons other than the blooming loveliness of our spring, summer, and winding down into colorful fall here at Panorama. October and November saw more rain, perhaps, than we liked. But boy did December deliver a wonderland. The tall trees were frosted and stately.

Sandy-Snow1Our yards sported a special look as the 4-5 inches continued to fall.

Sandy-Snow2And the ambient night light made things magical.

Sandy-Snow3We walked around in this just to enjoy the quiet you get with this type of event. The best place to view this, if you couldn’t walk and crunch around on the new wet snow, was like our little buddy Mirka….

Sandy-Snow4There were also whimsical animals out and frosted with fresh snow. Perhaps a resting rabbit????

Sandy-Snow5We’ve not gotten into the real 20 degrees freezing nights yet, but they are due. The Panorama crew was out with snow shovels, making paths to our mailboxes. The back hoe from grounds was out snow-plowing small loops and courts with a grinning operator. The bigger plow was out for our main roads/streets, commandeered by our wonderful trash collecting man. 

How lucky we are at Panorama. Our environs are kept navigable even when they aren’t blazing with blooms. We all are grateful.  

Enjoy our campus during this season as we enjoy friends and family. Be mindful of the puddles that may well freeze in days to come. We’ve all landed in the best place in the northwest!!!!!

Sandy Bio

 

 

A Resident’s Perspective – Now It Is August…

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. July 2016

Like many of us, we are wondering where spring went. It was full of Rhodies and Azaleas with a hot week of weather somewhere in there. Now we are into full summer and ahead is another hot week, but it has been lovely and cool between those sessions of heat.

Here come the Hydrangeas, in so many forms, and the lilies are show-stopping! My husband has enjoyed documenting the blooms on our walks around campus.

Hydrangea at Panorama

Sandy_2 Sandy_3 Sandy_4 Sandy_5

The surprising thing is the Magnolia tree in our rear yard, after an amazing spring bloom, has sported some more flowers on outer branches. What a show. I didn’t remember it doing so last year.

It is also the time of year when hikes/walks and strolls are back on the activity schedule. With the Patio Sale behind us, there is time to sign up for these outings. The recent hike out on trails near Lake Quinault sported wild flowers that were subtle and hidden along the paths. The Self Heal below just lit up the trail!

Sandy_6

The activities and outings arranged for us at Panorama are such a gift, really. I just read in the paper that the Sunrise and Paradise areas of Mt. Rainier are now abloom with wildflowers. The northwest has so much to offer and we are given the opportunity to enjoy it in whatever way we are able.

Our daily climb of the north five flights of stairs in the Quinault building often gives us good views of Mt. Rainier. We are thinking of putting a tally sheet up on the top landing for those who want to log in their trips up the stairs for exercise and we will get it to Jenny Leyva at the Fitness Center monthly.

Soon we will be into fall season. I can’t believe that we are in our fourth year at Panorama!!! The time is just warping and we love every minute of it!!!

Sandy Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – Berry Picking Bliss

Written by Panorama resident, Carolyn Treadway. June 2016

Berries(1)

The raspberries are ripe! How excitedly we anticipate the time every summer when the raspberries ripen. When the berries are bright red, luscious, juicy, and ripe enough to fall from a slightly moved branch. Then it’s time for immediate picking, feasting, and preserving, for sure.

Even before we moved to Panorama two years ago, we had placed our name on the waiting list for a plot in the Pea Patch—Panorama’s community garden–but had not expected a plot to be available until the following summer. Imagine our surprise when we received word a month later that a plot was now available. Other residents, traveling a lot, had decided to relinquish their plot. When we first visited it, it was overflowing with already mature produce—and with weeds. Immediately we said a resounding yes to renting this plot, and set about harvesting and weeding. All summer, we had a bumper crop of the wonderful vegetables and flowers that the previous plot renters had planted. What a gift! We saw a long row of berry plants, but thought they were blackberries. Not until the next spring did we realize they were our favorite berries—red raspberries. Again, what a gift!

Berries(3)

Imagine the beauty and joy of being in the garden on a cool, bright June day, picking berries! Gorgeous, delicious berries by the handfuls. Birds flitting around, singing to us. A gentle breeze blowing. Friendly chatter from nearby gardeners working in their plots. The light changing, shifting into late afternoon. One could easily call it “berry picking BLISS!” What’s not to love about a time like this?”

Sage Bush

However, there is a shadow upon the day, and upon the garden. Even amidst my “bliss” and my profound gratitude for our beautiful berries, I am keenly aware of the fragility of their presence. The existence of these berries (and all others) is completely dependent upon the bees, butterflies, and insects that pollinate them. In another part of our garden we have allowed a sage plant to grow large and bloom into seed. The bees love this plant. Almost every time I look at it, at least one ever-busy bee is buzzing within it. We keep our sage to provide for the bees.

Across our nation, pollinators are in big trouble, especially bees. Even here at Panorama, many beehives in our community garden died out in several consecutive recent years. Were they lost from Colony Collapse Disorder, pesticide use, or other factors? At this point, we do not know. I long for the day when every gardener of the 100 Pea Patch plots would find it unthinkable to use probably-carcinogenic glyphosate weed killers like Roundup and neonicotinoid pesticides that are lethal to bees and pollinators. I long for the day when big box stores will no longer sell us such products, nor plants pre-treated with neonics. I long for the day when all of us realize the importance of our own choices and our individual actions to protect and preserve not only our personal gardens but also our Earth, our only home.

Carolyn Bio copy

 

Even in the Biting Chill of Winter, there is Color and Beauty

Yes, even though the weather is cold and wet, Panorama’s beautiful landscaping is still there – and worth a look. Those who brave the elements will find many colorful berries – some showy, others more subtle – and even a few flowers. The bright red fruits of the many Cotoneasters and Hawthorns really stand out, but take a close look at some of the Barberries with their small blue/black berries. Tea Oil and Sasanqua Camellias are in bloom now, with Sweet Box and Viburnum soon to follow.

When the leaves have all fallen, it is a good time to admire a tree’s bark; the thin layers peeling from the white Birches and shiny brown Paper Bark Maples or the mottling on the Stewartias.

And keep an eye on the ground – some of winter’s treasures are tiny.

Red Twig DogwoodBeautyberryParney's Cotoneaster

Oh La La!

Ciscoe with Panorama Green Team membersLast week we welcomed popular gardening guru, Ciscoe Morris, to Panorama! Ciscoe took a tour of our 140 acre campus, accompanied by our own gardening experts and the Panorama Green Team, before talking to a group of 245 enthusiastic residents in the Panorama Auditorium.

Ciscoe Morris in the Panorama AuditoriumFrom the get go he had us in laughter and intrigue. His charismatic and humorous presentation focused on how to have a beautiful garden with less maintenance and fewer chemicals. Ciscoe also incorporated some of his favorite landscape design techniques.

Ciscoe Morris in the Panorama AuditoriumYou can catch Ciscoe on Saturday mornings on KING 5 and 97.3 KIRO FM. He also takes viewer questions during Gardening With Ciscoe Live Friday nights at 6:00 pm on NWCN (North West Cable News).

 

 

What’s Blooming at Panorama?

Here we are in the midst of winter when everything feels so dreary and cold. When you look outside, it seems there is an overall lack of color. On the contrary, our campus houses one of the largest collections of plants in Washington state. There’s always something lovely to discover in the gardens and along the pathways at Panorama.

So what’s blooming right now?

Pink Dawn Viburnum

 

 

 

 

 

Pink Dawn Viburnum, the first of the winter shrubs, has been in bloom since December.

 

Witchhazel

 

 

 

 

 

Witchhazel in the shade of bronze is out right now. Yellows and reds are soon to follow.

Sweetbox

 

 

 

 

 

Inconspicuous by sight but powerful in fragrance, Sweetbox will draw your attention from a distance.