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Native Plants in the Garden

It was such a nice sunny weekend that we decided to go on a little walk in the woods behind the house. I found that the walk was a great way to show Jason some of the plants I pre-ordered from the Snohomish County Conservation District plant sale. 



During and after our walk we talked about the plants and the benefits of each. I like incorporating native plants into the landscape because they need little care when planted in the right place. Plus, I like feeding the wildlife. I even bought the deer a couple bushes to munch on that I’ll plant along the property line (away from our fenced yard). 

The Conservation District no longer accepts pre-orders but their sale is this Saturday at the Monroe Fairgrounds if you want to check it out. 

Here’s what I ordered: 

  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
  • Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
  • Pacific Rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum)
  • Evergreen Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum)
  • Red Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum)
  • Mock Orange (Philadelphus lewisii)
  • Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)
  • Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum)
  • Deer Fern (Blechnum spicant)
  • Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum)
  • Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) – Bareroot

Snohomish County Conservation District Plant Sale at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, WA    Commercial Building (#400) 

Doors are open from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM on Saturday February 28, 2015.

It’s Pond Clean-up Weather

We had an abnormally warm and pleasant weekend — in the high 50°s. Which is practically unheard of for this time of year. It was the perfect winter weather for cleaning/weeding the pond.

Here’s the pond last summer — hidden under the grass in the lower right.

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As you can see, it’s a small pond that’s been taken over by an invasive grass. We had no idea how bad it was until we drained the pond and started tugging away at weeds – some sections were over a foot deep. Yikes. Here’s the ‘in progress’ picture.

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It took most of the day but it’s done — we are a concerned the grass will come back. We plan to toss the grass debris in the garbage instead of composting (I’m not taking any chances). It’s the tiny and hidden roots we’re worried about spreading again. One thought is leaving the pond dry all summer to dry up any remaining roots.

I’d prefer we fill up the pond and enjoy it. Then hand pull any new grass starts that pop-up. I’m not sure what kind of grass it is. Anyone have similar experience? Thoughts?

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Thanks for your help!

NW Flower & Garden Show

The NW Flower and Garden show (in Seattle) opened yesterday and runs though the weekend. I made my annual trek to see the gardens and do a little shopping. I took a couple pictures of my favorite gardens to share.

I’ll start with McAuliffe’s Nursery. It’s somewhat close to my house and I’ve visited it often. It’s a great nursery.

A couple things I liked about their demo garden:

• they had the best plant tags. Cuts of wood painted w/ chalk paint.

• their potting bench made from salvage materials was inspiring

• I really enjoyed their plant choices and colors

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The Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) demo garden had my favorite plant combos. Here are a couple other things that caught my eye:

• they had a classic water feature that complimented the rest of the design

• they used a variety of plant colors and textures that I can use at home

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West Seattle Nursery was also a favorite with their catchy “Birds do it…Bees do it…” garden theme. Also a great Billie Holiday song. Why I liked it:

• gave habitat ideas for birds and insects

• vibrant colors and fun plant combinations

• unique bird feeders

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And the last garden I want to share was designed by Adam Gorski Landscape Inc. I liked the elegance and simplicity of this garden.

• cork plant tags – what a great idea

• large stone columns & fountain

• wine barrel chairs

• green & burgundy plants

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I hope you enjoyed my garden show teaser. If you want to see more you’ll just have to visit the show.

Spring Fever

Not only is my “Jelena” Witch Hazel blooming, but the NW Flower and Garden show starts on WEDNESDAY. I can hardly wait.

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I’m Baaack!!

It’s been awhile. I apologize. Life got in the way. A lot has happened since February so I’ll try to sum it up for you. 

  • I met someone amazing who fills my heart with joy and laughter. 
  • Licorice (my sweet hen) was eaten by a opossum – the opossum mysteriously disappeared. 
  • My remaining two old biddy hens and rooster are on insect and fertilizer duty. They’re locked up in the coop more than I like but it’s better than being eaten. I don’t get any eggs. 
  • I broke my leg playing soccer in early August and lost half my summer. I started walking again in late October. I got very little gardening done this year between the first bullet and this one (and the sea kayaking course I took with the Mountaineers). 

And…

  • I’m moving! I plan to rent out my house to someone who enjoys gardening. Yes, I realize this is wishful thinking.  

That being said, I have a lot of garden chores I need to get done to prepare for the move. I need to root prune trees and bushes moving with me. I need to prepare and design my new garden space for plants being moved. And I need to decide which perennials move with me. I’m a little worried about renting out my garden so plan to take all the special plants along with me. Most are ready to be divided anyway. If you have advice on how to successfully rent out a garden, let me know. 

I’m excited about the move. I get to live with the man of my dreams and I get more garden space. Someone should really pinch me. The garden already has a great foundation of mature plants, a deck, a waterfall/pond and a fenced veggie garden. Since I’m a little bit ‘anti-lawn,’ I’ll probably start by killing some of the lawn to make a little more garden space. I like to use leaves and cover with wet cardboard and fine mulch to kill grass. It works great and creates a happy winter home for the worms. I’ll get this going in the next couple weeks. 

I also need to get going on building a new chicken coop. I was looking through my friend Jessi Bloom’s ‘Free-Range Chicken Gardens’ book this morning for inspiration. I haven’t quite decided where it’s going to live or the style of coop. We get a lot of rain so I’ll probably have a covered run and warm shed-like hen house. Then in spring I’ll get some chicks with the goal of getting fresh eggs again. I was thinking of getting French Marans for their dark brown eggs and Ameraucanas for their light blue eggs. Both breeds are hard to find.   

I also need to get my garlic planted ASAP! I’m already a month or so late. 

Lots to do! We’ll chat again soon.