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A Tuscany Garden

A couple weeks ago I got back from an amazing trip to Italy. We spent most of our time in this little garden for the villa we rented in Montisi. It was divine. 

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.


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.


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?


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


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


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


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


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.