Good morning! Today I begin a series of Saturday posts on my garden of bliss (and torment). It’s a big garden, a garden on the edge of a ravine and creek, and a garden that’s made me both extremely happy and incredibly depressed. I’ll tell you why I was depressed in a future post. For now, I’ll tell you about the garden and its various growing areas.
The Front Woods
When you arrive at my property, you can’t see my house from the street. This was the first characteristic of the land I fell in love with. It creates an anonymity and privacy I love. The woods are a horizontal rectangle of firs, cedars, dogwoods, and a not-so-healthy hemlock that the driveway curves through.
As you pass a monstrous gnarled hemlock on the right and a tall rhododendron on the left, you emerge into the open where my house, an old colonial sits. There’s a square of lawn before the house, a square of lawn to the left, and part-sun borders. While I planted a mixed border at the edge of the woods, I’ve mostly neglected the other areas. But it is a partly sunny area that needs more attention.
The Back Yard
Behind the house is a large, long rectangle of space with a garage where I cultivate ornamental plants. This is my playground. The previous owners arranged the curving borders that I’ve since kept though I’ve removed all of the boxwoods they planted. Boxwoods are kinda boring and let’s face it, smell like cat urine. Instead, I went a little nuts and have put my stamp on each border, which I regard as four main areas: the island bed, the east oak border, the west driveway border, and the sunny woodland border.
Behind this long stretch of land is a fence with a gate to the last section of land. It’s a natural ravine that was disturbed and now struggles against ivy, morning glory, and other pest plants. The land rolls fairly steeply down before leveling off and ending just across a small creek. It’s a sweet little creek that flows into nearby Lake Washington. Firs and cedars shade it, sword ferns and Oregon grape grow all around. Not many salmon are left here though. We’ve lost trees in the ravine due to high winds, and this is mostly because so many trees were removed decades ago. While I have planting more firs and cedars on my to-do list, the ravine, for now, is left to the mountain beavers and rabbits that inhabit it.
Tomorrow (Sunday) I’ll feature a plant I like from the garden. And next Saturday, I’ll share my island bed, a bed I’ve created to attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Until then, happy gardening!
To get my ideas for cool books, film, music, plants, Paris, and inspiration, join my list. I send out monthly newsletters from my green chair, where I write. Thanks!