Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Documenting the Progress in my Garden Planting -- Part II

More tedious words and pictures showing what's growing where.

This is the front of the triangular bed that ended the previous post.

This area at the front gets more sun, and has less drainage. There's a stone-filled drainage (hmm...can't really call it a ditch) area there on the left, where all the run-off in the grass and the beds goes. So, on the left near it I have plants that like being wet, like Lobelia cardinalis and ornamental rhubarb. Some new plants here this year are variegated shield fern, Ligularia tussilaginea aureomaculata (that's a mouthful), and Podophyllum. They are growing with Dicentra 'Gold Heart', heucheras and columbines, native ginger, and one(!) blue Meconopsis poppy. I planted three blue poppies last summer, but only one has returned this Spring. In the center of the bed in that big bare spot is a serviceberry shrub (Amelanchier alnifolia).

This next area is to the left of that, on the other side of the drainage area thingy.

There are three Alaska cedars here, still only about 8 feet tall. They should get much taller, and will eventually fill in the bare area between them. It's hard to resist the urge to fill in that space between them with another shrub or with perennials. There are native Pacific Coast irises in front and to the left of them, and under the cloches are seeds and seedlings for Echinacea, Liatris, Lupine, Prairie Smoke, Helenium and Fleabane.

Newly planted along the fence are native orange honeysuckle, a native Delphinium, and some foxgloves. Because of all the ginormous Douglas firs, nowhere in my back garden gets what is technically full sun (6 hours or more of direct sun). But I'm hoping this area will get enough for these to cope. Usually by summer the sun is high enough overhead that the trees don't block it for quite as long.

I also plan to sow seeds of various California wildflowers here in the hopes that they will establish a self-seeding colony.  I just hope it's not too late for that, I feel like I'm running out of time, but it's hard to get it done with it being so cold and wet out there. I want to plant California poppy, Tidy Tips, Nemophila (both Baby Blue Eyes and Penny Blacks), Bird's eyes, Farewell-to-spring, Poached Egg Plant, Phacelia and Chinese houses.

The next area to the left is the area I call the mostly native bed. It's a mostly shady, woodland type area, that gets a little late afternoon sun. It's the Northeast corner of the property.

There are no new plants at the front, but it looks like all the native bulbs and plants that I put in last Fall have come up. What's in here? Camassia, Calochortus (Mariposa lily), lady ferns, scarlet monkey flower, native ginger, nodding onion, Brodiaea and Dichelostemma, Tellima, inside-out flower, Sitka burnet, Sedum spathulifolium (Cape Blanco), a handful of Fritillaria meleagris (not native) and summer-blooming heather (also not native). I know there's more but I can't remember them all.

I'm in the process of putting a walkway in here, I dig up rocks every time I plant something, so I plan to use the larger rocks to line this walk like cobbles. The edges aren't complete yet, they don't line up at the back.

Further up the walk. This is where all the Trilliums and Erythronium are. Also sword ferns, native bleeding hearts, native columbine, goatsbeard,  and more native ginger. Oh, and a couple of evergreen huckleberries.

On this side of the walk that circles the tree are shooting stars and Claytonia sibirica. At this point we are directly behind the waterfall that is the start of the stream.

Here's the area on the other side of the waterfall, that I posted pictures of in my Fertilizer Friday post.

Most of these are new. Purple Euphorbia, primroses, peachy Heucheras, a reddish grass, and one Monkey flower with soft apricot flowers (at least that's what Annie's Annuals says). There are some ornamental grasses planted last year in here as well, but they haven't shown much growth yet. Pennisetum 'Karley Rose', Northern sea oats, and a reddish Panicum. My plan for this year is to also weave a row of pink Muhly grass behind them.

There are also two new shrubs/small trees here -- a Leycesteria and a witch hazel with red flowers called Fire......something.

When I bought the witch hazel, its flowers were already past, so I didn't get to see it in full flower. It's just starting to leaf out, so I'm hoping next Spring/late Winter it will be fantastic. (Oh, see the pile of stones behind it? That's what I dig up every time I plant something.) This is also the area where I moved my Camellia Yuletide to. It seems to be doing OK.

Well, that's about it. I skipped a couple of areas -- the raised beds where I grow veggies, and another bed where I didn't plant anything new, except for some cloches with poppies growing under them.

I have so much bare space. Sometimes I feel like I will never fill it up, and I like really full cottagey beds. My garden is like that huge salad you buy where the plate seems to never empty no matter how long you eat. Have you ever ordered something like that at a restaurant?

Good thing I have seedlings coming along in my mini-greenhouses.


  1. How big is your lot! So many beds! I love the path and all of the different shrubs. The soil looks so rich. How much have you had to amend it? Thanks for the tour. It is a beautiful garden!

  2. Hi Alison,

    Firstly, I'd just like to say a huge thank you for your lovely comment on my blog post about Romeo's Wish - it means the world to me and I am so happy to know that you also adopt rescue/shelter animals. Your support means so much to me.

    Secondly, I'd like to compliment you on your beautiful garden! I know you're not happy with the bare space but wow, I think it looks beautiful. Once your baby plants have grown up, it will look so lush and inviting. Plus, you should get some dogs to charge around on that lawn!

  3. Hi Alison, It looks bare, but just wait until some of the native become established. You will have more then you need. It looks beautiful, fantastic job. Have great weekend:)

  4. Alison, I'm way behind with posting comments, but I went back and read all the posts I missed and was amazed at how much work you have done. The garden has lovely structure, love all the curving beds that just flow so well. You've probably answered this question before, but how large is your property?

    The primrose in the older post is amazing, I didn't know such a plant existed...gosh, what a beauty. You have everything spaced out so nicely so as the garden grows, there will be no overcrowding and ruining of the plantings. I'm often guilty of planting too closely and then live to regret it.

    I admire you so much; I don't know how I would adapt to starting over from scratch in a new garden much less an entirely new gardening zone and climate. I love coming here to see what you have in your gardens, everything is so well-tended and thought out. You have a magnificent garden, Alison!

  5. Alison, your gardens are so beautiful and well thought out! Your becoming such an expert on Native NW plants :) I really like how you've used some large rocks to add decoration.
    I did up lot's of rocks too every time I work the soil. Previous owners of our cottage appear to have been obsessed with river rock. Cheers, Jenni

  6. You are creating a wonderful garden, Alison. Such a lot of thought, planning and preparation is going into it. In a few years' time, it will be really super...your very own show garden. Right now, the structure is all there and it has been beautifully laid out. Everything looks so NEAT! Wow!

  7. Hi Alison,
    I love the different areas you have there. I like your stone path markers. Some of the plants, such as wild ginger, I also grow or have heard of, others, I'm not familiar with. With all your land, you have the opposite "problem" I do. I don't have as much space as I'd like.

  8. Now I think we are due for a zoom out of the full area!
    I bet the bare areas are hardly bare at all.
    I too have every type of space imaginable--so any plant I find I have a section of yard for it. Dry sun, wet sun, shade, part sun, FULL SUN near a hose :) Your gardens are amazing!

  9. Your area looks a lot like mine, actually. With all those tall evergreens. Here, it's pines. My yard is deviod, but everywhere around us, pines. Very tall, block out a lot of light. Perfect for growing azaleas under.

  10. Beautiful!!! I love your plant varieties!! :)


  11. You have a tremendous lot of plants in for such a new garden, Alison. Kudos to you for putting in the Alaska cedars: those of us with small lots envy you the space to do that, and I applaud your wisdom in adding "bones" to your garden. Yes, overall the soil may still feel bare to you, but remember it's a function of the time of year, too. This summer will be so rewarding! And thank you for the longer views of your beds. I'm always hesitant to show those because there's always something I don't like in mine. You're brave - and you should feel proud of what you've accomplished in such a short amount of time!


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