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

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Visit With Emily

A few weeks ago Peter The Outlaw Gardener and I went down to Portland for Hortlandia, the big plant sale put on by the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon. We had a blast! While I was there I picked up a plant at the request of Emily, a fellow Seattle-area blogger who writes the blog All Things Emily. A few days later I drove up to Seattle and visited with Emily, handed over the plant, and got a look at her cool urban garden.

I don't remember how I first found Emily's blog, probably from a comment that she left on one of the blogs that I follow.  She blogs about all kinds of stuff, such as her artwork and, of course, her garden.

Emily designed these floating concrete steps for the front of her mid-century house, and hired a contractor to build them.

Emily is an avid DIYer who knows her way around power tools. She built the cool slatted fence that separates her front beds and small grassy area from the more intimate sail-shaded patio behind it.

She built this fence herself, and cut all those slats with a saw and mitre box. The tall narrow trees are columnar apples.

On the other side of the front walk -- vine maples, yippee!

In the back garden, in an area that transitions from side yard to back, is a gabion that she also built. The upside-down plastic drip tray is a placeholder until she finds or makes a pot to sit on top.

She also built this bug hotel
I adore what she did with her patio. Originally it was a solid mass of concrete, but that was both uninteresting and decaying and didn't fit her vision of what she wanted for her garden. So she and her husband cut the concrete up, turned it on its side to show off the aggregate, and set it back down as horizontal slabs interspersed with soil and ground covers. You can read her account of the process here on her blog.

I love the river rock at the edges.

Emily designed and built this fence and the concrete block wall below it.

Although Emily loves plants and is very knowledgeable about them, she's not a plant hoarder like Peter and me, and her small urban garden is meticulously curated. She researches plants before she buys them and doesn't give in to impulse buying. Here's her tiny little pot ghetto.

After I delivered her plant, we spent the afternoon visiting Swanson's and Sky Nursery, and had a nice lunch at the cafe at Swanson's. I didn't take photos of the inside of her house, but her DIY talents have found a creative outlet there as well.

It's always so interesting and so much fun to meet other bloggers!