I've been around Dave's garden for a few years. I would like to introduce myself. I'm Sue. I live near Boeing. I'm getting ready to re-vamp my whole yard (2 years worth of neglect). I have hired some help with our ever so present Himalayan Blackberries. All of the beds are still there. Many many perennials. The Vegetable garden is first in line. Hope to chat and get to know you all.
Hi Sue and welcome. I used to live in Seattle but now in Bremerton. I too am revamping a neglected yard so I will look forward to seeing your progress. I have an old thread that hasn't been posted on for awhile but haven't been able to post pictures for some reason. Good to have you here.
Hi Sue. My daughter Julie and I live in the Buckley area and have been active on DG for a couple of years. We have had some changes in our personal lives that has kept us pretty quiet for a while, but hope to get back into the swing of things this year.
Hello, and welcome! I live on Vashon Island (actually Maury Island which is attached by land bridge to the main island, Vashon) on an acre of what used to be a currant farm and orchard. All that is left of that is a few old fruit trees. I started out with mostly an open field, and in the last ten years have added a large vegetable garden, raspberries, blueberries, a few grapes (which I need to figure out how to prune effectively), several apple trees, a pear, a cherry, and two plum trees, as well as some ornamental gardens. My specialty is garlic. I have grown several varieties of garlic for the last 30 years.
This sounds pretty good, but really I have no idea what I am doing with the ornamental aspect of things and end up plunking in trees shrubs and perennials wherever the whim, or an open spot, strikes me. I am easily lured by plant sales and come home with pretty little babies in need of a place to spread their roots, so in they go (or else languish on the back porch if I have no time to prepare a place). I am in dire need of a better plan, but I have had fun thus far and have learned a lot about, hmmmm, what not to do, as well as what works.
Currently, I am working full time and also taking college classes half time, so my garden is somewhat weedy and overgrown, and will be until I am through. Don't even look at the miserable state of the housekeeping, If I have an extra moment, I go pull a few weeds rather than dusting or tidying the house.
Ha, That sounds like home. I'm in the basement going through stuff if it is raining and outside pulling weeds if it's above 50. With hardwood floors most of the junk on the floor blows into the corners or under furniture. And I have to read once in awhile so no housework for me.
I will add my welcome as well. I'm up at the north end of Snohomish County on 15 acres. We've raised two sons and numerous farm animals over the years. We are now tearing down fences, letting the pastures do as they please, and blurring the line between yard and wildness. Net result is too many beds and not enough weeders! But enjoyable nevertheless.
Maury, I also have some grapes that I have struggled with over the years. I have 5 vines of unknown variety. Each vine has its own post and then they are allowed to sprawl on top of a ladder trellis about 5 1/2 feet above ground. I get beautiful luxuriant foliage every year, but relatively few clusters of grapes. I prune it back pretty hard in the spring, keeping all the side shoots to about 6" and spaced 4-5" apart. Not sure what I'm doing wrong, or if I just don't have the right micro-climate. They are planted east-west on a slight slope in mostly full sun. ?? I long ago gave up on any meaningful harvest and enjoy them as a plant, but if there's a magic answer I'd sure be interested.
BH---Grapes set fruit on 1 year old wood, so you should leave some long canes every year if you want fruit the next year. If you cut it all back, you will not get any fruit. Also, an application of bonemeal may help. I have 29 pinot noir grapevines, that are only 3 years old---so I'm still learning, too. I cut mine entirely back last year so that the vine base could grow fatter----but that means I will get zero fruit this year.
Thanks to all, Missingrosie, Willowind2, FairyFarm, springcolor, koskor, mauryhillfarm (Vashon!), bonehead - Hi I'm still here. I'm in the middle of a house remodel too. We should be done by mid May. I can't wait to move back home. In the mean time, (no photos yet sorry, but I can show some old stuff of how it used to look), I had help with my himalayan blackberry brambles, and cherry tree samplings. Also lots of trim work. It was the best money I've spent since putting money into the house. I'll be there tomorrow. Photos coming up.
Hi Sue! I live in Twisp and am also fairly new to this forum. They are a great bunch of happy gardeners! Good luck with your project and can't wait to see some pics. I've let my yard get seriously overgrown, weed infested, and neglected in the past couple years. Maybe your project will inspire me to shape things up around here.
I'm a newbie here too . I'm up in Skagit County and am tackling my back yard with a vengeance this spring. I've only been in my house a year now and didn't do much gardening last spring because I wanted to see what the previous owner had planted. Now that I know what's here, I'm trying to create a cottage garden, however I have lots of ground cover to tackle...ivy, ivy and more ivy. Lily-of-the valley is invasive also.
I'm going to Christianson's today too. It's my favorite nursery of all. The staff there is so knowledgeable and helpful. Although in truth, it's very dangerous for me to go there...I spend waaay too much money and end up bringing home plants that I hadn't planned on buying...then I walk around my yard trying to figure out where to put the darn things!! I'm a garden addict.
Oops..forgot to change my location. Not sure what I am doing on this website. I thought I just uploaded some pictures but I don't know where they are.
I am a garden addict and fanatic. I just came back from the nursery. I started out with a list of specific plants but no sooner had I gotten there, than I was buying, buying, buying plants that I have no idea where I'll put them. I need to have my hand slapped!
Welcome, Sue! It sounds like you have a lot of simultaneous projects.
I live just south of Everett - between Everett and Lynnwood. I have a tiny patch in a Manufactured Home park. It was clay, so hard that most weeds could barely get a toehold. (Of course blackberries and slugs managed to thrive.)
I've been excavating, digging drainage ditches, amending, and raising beds.
my most recent gardening "Oh, Boy!" was having some Italian heirloom leaf broccoli overwinter and then go into flower once spring sprang.
Your "Orcas Wall" is neat! I have seen some sheds built like your wall. Is it wood from an old barn. Love it!
I found a new sedum at the nursery yesterday called 'Ring More Ruby'. Has bronze foliage, a tall upright.
Your yard is beautiful!
Raven and SC - we should coordinate our Christianson trips and meet up together some day. It's my fav as well. I go to Skagit Nursery occasionally but for some reason I don't like that one near as well.
The Orcas Wall is very cool, all the more so since your husband built it. I'm sure it will bring a fond smile to you whenever you pass it. My condolences on your loss.
Sedums - yes, plant some. The smaller ones make good fillers while waiting for things to bulk up, and the larger ones mingle well. I have some that self-sow and pop up here and there - definitely adding to a cottagy look.
I agree on the sedums. Autumn Joy is a large one and color later in the year. They are getting some really great ones. Love your wall too. Is the flowerbed your new home or the old one? It's really nice.
Beautiful yard, garden, and Orcas Wall, Ravenn. It's so great to have you here! Your husband was very talented.
I put in two sedums last year, 'Neon' variety. I love them. Hot pink in the fall. For some reason, I didn't take any pics.
I walked around the yard tonight, and took lots of pics. The lighting was perfect.
Here are my favorite two.
1) Akebia vine in bloom. Beautiful up close. But not very dramatic when you step a couple feet away from it.
2) Centranthus ruber (red valerian, Jupiter's Beard). This self sows over abundantly (sorry neighbors, I see it in your adjacent flower bed), but I love it. Extra seedlings are really easy to pull out.
These wisteria vines came with my house. However, for four years, my heart was broken every spring when it wouldn't bloom. I finally researched this past winter, and learned that I should give them generous doses of Super phosphate. Now they are covered in hundreds of blooms.
Pic taken tonight.
Super phosphate...my new love in the garden. Thank you, super phosphate!
Omigosh!!! At Jack's vacation house there is a MONSTER wisteria that we joked was of the rare non-blooming variety. Not one dangler in EIGHT years. I will definitely be applying the s-phos when there next week.
Irises, crape myrtle, and lilacs all get a good bloom boost from it. This bed of irises was really dwindling the past two year, and only made a handful of blooms last year. I sprinkled the superphosphate on it on the same day as the wisteria, and lots more blooms again. (For the wisteria, I dug about a 4 inch trench in a circle about 12 inches-18 inches away from the base of each vine, and dumped a lot in before covering back up with dirt.)
Pic of irises also taken tonight.
I think all of our rain can just really deplete our soil of lots of nutrients.
Upon further reading, potatoes, onions, and fruit treats also benefit from fertilizers high in phosphate. (the super-P I used was 0-20-0). I'm also going to apply it to my camellias this fall, bc they don't bloom for me either.
I thought this website was really great. Nice info. Going to read it more closely tomorrow. Pacific NW rain makes it critical that we all understand the importance of fertilizing. Steve Solomon (veggie guru in NW) stresses need to do so for veggies especially.
Last year, I didn't have a lot of hydrangea blooms either. B/c many of mine died down to the ground from colder temps last winter. (luckily that didn't happen this year, and things look better). Hydrangea bloom on the year's prior growth (old wood), so it is possible that yours didn't make many blooms last year because of either the same prob I had or too aggressive pruning of the old wood, rather than a nutritional deficiency. My hydrangea appear to already have set blooms for this year...so it is possible that yours have also, and doubtful that any fertilizer will make a difference for this season. However, I see no harm in adding superphosphate at this time either. It helps establish a good root system, so there is never harm in that.
Hello fellow PNW gardeners! I'm Lorinda and I live in Newcastle,WA. I have been a member of Dave's Garden for a few years now. I have mostly read forums for information rather than posting, but hopefully I will do more of the latter. I'm in the process of downsizing my lawn area for vegetable and flower gardens. It's a ton of work, but should be nice some day!
If anybody knows of someone with a excavator and doesn't cost an arm and a leg, please let me know. I really need to level some area's of my yard.
I don't know your situation, but I got a lot of mileage out of the one slope I have. I cut a trench to make the downhill side even lower, then stood some 16" paving stones up on end. Now I have a raised bed plus sunken walkway.
When I walk down into the sunken walkway (trench), the soil in the bed is around knee level, and I can plant or pick with less bending. Before I put in the drainage pipe and stepping stones, the soil was around thigh-high.
Maybe you could move just a little soil, and instead of having a nasty slope, have interesting terraces and deep raised beds! It sure provides improved drainage. And a raised bed dries out and warms up earliest in the spring.
Hi (sigh), I'm sorry I have not been back, but I enjoyed all of the posts! My garden clean up went south. Yep, they cleaned up, but also cleaned out a few perennials. I'm glad I didn't ask them to do everything. So now it's up to me. I'll shovel, weed, and replant where necessary. It will be a process, but I can do it. I've done all of it before. My arms need a workout anyway, LOL...
My sympathy, Sue. I made a similar mistake several years back. Hired some "oriental gardeners" to help with the yard. It seems that they believed that bare dirt was the only way to go in the flower beds. I also lost a lot of perennials. In addition, they barked a couple of trees with their weedwacker. Yuck! I will never hire outside help again. I'd rather have the beds look a little messy.
Thx PNWGirl, I was living away from my home at the time, so I did not have direct control. I thought the company I hired understood what I wanted as far as keeping perennials. It's alright. Moving on is my motto. What I lost, I will get it all back! My beds are a disaster. My front yard kind of looks like dirt. Like several people came in with shovels and just dug. I have nothing but positive thinking at this point. I did learn a hard and very valuable lesson.
I know how it feels to be shocked by how the message didn't get across. I ask a guy to put in my doggy septic between the gate and the shrubs. It ended up in the middle of the flower bed about fifteen away. I figure now it won't get crushed by the guys who mow the yard. LOL
Sue and PNW Girl,
I also had the same unfortunate thing happen to me recently. I wanted some trees moved and some basic edging and weeding done. No edging, but plenty of perinials dissapeared and 5 dead trees! I agree, i should have skipped the help and done it on my own!
The whole situation just made me sick.
Thanks very much. I collect sayings, because I'm pretty sure that, the wiser they are, the sooner I'll forget them.
This one came from a choclate kiss wrapper:
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When love is given freely, the rewards are great.
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“The illusion which exalts us is dearer to us than ten thousand truths. “
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Deprived of meaningful work,
men and women lose their reason for existence,
they go stark, raving mad.
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Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.
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Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
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"There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle."
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Well, it's not actually that difficult to have half-a-million wiped out in a flash.
My brother briefly worked for a company awhile back that went bankrupt after being in business for several decades. The longtime employees who had faithfully invested their pension credits in company stock lost EVERYTHING.
I have a friend whose father bought a business & ran into unexpected trouble; my friend ponied up more than $1.5 million, wiping himself out, so that his parents wouldn't lose their home & everything else.
The house that I sold to a nice young couple outside Chicago in 2005 or so has lost at least a couple hundred thousand in value since then, so there goes any equity they had. I feel so bad for them.