A Continuing Evolution!
The perennial and shrub gardens are very much park-like, with many rooms, a patio with shady seating, waterfalls into long streams where tadpoles are raised.
As mentioned above, the house hunting had led us to larger property than we first envisioned. But the office space was IDEAL, and then Tricia fell “in project mode” with the overgrown (but professionally designed) landscape, and was itching to work with the good “bones” of the established trees and shrubs. The house was not visible from the street as the trees in front were touching the exposed aggregate circular driveway. Mugo pines were 8 and 10 feet up the side of the cedar planked ranch style house, very bad for fire protection. Roses and lilacs were in abundance to the point there was no landscape left to be seen. It was rather a “jungle gone wild”. On the north side of the house, the 8 and 12-foot windows of the dining and living room were met with a wall of trees, instead of a view of the mountains and sky beyond.
After two years of chainsaws, tree spades, backhoe, trencher, bobcat and excavator work, and huge brush piles disposed of and the neighbors saying, “you don’t have to do it all at once!”. The dust settled to large grassy lawns surrounding the raised island beds of transplanted roses, lilacs trees and shrubs. Soil had been excavated from the far north field to furnish material for the long planting berms. These were installed to break the north air coming from the river to increase the zone rating and create micro climates within the gardens. Large “landscape rocks” were added to the berms, and irrigation systems installed to keep the many transplanted trees and shrubs alive.
Today the perennial and shrub gardens are very much park-like, with many rooms, a patio with shady seating, waterfalls into long streams where tadpoles are raised, to become the mosquito catchers. The fish reside year-round in the ponds and many colorful songbirds make their nests in the mature spruce and pine on the property. They use the streams for their baths and water source, as do the bees. There are shady forested areas, with seating to relax while watching the fish in the pond, listening to the trickle of a small waterfall. Other spaces are open sunny lush lawns for bocce’ and or dinner tables. On the meadow side facing the large vegetable gardens are the horseshoe pits and the grape vines. In spring, fall and winter these meadows (and vegetable garden) are home to the young ewe lambs we raise for replacement ewes.
Late April and early May has the pastel palate captured with the mauve rock cress, shades of purple, blue and lemon of the iris; white, cream, purple, pink, blue lilacs; with the bright yellow of the scotch moss and sedum for contrast. Late May and early June has the abundance of the late tulips, lilacs of many shades, fragrant iris, and the lush peony add to the bountiful supply of colour, but the roses are the stars of the show. The Heuchera species is the favorite of this gardener, and provides many tubular flowers for our “returning resident” hummingbirds, as does the honeysuckle archway from the shade “dining room”. The large puffy heads of hydrangea herald the end of June. July and August bring on the bright yellow, orange and reds of the lilies, with the deep magenta of phlox, burgundy, russets of the ninebark and the black of the lace elder. September and October are spectacular in the clear fall colors, accented by the drama of the blue spruce and deep green of pines, new and bright yellow of the larch.
Truly a garden for all seasons, and we invite you to spend time here, at an event of your making, or just a visit when you come for your “farm products”.