Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Garden Tour

Long overdue, I'd love to share some more of my garden with you....

This is how it began, in the fall of 2006. (One and a half years ago) Actually, how it really BEGAN is lost forever because certain members of our family were silly and forgot to take the "before" part of "before and after" photos.
Our backyard used to contain many miles of chainlink fence, a half dead compacted lawn, 6 forsythia bushes, scraggly junipers, and a big area of bark with a weeping cherry in the middle surrounded by a collection of ceramic animal statues. (which the previous owner took with her when they moved) It was about half the size it is now because the fence ended at the house corner instead of including our side yard.

So, this is how it looked once we had removed nearly everything living, started rebuilding the back stairs, started a new fence & installed our patio. And finally realized we should take some pictures.

And then....Ta da! How it looks today. (or Sunday actually)

As much as I love the hot tub, I sometimes wish it wasn't such a huge obtuse hulk of a thing. oh well. Now I know what you are thinking:

"How did that barren wasteland become such an oasis (crazy wild overgrown jungle) in just one and a half years?"

Two reasons

1) Lots of composted steer manure & garden soil that I used to make raised berms instead of sticking the plants in our cold mucky clayey soil.

2) Lots and lots of plants. Way to many plants. A serious plant addiction. As in, I'll wear 5 year old jeans if it means I can buy new plants instead.

Because who could say no to any of these beauties?

Cornus Kousa (chinese dogwood)

Foxglove from seeds gathered in our seattle garden. I love this creamy yellow one the best.

Iris chrysographes, a blue flower I forget, gold cone juniper in the background

Some sort of cistus. Sorry, too lazy to go find the plant tags. I love the delicate wrinkly petals.

My goal in the backyard garden was to have something smelling wonderful for most of the year. I will try to squeeze in almost anything that is reported to have yummy smelling flowers. My other love is big plants. Ones with huge leaves, tall flowers and gigantic proportions. But, it has to die to the ground and grow that big all in one season. Example below:

How on earth did I fit that into my tiny garden? Don't ask. It is smothering about 5 plants nearby and I really need to remove it. That's the story of my garden....things getting squished together. But I love how they spill over onto eachother. I like seeing flowers from my cistus hovering in a euphorbia mellifera.

The last part of our garden tour is the south facing side of our house where I grow all my food. I love growing food & wish I had at least an acre to do it in. But in a few hundred square feet on the side here I have: Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, artichokes, a fig tree, currants and a hop vine. In the raised beds I grow LOTS of garlic, mostly exotic hardneck varieties. Plus tomatoes, basil, snap peas, kale, potatoes, carrots, fennel, onions, lettuce, zuchinni, etc.


Andrea Elliott said...

I am really impressed with your gardening skills! How did you know which plants would thrive in your climate and which plants to stay away from?

Jenny said...

i am in awe...pretty please come visit and give me some advice..I want flowers and food too!!!

D said...

We think alike-- your comments about buying flowers mirror my own!
I should post some pics of ours-- No where near as developed as yours, but I have a few minor miracles to show off! :-) And I LOVE knowing I am growing something to eat-- I want to start a rhubarb too, but have the feeling Gabe's grandma would yell at me if I did! she has a giant one that she begs us to come cut off of! :-)
Good Job Kari-- Your garden is beautiful!

Tiffany said...

Wowee! I am SO impressed. After reading Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver I was all ready to garden, but then the deer ate everything this year and I got nervous. I wish we lived closer so you could be my tutor. I'm just happy that the weeds in our yard are green right now. Nice work!

TheFiveDays said...

WOW! It's gorgeous! You can just SEE the love you put into it. What an accomplishment over just a year and a half. I am still chuckling about foregoing the jeans...

We are working on raised beds for our vegetables this year, for the first time. Yours are beautiful!!

Thanks for sharing!

Shauna said...

The pic of Saben is perfect. I love it! I want to blow it up and hang it on our fridge!!