Garden of the Month: April 2014

Karen McClintock says she’s lucky her husband, Mick Smith,never saw a Frontweed he wouldn’t stop to pull out.  Indeed!  Mick also plants and prunes, and last year brought a photinia hedge back to good health from disease.  Their garden at 2790 Diane Street to the left of the walkway reflects the hard work they both put into it.  Right now the Spring blooms and colors are spectacular.

They purchased the house eight years ago.  The previous owner did the bulk of the hardscape and some of the basic planting. Karen and Mick, without any formal training, frequently add and rearrange. front_0129This fall Karen moved all of the iris around to mix, rather than bunch, the colors, and she’s eager to see what emerges in the next few weeks.  They get occasional help (quarterly) from a handyman gardener for the biggest jobs such as pruning the grape vines that fill the side yard.  Among the challenges of gardening onback_2 this property are deer, of course, a street light lamp post and three (count ‘em!) utility boxes in the front garden.  They use bone meal to discourage deer and it also fertilizes the tulips.   To keep everything green they use organic fertilizers sparely.  In the fall they purchased and covered the front garden with wonderful organic mulch from Plant Oregon. In front of the house, in addition to the tulips, daffodils, and grape hyacinth currently putting on a show, are Japanese maple, forsythia (the one to the left of the driveway is currently at the peak of its color, the one to the right of the driveway has gone from yellow to green leaves), manzanita, bayberry, variegated pittosporum, blue fescue, shasta daisies, euphorbia, rosemary, oregano, and sedum.
back2_0138In the back yard a small garden provides privacy and beauty.  It includes a crepe myrtle tree, roses, lilac, lavender, huge red oriental poppies, sweet woodruff, lupine, strawberries, wall flower, azalea, nandina, day lilies, foxglove, and hellebore. They use oyster shells in back to thwart snails–with limited success.  Along the back wall of the property a lovely backdrop of photinia provides the frame for this picture perfect garden.