Primary Earth-friendly Gardening Tenents:

*Tolerate minimal damage to plants and lawn from pests. *Build and maintain healthy soil by using compost and natural soil amendments. *Use chemicals as a last resort. *Use native plants when possible. They are adapted to the climate, soil and area pests. *Attract Beneficial Insects to increase pollination and decrease harmful pests. *Conserve water by using responsible watering methods.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

2008 NBB Garden Tour

The final tour count was over 200 visitors.
The day seemed much more relaxed than last year, perhaps because it was not a torrential downpour. Everyone helped out, WC and the girls were on hand answering questions. We are very proud of the girls interest and knowledge in the garden.
2008 Self-Guided Tour
This lot is approximately 5,000 square feet, and is located in an urban area. This property sits on a CARA (Critical Aquifer Recharging Area).

We moved-in August 2007 and have been gardening at this location for 11 months. The original landscape consisted mainly of lawn. A few original plants remain, including the maple tree and evergreen in the front yard, the roses and rhododendron in the backyard, and the butterfly bush – which was moved to its current location from the 18” planting strip under the front windows.

We planned this yard based on the following goals:
Habitat Goals:Attract Butterflies, Hummingbirds and Pollinators (in progress – sighted)Create a Monarch Way station (www.monarchwatch.org)
Determine if bat house is appropriate
Edible Goals:Plan and begin vegetable beds with a 10 month production goal (in progress)Establish blueberry bushes and strawberry transplants (done)
Identify fruit trees for fall 2008 planting (in progress)
Natural Technique Goals: Get certified with the WA Toxics Coalition (www.watoxics.org) as a PESTICIDE FREE ZONE (done)
Get certified with the National Wildlife Federation as a Certified Wildlife Habitat (done)
Get certified as a Monarch Way station (done)
Convert existing sprinkler system to drip irrigation (in progress, almost complete) and establish planting to minimize water needs
Build soil for healthy eco-system

The front of the house is a hummingbird, butterfly and pollinator garden. As you proceed counterclockwise around the house you next encounter the kitchen herb garden. A small greenhouse is located against the side of the house in this area as well.

As you enter the backyard you will see the berry beds and vegetable garden. This is our first attempt at vegetable gardening so we are learning too! At the west end of the yard are the existing roses. The roses have been pruned to remove diseased leaves and wood and are currently regaining shape and size. Companion plants have been added to the bed to attract beneficial insects.

The Acer negundo ‘variegate’ tree was professionally pruned last fall by Arborsmith and we are in the process of amending the compacted soil around the root system.

Future plans include adding fruit trees and building arbors.
(Photos courtesy of Alishia Topper)