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.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Room with a View


And here I sit. This is a view from my desk. I have placed my desk to view out the bay window in the living room. At the moment there is not much of a view, aside from the male cardinal that likes to site directly opposite me on the fence and stare me on down most days.

There are a few pink roses directly outside the bay window, pruned down for winter now. I have never been fond of lattice work, but the fence topper seems to amuse the birds. There are several windows facing in from the neighbor, of which I am very conscious on days that I am wearing my pink flannel garden gnome PJs for half the day, but I digress.

Upon arriving in Indiana I immediately noticed a regional fondness for hosta and arbor vitae. There are still several arbor vitae along the fence defining each 4 foot section. I say "still" because I have removed close to 2 dozen arbor vitae (and several hundred hosta, donated to the city) from the property. Ah, a blank canvas.

I like to begin designing in the fall for 2 reasons, first, my belief in soil building before planting, and second, the space is clear to view after all of the showy spring and summer plants have been pruned back and mulched over. This is the backbone of your design.


Here is another image showing the view. I will take additional photos from different views and then sketch over the photos to plan where to place screening and ornamental plants, including "winter interest" plants.

I have always been fascinated by winter interest plants but in the northwest, where snow was rare, they just didn't have the same impact. Structure and color define winter interest, and I will be needing some of that here in Indiana!

(Yes, the living room is bare, pending a few of those renovation projects that I mentioned earlier. The floors have been refinished, exposing the original white and red oak wood after more than 30 years of carpet. The window coverings will be updated at some point, like everything else pending the sale of the Vancouver home. You may have also noticed the bare plaster walls and missing door trim.)