Garden Changes in 2020

I didn't blog much last year, which is weird because it wasn't for a lack of time on my hands. We kept busy with Covid precautions here in Washington State and started last year off with eight of us living here. My husband and eldest daughter were working from home and juggled office spaces, so maybe that is part of it? Two grandkids ages five and one, maybe that is in part? My youngest son completed his Junior year of high school remotely, i wish i could say that had me more engaged in his school...but he's 17 so honestly most of what he does is up to him. My other two daughters work in retail which was shut down, maybe I just tried to stay out of everyone's way? The beginning of the year was tough, a lot of emotions running high until we figured out how to live together day in and day out. We figured out the best way to cook for everyone (let's just say, I was not voted to be the cook and A-Okay about that) at home and enjoyed the summer weather together and went on a lot of walks and spent a lot of time outside. I spent most of everyday in the garden which gave me time to get lost in my garden. In October, my eldest and her daughters town home was completed so she moved in to her new place and my youngest daughter moved in with her to rent a room. So crazy how much has changed here since they've relocated, but I'll save that for another post. 

I want to share some of the new changes I created this past year out in the landscape. Most notable, is the new fountain area. I shared with you last year this post about purchasing a new fountain for the Secret Garden, if you missed that post you can see it here.  I worked very hard on adding to this area to blend what was already there, add plants that will fill in like they've always been there. I know it will take a few years to see my vision, but by the end of summer of 2020 it was already beginning to give me the structure of what i dreamed of seeing. Around the fountain itself I planted four White Meidiland Rose shrubs. I quickly realized that four was going to be too many, so i removed two and planted them in the galvanized bins in front of the Chicken Church. I added different peony varieties, several roses, bachelor buttons, flower seeds like poppies, snapdragons, coneflowers, hollyhock and some wildflowers to come back next summer. I also planted so many bulbs and rhizomes for this upcoming springtime. We had to replace the arborvitaes twice that are planted behind the fountain - unsure why they died....fingers crossed that they thrive in next years landscape. 

I was excited to add several new roses to the landscape - I immediately fell in love with the look of Evelyn, a David Austin Rose in my urns that replaced the huge arborvitaes I took out of the front yard garden last year. Another beauty was Love Song. I planted it to wonder up the picket fence in the front yard garden. I finally added Abraham Darby along with a few others that escape my mind right now. 

After years of struggling with my beautiful mix of antique roses on my Rose Terrace I decided to remove them all and replant in other parts of the garden landscape. This way I would be able to get to them easier and maintain them. I just don't believe they were thriving as they once were. Plus it was difficult to weed that area up there, so I decided to plant only Koko Loko in both of the top two rows. We also laid landscape cloth on the two tiers of the terrace to keep the weeds in check, it was difficult to weed around the roses so densely planted. I know, i know....the landscape cloth is not recommended, but the way I laid it, I can easily fertilize and water and if the roses stop thriving it will be easy to remove. Because these Koko Loko roses were new and tender, i ended up putting 1/4" wire around each rose to keep the bunny rabbits away from the new canes. Once established and thriving i hope to remove the wire around the roses. 

Also, to get to the upper section of the Roses Terrace I created a stair case using stepping stones and relocating shade plants in this area to crowd the steps in hopes to make it look like its been part of the landscape. Hoping this upcoming summer the moss will fill in between the pavers and will look even more time worn.  

After the weather begun to warm up, i took my granddaughter to a nursery specializing in water plants for our fountain. I wanted to add a water lily, hyacinths and gold fish to the fountain. While we walked around, she noticed in the back there was a swing set and she so badly wanted to swing. The employee we chatted with said she could play on it...Covid restrictions didn't allow playgrounds to be open for us this past summer. We came home that day and immediately began searching for an ideal swing set for the grandkids for the backyard.  A neighbor had just built one for his kids and he said if we buy the materials, he would build us one too. In one afternoon this was built and i am so grateful. The kids had a wonderful summer playing on this swing and i know it will be used for years to come. On each side of the swings arbor, I planted two roses. Claire Austin and Strawberry Hill. I envision both to grow over the top of the swing set and give it beautiful feel to the space. Perhaps maybe even be an "Wedding Alter" someday. 

Another exciting addition to the landscape last year, were Dahlias.  I ordered several vintage colored varieties last spring and planted them. I changed my mind where they were coming up and moved them. Unfortunately doing so didn't give me a huge production that i dreamt of having in the gardens, but it was a lesson learned for next time. I did get some beautiful ones and enjoyed them throughout the late summer and fall. I have heard mixed feedback whether to dig up or leave them...I ended up leaving them and covered with hay before the frost arrived. I am sure I will keep you posted how that goes for this upcoming year. I ordered many more (boy these are expensive plants) for spring to plant throughout the garden between other plants as a filler and will use for cut flowers next year. 

A new found passion i discovered this late summer was creating mixed bouquet's from my own garden. I've always enjoyed doing a cut bouquet here and there for our personal spaces. But I got way more intentional with my flowers and foliage for cut arrangements. I set up a booth for people to come and make their own arrangements and instead of accepting any money, I asked participants to donate to Color of Change after the death of George Floyd. I was asked a few times to create arrangements for friends to gift. I donated flowers for friends son wedding and another friends dinner party she hosted. It was something i truly enjoyed being a part of and appreciated the interaction during this year, even if it was just for a porch pick up. Here are a couple of my favorites that i created. Please do share which is your favorite?

Thank you so much for coming by and reading this post, i will definitely try harder to be more engaged over here on blogger!  Be sure to comment on this Blog Post to let me know you stopped by so I know you are interested in seeing more posts, I'd really appreciate hearing from you!

Also, please follow me on Facebook and Instagram, both have been so fun much to engage with you there too! xoxo, tracie


Laurel said…
Such a lovely post. Thank you for sharing. You really have a gift. I loved the second bouquet with the pale pinks. I planted strawberry hill in my mothers yard. It has been a much better climber than all the other David austins growing in my yard. Good choice. It will cover the frame in no time!
Good Morning Tracie

I enjoyed this blog post so much. I like both of the bouquets but really love the second one best. I think the softer lighter colors is what I liked. Love your new swing set. I saw it on instagram this summer, loved all the beautiful bouquets you made through the summer and that fountain is incredible. I enjoy blogs, Glad you made a post, enjoy your weekend
Jean H said…
Lovely post. The use of moss for “aging” the stepping stones is a favorite of mine. I love using miss, and especially love moss gardens! Another favorite to use is baby tears. Here’s hoping 2021 moves us all closer to being able to travel & visit. - IG/DolphsMom - Jean H in CA
Jean H said…
Moss—not miss! (Darn auto-correct that I “missed”!)
SallyC said…
Such a beautiful garden!
Claire said…
I truly enjoyed your post. My moss, hydrangea, hosta, fern filled garden was destroyed by a tornado last year. What the tornado didn't get was destroyed as the trees had to be cut down and removed. At age 71, I don't know if I have the energy to rebuild it myself. We don't live where there are multiply nurseries or landscape companies to hire to do the job. Bringing someone in from a larger city would be very expensive. I'm waiting for spring to see what might come back and add some sun lov ing plants. I'm pretty sure my shade garden is history. I don't think I can pick a favorite arrangement--my flower starved self would want both!
lala said…
I always look forward to your posts- I have purchased many plants mentioned on your blog (they r all doing great ) and have gotten many garden design ideas.
Lovely pictures of a beautiful garden!
MarilynK said…
I love following you on instagram stories. Blogs are good for reference and filling in the blanks on what I might miss. I do love all the variety in your garden and how there is always something blooming. Your bouquets are beautiful. That's my favorite thing to b able to pick my own flowers for bouquets. The one with cosmos and strawberry hydrangea is my favorite!
Maggie O'C said…
I am going to go follow you on Instagram. I live in Portland and this blog works for me because I know PNW plants will work in my yard. Do you do garden design? I have a backyard that's all lawn and I need to get rid of it. You made beauty out of a not very beautiful year!
Rebecca Hall said…
I just absolutely LOVE your garden.
Thanks for the inspiration :)

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