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11/30/04, another month went by so fast I can hardly believe it! I am still planting and tonight I drew up a list of things I received from trades that MUST get in the ground tomorrow. I hurt my back a week ago hauling soppy-wet compost from a pile out front (bet my neighbers ’love’ that) through the garage and up the slope in back to cosset 50 daffies I was planting. Just too heavy, and too many trips. Instead of 12 trips with a full 5-gallon bucket I should have made 24 trips with half-full bucket. Well, I’m healing slowly... although I’m walking like I’m 108 years old.

I have a lot more to plant so I’ll have to pace myself. I just painted my bedroom last week and I’d like to steam-clean the carpets next week. There IS an inside to my house... although I’d love to just play outside all day. I am trying winter sowing this year, it’s a lot like how I always gardened anyway but a whole lot more organized!

10/28/04, What a difference a month makes! Besides cleaning my ’new’ 1941 house, doing some major repairs, and hauling off Other People’s Trash... I have dug up over 200 sq feet of turf BY HAND with a six-foot garden fork. I love that fork, I have often thought over the last couple of years if anything ever happened to that fork I’d just have to give up gardening.
I have laid a tiny terrace out front under my breakfast room window, started the first rock wall on this property, planted hundreds of perennials, hauled two tons of compost (free!) in my poor suffering stationwagon, laid out paths, measured for 9,000 miles of picket fencing to go up this spring (OK, more like 80 feet, plus 3 gates and a massive arbor entrance).

I have assembled a nice birdbath on the tiny terrace that deserves it’s own paragraph. I have had a birdbath top for a few years, pretty but unremarkable concrete with a shaped edge. At my last place I and my sister had fun fashioning a cool base for it with a sewer pipe and mortared river rocks all over the exterior, we also plumbed it and had a sprinkler turtle on top. I couldn’t break up the base and bring it, would never come whole and nearly usless broken. As I was exploring my new yard I found in the high weeds RIGHT NEXT TO THE FRONT DOOR part of a birdbath base. I thought, "well, this will look nice as a ’ruin’ with groundcover growing over it". Then - I found the rest of the base (pedestal)! I tried them together and the break was so clean you can’t even see it, I laid out concrete pavers, the 2-pc base, and hammered a piece or metallic conduit through it and into about 3 feet of the earth, slipped my top bath on and it looks like it was always there. I hope to get around to plumbing it this summer.. Is that cool? My friend said it was waiting for me to move in.

I already have planted:
scilla siberica {blue}
dutch iris professor blaauw {deep purple}
daffodil rip van winkle {yellow}
daffodil ice follies {white
daffodil Dutch Master {single, yellow trumpet}
daffodil Golden Ducat (double gold)
daffodil King Alfred (huge yellow trumpet I’ve loved them for years!)
allium purple sensation {24" purple}
liatris spicata
chives, both garlic and common
crocosmia aurea {yellow/orange}
muscari assorted
crocus assorted
tulips assorted
bearded iris assorted

clematis: sweet autumn, The President, H.F. Young
daylilies: orange, light orange, yellow Happy Days
honeysuckle: Peri Serotina, japonica Purpurea
maple: Autumn Moon (just a baby of 2’ high)
flowering cherry: Kwanzan styrax, Japanese snowbell, birch, clumping
geranium: cambridge blue, Johnsons blue
dianthus: cheddar pink
Fuchsia: cape fuchsia Phygelius new sensation

My trade list is just a start, I’m looking for basic, classic, easy-care, flowering plants for an enormous cottage garden. I love fragrant, simple single flowers best of all.
My notebook here at home is full of notes, thoughts, and ramblings about ’orange foxtail lilies’, ’cecil brunner roses’, ’white clematis’, and the like.
Tempt me.
I’m zone 8, seldom below 32 in winter, occasionally snow, close to ocean, good loamy soil, rather high watertable, have both full sun to full shade available.


9/15/04, where to start? I have had to move, I had no choice... the house was being sold. I had poured my heart and soul (and a pile of money) into my cottage garden out front. It broke my heart to leave behind many, many things I could not take with me; the gazebo I built all by myself (2 yr project!), the low mortared rock walls, the huge bermed bed with a magnificent Japanese Maple in the center, a four-foot high mortared rock birdbath that I had laboriously plumbed water to, and many lovely natural river-gravel paths with weed-stop under the gravel.

I did manage to dig up a lot of the plants, which are suffering from being disturbed during the heat of August. I dug up two of my young trees, and I took the stone basin from the top of the birdbath. I also got into the moving van 2 of my smaller decks and disassembled 2 others... so at least I have the ($$$) wood. I have bought a house and I AM NEVER MOVING AGAIN. It is on 1/2 acre and is flat land in front of the house and in back there is a lovely slope from foundation level rising gently eight feet up and then a flat area I am already calling The Meadow.

If anyone has some advice on garden layout, soil prep, weed control, and ideas for a compost bin - I’d appreciate it. I have seeds to trade, I am going to need so many seeds and bulbs and bare-root starts... I simply don’t have the money to run to the nursery.

I am not sure what to ask for in trade, I am still in a bit of transplant shock myself. I got here and the moving van fell through the driveway. Happily this is a very small town and I am fast learning what small-town-life is all about. A neighbor came and tried to pull us out with a towstrap, it broke. He went home and came right back with a tow chain and got us out of the hole in two shakes! I have made a vow to mention Ford F250 every time I tell this tale (grin). This was a 24 foot FULLY LOADED moving van, sunk to the center of the rim on the right rear wheel. Amazing.

But - it seems the previous owner did not disclose that more than half of the house has no power. The sales agreement says I accept it as is... but under disclosures he says he is unaware of any flaws. Right. I have no money to fight this, but with the elderly Dad having lived here since 1941 you’d think they knew the house they grew up in pretty well even if they'd moved on. Let’s get off that subject and onto my garden, where I dream of a place of beauty and serenity. It is only a dream right now, but that is fine, that way all will take shape under my gardener’s hands.

This is Sunset zone #4.

I live in: United States

My zone is: 8, coastal WA

My favorite forum 1 is Cottage Garden.

My favorite forum 2 is Hypertufa.

First registered on April 18, 2002 .