Sunday, August 3

How Low Maintenance is a Low Maintenance Garden? I ask Kay & Marlin

Kay and Marlin's beautiful Pacific NW Garden is located in Vancouver, Washington a short drive away from Portland, OR. It is a fenced, woodland themed garden that was designed with low maintenance in mind. I don't think anyone would miss having a lawn in this garden!

Pretty Hydrangea hug the house walls
It is a beautiful combination of native plants, strategically placed moss covered rocks and a stunning water feature located in the center of the garden. Is there ever any weeding to do in a low maintenance garden?
Kay chuckles when I ask this question and reports that if I had come just a week earlier I would have seen the waist high thistles growing in the garden. I see no evidence of any weeds on my visit.

A Pacific NW Moss variety was chosen to adorn the rocks
This revelation leads me into my next question. Are there any other problems with a low maintenance garden that you did not anticipate? Kay tells me that they did not realize how quickly certain plants and trees would grow. They were faced with moving trees and dividing shrubs at the 5 year mark. Kay brought up a good point for those interested in this kind of garden. Growing dwarf varieties of trees and shrubs does not mean you will have no growth at all. They had several dwarf varieties that outgrew their space quickly.

The beautiful water feature which is a bird favorite
Marlin and their son Andrew are installing new garden lights while I am visiting. The lights are one of  three projects planned for this summer. One of these future projects is the installation of a round stone patio to put their fire pit and to add extra seating in the garden.

There are several rock formations to add interest to the garden
While I was there  I  note that I have seen several different species of  birds frolicking in the water fountain. On a break from installation, Marlin tells me that yesterday he saw 10 different birds playing in the water. I spot several bright yellow breasted birds and a green hummingbird.

More Pacific NW plants

Gravel and Stone Pathways

View of the left side of the garden

A different view of the garden
Lucky me, after our tour I join the family for a meal on one of the two patios in the garden. There is a wonderful breeze as I enjoy the fine meal that Kay has whipped up for us. This concludes my tour of  Kay and Marlin's garden. My concluding thought is that a low maintenance garden is a wonderful option, but still requires some work and remember to be prepared for adjustments due to rapid growth.

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