rheum tanguticum5wm
rheum tanguticum, with bloom spike over 6 feet tall
sunrise coming over the mountain
back yard9
back yard south west side garden that borders the woods
back yard1
back yard north west side garden that borders the woods
front gardens2
front gardens, closest to the house
back - epimediums, hydrangeas
small bed bordering the woods, featuring epimediums, hydrangeas, hellebores and an un-named rhododendron that we brought from our last house
back yard10
back border garden that peeks into a small garden room behind a fallen log, that features a large birdbath and 3 vertical growing yews
front yard garden wm
part of the front entry area garden
back yard2
back, south west woodland border garden, featuring blue hostas, all gold Japanese forest grass, brunnera ‘jack frost’, unknown pulmonaria, primula, dogwood, Japanese maples, dove tree, toad lily and more
back yard3
back yard south west woodland border garden features brunnera – ‘hadspen cream, dawson’s white, macrophylla, climbing hydrangea, astillbes, fernleaf buckthorn, Japanese maple.
monarda ‘raspberry wine’, black lace elderberry, white phlox
mountain view from the back yard
autumn north side
north garden in the autumn
back yard6
back garden perennial path
autumn front
front garden around that old growth spruce, in the autumn
back yard8
back garden, ferns, hydrangeas, astilbe, hostas, pulmonaria
autumn back
back garden red leaf maple in autumn
north side1
north side shade garden, hostas and ferns
back yard4
back bed shade garden, primulas, hostas, hydrangeas
back yard5
shade path, ligularias, ferns podophyllums
back yard7
black lace elderberry, hosta ‘sum & substance’
north side
north side shade garden
back yard
back yard, red maple, hosta ‘strip tease’
autumn, stewartia monodelpha
autumn, stewartia monadelpha
garden tour
autumn in the front yard



concrete stepping stones with leaf impressions that match the perennials along the shade garden path
concrete stepping stones with leaf impressions that match the perennials along the shade garden path

Outstanding Shade Garden Perennial – # 2

Hosta 'Striptease'
Hosta ‘Striptease’

HOSTAS – Easy to Grow, Lots of Variety!


They come in an amazing array of colors, patterns & sizes.

I’ve been growing them for about 20 years. When we moved out to our home in the woods, where there are huge shady areas, we have really increased the number of varieties as well as the number of plants.

What they need:

Partial (early morning or very late afternoon sun) to bright shade. Hint: keep the blue varieties out of the sun, it causes the waxy coating that is the blue color to melt away. Ours are in moist soil most of the time, not soggy, but moist. They are very cold hardy.

Use them in pots or in the ground. They are impressive in large clumps, borders or alone.

Pests; these can be a favorite of slugs in very damp weather, I have also had problems with deer, I will throw a light net over the top from time to time to discourage them.

Add some hosta’s to your garden, Have some fun!

First Harvest! Yeah!!!

20120519-225831.jpgLook close at all the wonderful kale in all it’s glory, ready to harvest. It’s in the shadiest part of the garden. (these were starts I bought about a month ago)

Here is a link to the selfsufficientgardener website and podcast. I love listening to this podcast while I work in my yard. It doesn’t always apply to what I do, but I learn a lot and am often inspired to do something in a new way, like grow vegetables in the shade!

First Harvest:

6 oz of salad greens

red russian kale

dinosaur kale

arugula sorrel

red oak leaf lettuce


flashy troutback lettuce

buttercrunch lettuce

harvested greens with strawberries, banana, avocado and raspberry vinegrette and walnuts! Yum

Pretty Purple Perennial Primrose

Primula ‘Miss Indigo’

This deep purple perennial primula has proven to be vigorous and blooms very prolifically. This year, again, it is covered in double deep indigo purple blooms with a delicate silver white edge. They are in full bloom now, a bit behind many of the other primulas in our yard, but way ahead of others. Many think of primroses nothing more than what you see in the big box stores very early in the spring, but they are so much more. There are varieties that bloom from February into July. I collect (almost) any perennial primrose and the more I have the more I want. They are easy to grow and divide, so also easy to share.

Conditions: Light: in our garden, it does well in a spot where it gets bright light with some sun. (we live in the Pacific Northwest when the sun may not show itself the weeks at a time.) There are some deciduous trees near it that offer some protection from hot sun in the summer months. Like many primulas, it does a bit better in considerably more shade. The ones in the shady spot have longer lasting blooms.

The soil is constantly moist most of the year.

Cold hardiness: We got down to 8 degrees f last winter and it is going strong. In my experience they are very hardy!

Soil requirements: in my experience, They aren’t too fussy about soil. Over the several acres that we grow them, some are in loamy, sandy soil, others are in clay, and everything in between.

Pests: They are rarely bothered by slugs, or anything else. We bark mulch heavily and clean debris away in early spring so slugs and snails aren’t much of a problem. I don’t need to slug bait primroses in our yard, I guess we have tastier more attractive garden fare.

This primula quietly increases its numbers by producing clumps outwards. Against good practice, I have divided them at all different times of year, with the best results in early to mid spring or fall.

This variety is suitable for the landscape or container use. When used in big clumps or in large groupings they really add the wow factor to your garden!

If you don’t have primroses in your garden, don’t wait. Spring is the time of year for the best selection!