1. Fence camouflage. As previous photographs of the garden probably revealed, the prospect from the house was marred by an unsightly fence on the property line with our neighbors to the east. This consists of a patchwork of chain link woven with plastic bedecked at random intervals with a topping of trellis bits. In addition to its obvious aesthetic shortcomings, the fence attracted attention to itself due to the glaring white color of plastic strips/trellis bits and failed to afford any meaningful privacy. Over the course of the weekend, bamboo fencing was added. I am very happy with the effect, as I feel that the hedgerow plantings are more visible against this backdrop, which, at a height of 6 ft., lends that end of the garden a much-needed sense of seclusion. Actually, ai think the use of a natural material causes the strip of woodland to appear much larger than it did previously, as the shrubs and trees blend into the bamboo rather than standing in stark contrast to the white fence.
2. Joe Pye reemerges! I have been wringing my hands over the non-appearance of my Joe Pye this spring. Asking myself how I failed this, one of my favorite plants. In darker moments, throwing up my hands and resolving never again to attempt to grow this plant or any of its relatives. Then, succumbing to remorse, my despair/petty anger gave way to solicitude, checking the base for signs of life, shifting mulch about, bestowing a little extra water. I considered consulting online sources, but didn’t follow through, anxious lest my worst fears be confirmed. And then, one spring morning, one – then 2 – purple shoots were detected, emerging from then soil inside the circle of last year’s dry, brown stalks. The relief and happiness that I’m sure every gardener has at some point experienced. It’s not dead!
3. Currently flowering.
4. Vine maples. These were purchased from a local native plant nursery (Plant Oregon) and planted on the top of the sloped southern bank of the creek. I had visions of these lovely creatures filling the middle ground with their lush, graceful foliage and brightening the autumnal woodland with shades of gold and orange. I am pleased to say that all 4 have leafed out and appear to be growing nicely in their new homes.
5. Wild Ceanothus. Another plant “rescued” from a construction site by my neighbor. This came to me quite large, with so little of its original root system that I was skeptical. Not one to turn away a plant offering, however, I dutifully cut back the branches and watered frequently and generously, trusting to the resiliance of plants. Something must have regenerated underground, for tiny buds and leaves have emerged from more than one remaining twig. Initially, they were so subtle that I would begin to doubt their existence whenever viewing the plant from a distance and have to confirm through careful inspection that the miraculous stirrings of vitality were not the product of wishful seeing. At the moment, I am patiently waiting to prune out dead branches, as these cannot at the moment be readily distinguished from living ones.
6. Verge planted, weeded, and mulched.