DESPERATE FOR HELP

I live in Hunters, WA, overlooking Lake Roosevelt.  My garden and front rockery get full sun year round, unfortunately accompanied by winds gusting up to 50mph.  The past few winters, our temperature has only dropped to near zero in the winter, but is known to drop as low as -20 degrees.  On the plus, we are surrounded by over a thousand acres of cow pasture- excellent manure!  I have attached a photo of my garden area.  

This has been my first gardening attempt and I dream of eventually transforming the area into a traditional English (flower) and French (veggie) garden. Very successful with the veggies, and the herb garden in front of the gardening cottage is robust, but would love advice on extremely hardy and lush for the flower area.  Some evergreen height that I could circle in flowers would be wonderful.  Many thanks, Brittany

Hi Brittany ~

We looked at your ultimate goal of having larger gardens, and eventually transforming it into an English Garden.  The first, and maybe most important challenge would be to have a good strong windbreak and protection against deer and elk.  You may not have had any visitors from the woods and pastures yet, but as soon as they find that you’re providing some of their favorite snacks they’ll be your constant companions.

We’re not certain what direction your property is facing, but let’s assume that the house and outbuildings are facing north and south, and that the wind is primarily coming in from the northwest.  The site plan we’ve given you can be changed depending on these factors.  The suggestions are based on a site plan that includes your house, other buildings and the proposed gardens.

A pine windbreak, or other appropriate evergreen trees, to surround the northwest side of your property and would also provide structure.  Washington State University Cooperative Extension has a good website that you might check out.  http://www.treesforyou.org/Selection/Articles/windbreaks.htm

A deciduous border inside the windbreak will provide further protection plus seasonal interest.  Plants might include wild roses, lilacs, Cornus stolonifera (red-trigged dogwood), Symphoricarpos albus (snowberry), and Philadelphus coronarius (mock orange).  The perennial border would go in front of this.  Here you could include asters, helianthus, helenium, phlox, peonies, and grasses.  Experimenting with perennials has always been our focus, both professionally and personally, so have fun with this.

Double Click to Enlarge

You might want to research the practice of crop rotation for your vegetables.  This is the practice of growing different crops in different places each year to control disease and replenish soil nutrients.  Seattle Tilth has some good information on this. seattletilth.org/learn/resources-1/…/croprotation-for-plant-health.

Hope these ideas help.  Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Happy gardening!

Susan, Bob, and Carrie


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