FOUR GREAT IDEAS FROM THIS GARDEN
Plant a succession of blooms
In April, this garden is colored with bluebells, camellias, daffodils, epimediums, goat's beard (Aruncus aethusifolius), a saucer magnolia, and violets. A month later, main-season rhododendrons share the stage with callas, forget-me-nots, and Siberian irises. By June, it's all daylilies, hydrangeas, Japanese irises, and white valerian.
Take advantage of wet soil
After clearing the blackberries, Karen found a large natural damp area – not uncommon in Northwest gardens. That's where she planted water-loving perennials such as globeflowers (Trollius chinensis), Ligularia, Rodgersia, and umbrella plants (Darmera peltata). Standard white callas and Japanese irises also do well in damp soil.
Use the slope
Because the driveway follows the contour of the land, the property doesn't seem as steep as it is. But viewed from both the street and driveway, the slope serves as a giant easel for flowering shrubs and perennials.
Weed and feed in one step
Every other February, the Steebs spread a 4-inch layer of local Cedar Grove compost through the garden. It keeps down weeds, slowly feeds the plants, and minimizes the need for extra water (the garden intentionally has no irrigation system).