I bought this house on April 26th, 2013 when I was still working for Apple. While I wanted a home that I could make my own, I knew that I would not have the time, or the patience, for any sort of renovation and I lucked out and found this beautifully restored 1945 Craftsman in Hillsdale in SW Portland. Clearly, as you can see from this picture, there was still a way for me to make this place MY home and that was through the garden. While I had only a tiny bit of experience with any sort of gardening, I was excited for an opportunity to express my creativity in a way I’ve never done before.
The “palette” I had to work with consisted mostly of dead shrubs of varying nature, MOUNDS of overgrown thyme, strawberry ground cover, cotoneaster, day lilies, bluebells and more bluebells, and some bamboo thrown in for fun! I still shudder when I see Dusty Miller.
Sickly Japanese maple that eventually had to go and one of many poorly placed rhododendrons throughout the property
Did I forget to mention the sloping beds?
The back yard was a completely different beast. While the front was all deep, sloping beds with existing plants the needed to be be ripped out, it was mostly a barren and flat wasteland. One thing it did have in common with the front was more poorly placed plants/trees!
Seriously? Who does this? Notice the poor dogwood suffocated in the corner with the two plum trees so close together! Who needs two plums trees? As you will see later, who needs any, actually?
Day lilies and carex were repeated throughout the back yard
What you can’t see is the hydrangea planted 6 inches from the back doorstep. Most of it blocked the door.
And I cannot forget the hell strip from hell! This is one of the last areas of my garden that I worked on. This time, it was St. John’s Wort that had to be removed. The entire area is about 15ft deep and about 60ft long! And the incline gets worse as you go further back! And the kicker – it faces south!
So, in an effort not to make this the longest blog post in history, I’ll pace my garden’s journey over the next several posts…up next…”Everything has to be in three’s, right? Oh, and from Home Depot!”