There are a number of gardening and landscape styles in western Washington. They range from unkempt benign neglect, where thorny blackberry vines rule, to the perfectly coiffed garden with shapes not normally found in nature underlain by "beauty bark" resistant to infiltration of rain water. Our garden falls somewhere in the middle having somewhat of a cottage garden look where a number of perennials have spread their seed about, or generally spread out, weaving a carpet of flower-dappled green in the springtime that generally crowds out any weed growth. Columbines that years ago started out with a couple blue 'alpina', a yellow 'chrysantha', and a 'McKenna Giant' have interbred and spread just about everywhere having morphed into sometimes interesting color combinations, mostly blue. The key to curtailing this flower fecundity is to cut back the spent flower stems.
The garden foundation includes a number of shrubs and small trees - rhododendrons, azaleas, a grand old camellia, and a truly magnificent Japanese maple 'Bloodgood'. In the back reaches, I'm ashamed to say, the garden becomes a bit wilder and weedy, as the adjoining forest threatens to reclaim its domain.
Spring at the front of the house doesn't get much better than now.
Oriental poppies, beautiful but you can't get rid of them.
Columbines, taking over the world.
Jacob's ladder, a prolific seeder.
Geranium, one of many varieties, freely seeds itself.
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