Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Development of the Cascadia Garden

Eucomis Circle August 2008

A slender form of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana March 2009 

 Mt Rainier at dawn from the Cascadia Garden January 2010

The Cascadia Garden began in 1920. Betula pendula, Camellia japonica, Erica carnea, Pieris japonica, Hybrid Tea Roses, Weigela coraeensis, Aucuba japonica, Rhododendron ‘Pink Pearl’ & Skimmia japonica were planted during the 1st 40 years.  Those plants were here when I moved to the property with my parents in 1961, at the age of 2 years.

From 1961 to 1992, the Cascadia Garden was developed mainly by my father. Native plants were transferred from his parents' property on Phantom Lake in the City of Bellevue. Chief among them were Acer circinatum, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Gaultheria shallon, Mahonia aquifolium & nervosa, Polystichum munitum & forest perennials Achlys triphylla, Dicentra formosa, Maianthemum dilatatum & Oxalis oregana.  In 1970 Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ was planted. Many hybrid Rhododendron were added during the 1980s. Most of the original garden plants were removed with the notable exceptions of the large & gnarled Pieris japonica & the vigorous Weigela coraeensis. Rhododendron 'Pink Pearl' was relocated. 

After I returned to the property in 1992, development of the garden increased dramatically. A wide array of plants was added. Many smaller gardens were made. A perennial border was begun in 1993 which gradually became a mixed border of blue & yellow, called the Entry Border.

In 1994 the lawn was replaced with a small vegetable garden, a large perennial garden, a rock garden & a xeric garden.  5 Paeonia suffruticosa were planted in the perennial garden. Within 5 years they had grown enough to shelter a garden of woodland perennials beneath. The Peony Shade Garden underplanting was begun in 2003. A slender, pendulous form of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana  had seeded in from nearby gardens. Some were transplanted to better sites. The Bosque was gradually created in the southwest corner of the garden using Acer circinatum, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, Sorbus gonggashanica & Thuja plicata.

In 2004 the xeric garden became the Stony Slope Xeric Garden. The area was retained with low stone walls. Large & small stones were scattered throughout. The ground & path were covered in gravel. Plants from dry, stony, mountainous sites in western North America, western & central Asia were planted.

The rock garden was transformed into the 7-foot-wide Privacy Screen along the northern property line. 2 small gardens were created in front: the Eucomis Circle & the West Coast Perennial Garden.

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